Eminent political scientist Hege Skjeie, the first woman to be appointed a full professor of political science in Norway, has been honoured with the Career Achievement award of our Standing Group on Gender and Politics
Hege’s eminent career demonstrates not just a commitment to scholarly advancement but also to public engagement. Her innovative research on ethnicity, diversity and intersectionality, human rights law and policy, and political representation and elite politics, has resulted in major advances for the theoretical thinking of European gender and politics research.
One of Hege’s major contributions is her research on the intersections of gender, ethnicity and religion in Nordic and European institutions, for example in the path-breaking project on institutionalising intersectionality and the changing nature of European Equality Regimes (see the book Institutionalizing Intersectionality, 2012).
Another major contribution is her research on human rights law and policy. Analysing the role of individual human rights, including religious rights, she coined the provocative concept likestillingens vikeplikt, referring to the fact that women’s equal rights must often make way for other more important concerns, published first in the Power and Democracy Commissions book series (Skjeie and Teigen, 2003).
The results of Hege’s empirical work have had a profound influence on Norwegian policy and public debates on (gender) equality and democracy. As the powerful Chair of the Norwegian government’s Equality Commission, the Skjeie-commission (2010–2012), and chief author of its official equality reports, Hege criticised the dominant mainstreaming policy as failing to solve problems related to gender division and stereotyping in education and the labour market. Under Hege’s direction, the equality reports presented a multidimensional, holistic approach to gender equality, which is now generally accepted.
In recent years Hege has managed several Research Council-funded projects on intersectional studies:
Hege was a member of Norway’s Standing Committee on Outside Political Appointments (2009–2017); of the Centennial for women’s vote committee (2009–2013); and of the Equality Tribunal (2006–2010) monitoring all non-discrimination and equality legislation.
She has written commentaries for the leading Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, sharing a weekly column with the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition and two economics professors, dealing with human rights, integration, and equality policy issues.
'The ECPG award is set to value scholarly work and public engagement in combination. To me this is exactly what makes it such an honour to receive. We should never make light of this very combination. Engagement is an obligation, I think.'
David Patternotte Université Libre de Bruxelles
Emanuela Lombardo Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Elizabeth Evans Goldsmiths, University of London
Keywords: Gender, Feminism