News

"Nobel Prize" for political science won by Professor Pippa Norris



11 April 2011

Pippa Norris, from theDepartment of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, has won what is popularly known as the Nobel prize for political science.

The Johan Skytte prize is one of the world's most prestigious prizes awarded for political science.

A Visiting Professor from Harvard University, Professor Norris is a joint winner of the prize with Ronald Inglehart, a Professor of Sociology from the University of Michigan, with whom she has co-authored three influential books and numerous articles.

In their publications Norris and Inglehart have shown that the values, beliefs and attitudes of citizens are crucial to continuity and change in political participation.

Their co-written books are Cosmopolitan Communications: National Diversity in a Globalized World (2009), Sacred and Secular: Politics and Religion Worldwide (2004) and Rising Tide: Gender Equality & Cultural Change around the World (2003).

Li Bennich-Björkman, the Chair of the Prize Committee, said, "Norris and Inglehart have contributed innovative ideas that by far transcend the contemporary mainstream research when it comes to understanding and evaluating political culture in a global context, both the role it plays, and how it is formed and changed".

Since 1994 Professor Norris has taught comparative politics at Harvard University and in 2006-7 she served as Director of the Democratic Governance Group at the United Nations Development Programme in New York.

Her research compares processes of democracy and democratisation, elections, culture, and public opinion, political communications, and gender politics in countries worldwide. She has published almost 40 books.

Professor Norris has served as an expert consultant for many international bodies including the UN, UNESCO, NDI, the Council of Europe, International IDEA, the World Bank, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the UK Electoral Commission.

Previous winners of the Johan Skytte Prize include Robert Putnam, Theda Skocpol, Bob Dahl, Hanna Pitkin, and Sidney Verba. The prize, awarded annually since 1995, consists of a medal and 500,000 Swedish crowns.

The prize commemorates Johan Skytte, a leading figure in 17th century Swedish political life and former Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University. In 1662 the Johan Skytte chair in Eloquence and Government was established, which is believed to be the world's oldest active professorship in political science.