Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris - winners of the Johan Skytte Prize
Ronald Inglehart, Professor at the University of Michigan and Academic Supervisor of the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, and Pippa Norris, Professor in political science at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, have both won the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. The awards ceremony took place on September 24th at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
In the 17 years of the prize’s history this is the first time that two scientists have become joint winners. They received the prize for ‘contributing innovative ideas about the relevance and roots of political culture in a global context, transcending previous mainstream approaches of research’.
According to the website of the Skytte Prize, ‘In three co-authored books and numerous articles they have, through sophisticated analyses and a globally-based material including a majority of the world's population, shown that a crucial key to continuity and change in political participation, interest and why issues become prioritized is the values, beliefs and attitudes of the citizens themselves. In their joint work, the importance of religion in today's contemporary world has been in focus, as well as gender equality and the role of global media and information technology in affecting values to converge or become more polarized. The process of value formation and change is intimately related to structural factors such as the shift from industrial to post-industrial production, and furthermore rests on feelings of existential security which are affected by a spread in the equality of well-being. Characteristic of Norris and Inglehart's research is that their analyses ties together their own as well as previously launced theories with a uniquely rich and subtle material, allowing for systematic empirical testing, development but also refutation. Their focus is consequently on the citizens, the people, and their indirect interplay with elites and political and societal institutions.’
Commentary from Prof. R. Inglehart:
The awards ceremony was held on Saturday. First we visited Skytte’s tomb, and then in a cathedral located next to Uppsala University we were awarded these huge silver medals. I’m not just saying this about the size: they really are huge and weigh a lot.
The ceremony itself was very impressive, in the U.S. there is nothing like this: we have no royal family or hereditary nobility: usually you are just given a diploma and a congratulatory speech. In Sweden they really have traditions, and in every province they have a different ethnic group with its own flags, national costumes, hats etc.
But the prize itself is rather new: it was first awarded only 17 years ago. The prize is sponsored by Johan Skytte Foundation, at Uppsala University which is considered as the best Swedish university, there is professorship named after Skytte. Johan Skytte was the first professor in political science at Uppsala University. He worked in various Swedish governments and also worked in other countries, including Estonia, Latvia and Russia, in Saint Petersburg.
Since the foundation has large financial assets, when one of the professors asked: ‘Why are there Nobel Prizes in chemistry, physics, literature, medicine and economics but not in political science?’, the response was the creation of the Skytte Prize, a Nobel Prize equivalent to the Nobel Prize, but in political science. To be more serious, it is accompanied by a large financial reward (which was, for example, enough for me to pay for part of my field studies in India). The prize becomes more and more recognised, and while it has not yet become as well known as the Nobel prize, it definitely already has some authority in political science.
Researchers have long studied the motives that inspire people to join in collective action. Three factors have received particular attention: anger caused by apparent social injustice; belief in the efficacy of collective action; and politicised identity. New studies have recently prompted a team of scholars, including a HSE researcher, to incorporate two additional factors into the existing model: ideology and moral obligation.
Europe wants to live in a democracy. This is especially true for residents of countries of Northern Europe, but less so for those of former socialist countries, especially Russia. While almost everyone has a positive attitude towards democracy, people have different understandings of it. Alla Salmina studied the relationship between attitudes and understandings of it using the data of 28 countries that participated in the European Social Survey (ESS).
‘We tried to give them a bright future.’ These are the words of engineers, construction workers, geologists, doctors and other specialists from the former Soviet republic regarding the years they spent in Mongolia. Those Soviet-era specialists are still united by the memory of trying to build something on such a grand scale and then seeing the whole project collapse. More than 100 members of that community agreed to be interviewed in-depth by political scientist Alexei Mikhalev. Here, he shares information from their collective memory with IQ.HSE.
‘State capacity’ refers to a state’s ability to make and effectively implement decisions in domestic and foreign policy. In a study, HSE University political scientists evaluated the state capacity of 142 countries. Based on their findings, the researchers created and trialed a state capacity index, identified eight models of state capacity, and compiled a general international ranking.
In September 2019, the School of Political Science and the School of Public Administration at the Faculty of Social Sciences will merge into the School of Politics and Governance. The opening of the newly unified school will bring big changes to the structure and contents of educational programmes.
Andrei Melville, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, spoke with the HSE News Service about the merger of two schools and the outlook for political science at HSE University.
While much of the focus on politics and global affairs over the past several decades has been on democratization, the most striking thing about this period has been the survival and spread of authoritarian regimes, argues Graeme Gill, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Professor Gill is one of the presenters at the upcoming XX April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, scheduled this year for April 9-12 at the Higher School of Economics.
Mikhail Blinkin is one of Russia’s leading experts in urbanism, city planning, and urban transport. He has headed the HSE Institute for Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies since 2011 and has been HSE Tenured Professor since 2013. In 2017, Mikhail Blinkin was the recipient of an HSE Honour Award 1st Class, as well as the Golden HSE award for Best Expert.