The Foundation awards the $3,000 prize every two years. It is usually givent to an individual or group who have made ‘a major contribution to the advancement of political sociology.’ The jury expects the winner to have a portfolio of outstanding scientific publications and professional achievements. The prize can also be awarded to ‘a team of researchers currently enjoying a high reputation in the international community of political sociologists’.
In this case, the jury recognised Professor Kriesi’s ‘prolific and highly-cited academic outputs’ and the ‘quality of [his] theoretical and empirical contributions over several decades.’ They also acknowledged his ‘academic leadership in a number of institutions’ and ‘collaborative engagement with senior and junior scholars alike.’
Professor Kriesi’s scholarly interest is wide-ranging, spanning social movements, corporatism, direct democracy, political parties, elections, populism, and the political consequences of economic crises. ‘Your study of a dramatically evolving society has energised the research areas that have enormous importance for contemporary society,’ the jury told Professor Kriesi.
Previous winners of the Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize include Maurizio Cotta, Virginia Guiraudon, Donatella Della Porta, Richard Rose, Giovanni Sartori and Vladimir Shkolnikov. Apart from Shkolnikov, all of these past winners have been affiliated to the EUI.
Professor Kriesi told EUI Life that he felt ‘surprised at first, and then very happy,’ that the jury chosen him to join such prestigious company. ‘The EUI is, of course, a great place for comparative politics,’ said Professor Kriesi.
Professor Kriesi has been Stein Rokkan chair the the EUI since 2012. He gained his PhD in Sociology from the University of Zurich in 1976 and became a professor of collective political behaviour at the University of Amsterdam in 1984, before being appointed full professor at the University of Geneva in 1988. In 2002, Hanspeter Kriesi took up the chair in comparative politics at the University of Zurich.