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Stein Rokkan Prize


2023 – Elisabeth Anderson

Elisabeth Anderso

The 2023 prize has been awarded to Elisabeth Anderson for her book, Agents of Reform: Child Labor and the Origins of the Welfare State, published by Princeton University Press, 2022. Elisabeth Anderson is Associate Professor of Sociology at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is a comparative-historical and political sociologist of the welfare state and social policy, with a particular interest in theorising how individual agents drive institutional change. 

This elegantly written book advances an innovative historical explanation for the origin and development of the welfare state. Anderson builds her argument in a step-by-step pedagogical style, with a carefully crafted comparative design featuring seven in-depth case studies. She explains the success or failure of early child labour reform efforts (Part I) and shows why states later adopted different child labour and factory inspection laws (Part II).
One of the books’ important contributions thus relies upon theorising the conditions under which middle-class policy and administrative entrepreneurs can indeed function as agents of reform.

From our Jury: 'Agents of Reform: Child Labor and the Origins of the Welfare State is a fascinating and highly impressive contribution to the comparative study of the welfare state from a political and sociological point of view. In the book, Anderson demonstrates how individual middle-class reformers played a decisive role in the development of a regulatory welfare policy at a time when the working class was politically marginalized or excluded.' 

2022 – Vineeta Yadav

Vineeta Yadav

The 2022 prize has been awarded to Vineeta Yadav for her book, Religious Parties and the Politics of Civil Liberties, published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Vineeta Yadav (PhD, Yale University) researches the comparative study of political parties, and business and religious interest groups in developing countries and the consequences of their interactions for governance, policy outcomes and democracy. She has a special interest in South Asian politics.

The book advances several fields of social science research: the study of political parties, in particular religious parties, the study of social movements and the study of interest groups. Drawing on large amounts of different types of data to answer crucial questions on the fate of civil liberties under religious governments in Muslim-majority countries. This dataset forms a real contribution to the study of religious organisations and parties as no map of such scope and breadth has existed before.

From our Jury: 'Religious Parties and the Politics of Civil Liberties is broad in its scope, original and innovative. It is theoretically ambitious, methodologically rigorous, and empirically rich. It constitutes a “very substantial and original contribution in comparative social science research”, exemplifying the virtues that the Stein Rokkan Prize is intended to honour.' 

Read the full laudation.

2021 – Ran Hirschl

Ran Hirschl

The 2021 prize has been awarded to Ran Hirschl for his book City, State: Constitutionalism and the Megacity, published by Oxford University Press in 2020. Ran Hirschl (PhD, Yale University) is Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Toronto, holder of the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in Comparative Constitutionalism at the University of Göttingen, and head of the Max Planck Fellow Group in Comparative Constitutionalism. As of Autumn 2021 he will serve as Professor of Government and the Earl E. Sheffield Regents Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin.

As the world is urbanizing at an extraordinary rate, City, State argues, new thinking about constitutionalism and urbanization is desperately needed. In six chapters, the book considers the reasons for the 'constitutional blind spot' concerning the metropolis, probes the constitutional relationship between states and (mega)cities worldwide, examines patterns of constitutional change and stalemate in city status, and aims to carve a new place for the city in constitutional thought, constitutional law and constitutional practice.

From our Jury: 'Readers will not think about cities and constitutions the same way after reading this book. The author points out the glaring absence of a place for cities on constitutional law thinking, despite their concentration of the world’s population at this point.

The book brings together perspectives from political science, law, and sociology to show the economic and political importance of the city, but then shows equally how cities are systematically diminished when they do not have constitutional authority to protect themselves from politicians in the state and to demand things from corporations who use structural power against them....

The book is original, innovative and deeply comparative. It is an example of how a juridical perspective can grasp relevant political and policy dynamics.' Read the full laudation.

In light of this year's award having been presented to Ran virtually, we have created a short video to capture this special moment.

2020 – Jeffrey M. Chwieroth and Andrew Walter 

Jeffrey M. ChwierothAndrew Walter

The 2020 prize has been awarded to Jeffrey M. Chwieroth London School of Economics and Political Science, and Andrew Walter, University of Melbourne, in recognition of their book The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises, published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. 

The rising wealth of middle-class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. Jeffrey and Andrew’s book uses extensive historical and contemporary evidence to show how the politics of major banking crises have been transformed by the ‘wealth effect’: rising middle class wealth has generated ‘great expectations’ regarding government responsibilities for the protection of this wealth. 

Chwieroth and Walter explain: 'Our primary objective was to investigate whether government policy responses to and the political impact of recent major banking crises were unusual from a longer historical perspective. Most existing long-run work on banking crises has been done by economists, whereas political scientists have focused on narrow time periods and country experiences; we wanted to investigate more systematically the co-evolution of financial fragility and democratic politics over the long run.' 

Using data from a large number of democracies over two centuries, and detailed longitudinal studies of Brazil, the UK and US, the book breaks new ground in exploring the consequences of the emergence of mass political demand for financial stabilisation. 

The jury were unanimous in their decision and assert that 'This book is an impressive example of comparative scholarship. It masterfully weaves together an amazing wealth of historical, statistical, and narrative evidence, combining the analysis of long-term historical trends in policies and public opinion, correlational analyses of middle class expectations and policy changes, and historical process tracing of policy responses to systemic banking crises over more than 100 years…Its focus on finance will change the way we look at comparative politics…and the way we look at the causes and resolutions of major financial crises.' Read the full laudation.

2019 – Andreas Wimmer

The 2019 prize has been awarded to Andreas Wimmer, Columbia University, in recognition of his book Nation Building: Why Some Countries Come Together While Others Fall Apart, published by Princeton University Press in 2018.

Wimmer asks a crucial question: why is national integration achieved in some more diverse countries, while others are destabilised? He argues that nation building is a slow-moving and generational process, the success of which relies on the spread of civil society organisations, linguistic assimilation, and states' capacities to provide public goods to their citizens.

Empirically, his book spans several centuries and several continents using pairwise country comparisons and statistical analysis. Wimmer builds on, and innovates, a long tradition in social sciences concerned with big questions and messy realities. He stresses that: 'Over the past two decades, social science research has begun to focus on smaller and smaller questions for which rock-solid empirical answers can be found, fleeing from the complexity of historical reality into the secure settings of a laboratory or toward the rare occurrences of quasi-experiments that the social world has to offer. Scholars concerned with macro-historical processes who dare to compare across a wide range of contexts find it increasingly difficult to justify their endeavor.'

The jury shares Wimmer’s preoccupation concerning the development of the field and, by selecting his work, signals its support for the large-scale study of macro-historical processes. 

The jury referred to Wimmer's book being 'a significant contribution to our understanding of historical legacies, diverse societies, national integration toward the robust and successful building of nations'.  Read the full laudation.

2018 – Rafaela Dancygier

The 2018 prize was awarded to Rafaela Dancygier, Princeton University, for her book Dilemmas of Inclusion: Muslims in European Politics, published by Princeton University Press in 2017.

As Europe’s Muslim communities continue to grow, so do their impact on electoral politics and the potential for inclusion dilemmas. In vote-rich enclaves, Muslim views on religion, tradition, and gender roles can deviate sharply from those of the majority electorate, generating severe trade-offs for parties seeking to broaden their coalitions. Dilemmas of Inclusion explains when and why European political parties include Muslim candidates and voters, revealing that the ways in which parties recruit this new electorate can have lasting consequences.

Providing a unified theoretical framework for understanding the causes and consequences of minority political incorporation, and especially as these pertain to European Muslim populations, Dilemmas of Inclusion advances our knowledge about how ethnic and religious diversity reshapes domestic politics in today’s democracies.

In its laudation, the jury praised a 'superbly engaging book [which] provides a profoundly illuminating analysis of the causes and consequences of parties’ mobilisation of Muslim groups for contemporary European politics', and a study that 'will make a lasting contribution to the literature.' Read the full laudation.

2017 – Abel Escribà-Folch, Joseph Wright

Abel Escriba-Folch and Joseph Wright The 2017 Prize was awarded jointly to Abel Escribà-Folch, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Joseph Wright, Penn State University, for their book Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival, published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

Their book asks two closely connected questions:

In what ways and to what extent can external actors, through the selective use of coercive foreign policy instruments, destabilise autocratic regimes?

How likely is it that policies aimed at destabilisation will lead to a democratic transition rather than the replacement of one autocracy by another?

From our Jury: 'Escribà-Folch and Wright have written a book that exemplifies the academic virtues that the Stein Rokkan Prize is intended to honour. It asks big questions and it gives bold answers that are informed by rich empirical information, analysed with conceptual, theoretical and methodological flair and rigour. If, as many argue, autocracies are on the rise and democracies in retreat, this book helps to explain why; but it also provides perhaps surprisingly practical insights into what can be done to contain and push back autocracies.'

The jury members were unanimous in their decision. Read the full laudation.

2016 – Stanislav Markus

The 2016 Prize was awarded to Stanislav Markus, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, for his book Property, Predation, and Protection: Piranha Capitalism in Russia and Ukraine (CUP 2015), which looks at the threats to business owners' property rights, and how such rights can be secured.

The Committee judged Stanislav's comparative analysis to be exceptionally well designed, conceptually innovative, impressive in its empirical scope and range of sources, and theoretically and methodologically rigorous. In the words of the laudation, Markus' 'beautifully written' book 'asks questions that go to the heart of the nature of post-Soviet capitalism, the forms it takes and the forces that have shaped it.'

Stanislav Markus received his PhD from Harvard University. He works on the political economy of development, particularly with respect to property rights, corporate political activity, inequality, and governance. His research has appeared in World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Socio-Economic Review, Studies in Comparative International Development, Daedalus, and Polity, among others. Stanislav is the recipient of the Harvard Academy Fellowship; the Luebbert Award for Best Article in Comparative Politics from the APSA; the Wilson Center Fellowship; and the Jean Monnet Fellowship from the European University Institute.

Read the full laudation.

2015 – Marius Busemeyer

The 2015 Prize was awarded to Marius R. Busemeyer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Konstanz, for his book Skills and Inequality: Partisan Politics and the Political Economy of Education Reforms in Western Welfare States (2014, Cambridge University Press).

From our Jury: 'Busemeyer’s central ambition is to show that education and training systems are central to understanding the evolution of Western European welfare systems. He does so through a comparative historical analysis reaching back to the immediate post-war period in Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom that is innovative in its analytical ambitions; theoretically sophisticated; exceptionally broad-ranging in its empirical scope; and rigorous in methodological terms. As such, the book constitutes a substantial and original contribution to comparative social science research'.

Marius Busemeyer studied political science, economics and public law at the University of Heidelberg, where he received his PhD in 2006. He served as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne between 2006 and 2010. In 2010, the University of Cologne granted him the venia legendi (Habilitation) in Political Science. His research focuses on comparative political economy, welfare states, public spending, social democratic parties and theories of institutional change.

2014 – Christian Welzel

The 2014 Prize was awarded to Christian Welzel for his book Freedom Rising: Human Empowerment and the Quest for Emancipation (2013, Cambridge University Press).

Christian Welzel is Political Culture Research Professor at Leuphana University, Germany. He is also President (emer.) and Vice-President of the World Values Survey Association and Special Consultant to the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research at the Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg/Russia. His research focuses on human empowerment, emancipative values, cultural change and democratization. A recipient of various large-scale grants, Welzel is the author of more than a hundred scholarly publications. Besides Freedom Rising (also winner of the Alexander L. George Award), his recent books include: The Civic Culture Transformed (with Russell J. Dalton, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press); Democratization (with Christian Haerpfer, Ronald Inglehart and Patrick Bernhagen, 2009, Oxford University Press) and Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy (with Ronald Inglehart, 2005, Cambridge University Press). Read the full laudation.

2013 – Dorothee Bohle & Béla Greskovits

The 2013 Prize was awarded to Dorothee Bohle and Béla Greskovits, for their book Capitalist Diversity on Europe’s Periphery.

Dorothee Bohle is Professor of Political Science at Central European University, Budapest. She specialises in the comparative political economy of Eastern Europe, with a focus on welfare regimes, industrial relations and tiny states. Her work has appeared in Studies in Comparative International Development, West European Politics, Journal of Democracy, European Journal of Sociology, and Review of International Political Economy, among others. She received her PhD from the Free University of Berlin, and was a Fernand Braudel Fellow at European University Institute, Florence.

Béla Greskovits is Professor of International Relations and European Studies at Central European University, Budapest. His research interests are in social movements and protest, and the political economy of policy reform and transnational integration in Eastern Europe. He is author of The Political Economy of Protest and Patience, and co-author of Capitalist Diversity on Europe’s Periphery. He has published in International Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Labor History, West European Politics, European Journal of Sociology, and Journal of Democracy. He received his PhD from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and held the Luigi Einaudi Chair at Cornell University.

2012 – Pepper Culpepper

The 2012 Prize was awarded to Pepper D. Culpepper, Professor of Political Science at European University Institute, Florence.

His research focuses on the interaction between capitalism and democracy, in politics and in public policy. He is the author of Creating Cooperation and co-editor of Changing France and of The German Skills Machine.

His work has appeared in International Organization, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Revue Française de Science Politique, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, West European Politics, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Public Policy, and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, among others. He received his PhD from Harvard University and was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University.

2011 – James McGuire

The 2011 Prize was awarded to James W. McGuire, Professor and Chair in the Department of Government at Wesleyan University.

James received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and specialises in the comparative politics of developing countries, with a particular focus on democracy, social welfare policies, and public health.

He is the author of Peronism without Perón: Unions, Parties, and Democracy in Argentina (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997) and Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).


He is a recipient of Wesleyan's Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

2010 – Beth A. Simmons

The 2010 Prize was awarded to Beth A. Simmons, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, for her book Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Her book Who Adjusts? Domestic Sources of Foreign Economic Policy During the Interwar Years, 1924–1939, was recognised by the American Political Science Association in 1995 as the best book published in 1994 in government, politics, or international relations, as was her recent book, Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics (2009).

Beth was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, to the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences in 2011, and received a Guggenheim in 2012. Her current areas of research interest are foreign direct investment law and international legal cooperation to address transnational crime.

2009 – Robert E Goodin, James Mahmud Rice, Antti Parpo, Lina Eriksson

The 2009 Prize was awarded to four collaborating authors for Discretionary Time: A New Measure of Freedom.

  • Robert E. Goodin Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Australia
  • James Mahmud Rice Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Australia
  • Antti Parpo Somero Social and Health Services, Finland
  • Lina Eriksson Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Australia

2008 – Cas Mudde

The 2008 Prize was awarded to Cas Mudde, for Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe.

2006 – Milada Anna Vachudova

The 2006 Prize was awarded to Milada Anna Vachudova, for her book Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage and Integration after Communism (Oxford University Press, 2005) 

2004 – Daniele Caramani

The 2004 Prize was awarded to Daniele Caramani, Italy/Switzerland, for The Nationalization of Politics

2002 – Patrick Le Galès

The 2002 Prize was awarded to Patrick Le Galès, France, for European Cities, Social Conflicts and Governance

2000 – Eva Anduiza-Perea

The 2000 Prize was awarded to Eva Anduiza-Perea, Spain, for Individual and Systemic Determinants of Electoral Abstention in Western Europe

1998 – Robert Rohrschneider

The 1998 Prize was awarded to Robert Rohrschneider, USA, for Learning Democracy: Democratic and Economic Values in Unified Germany

1996 – Kees van Kersbergen

The 1996 Prize was awarded to Kees van Kersbergen, The Netherlands, for Social Capitalism: A Study of Christian Democracy and the Welfare State