Winner of the 2015 Stein Rokkan prize for comparative social science research


Marius R. Busemeyer

The recipient of the 2015 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research is 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). In this book Busemeyer’s central ambition is to show that education and training systems are central to understanding the evolution of Western European welfare systems. The Jury felt that

‘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 ‘very substantial and original contribution in comparative social science research’, as stipulated as the main criterion for the award of the Stein Rokkan Prize.’

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. Read the Jury’s full Laudatio here.

The Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research is presented by the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the University of Bergen and the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). Thanks to the generosity of the University of Bergen it now comprises an award of EUR 5,000 and will be awarded on an annual basis.

Stein Rokkan was a pioneer of comparative political and social science research, renowned among other things for his ground-breaking work on the nation state and democracy. A brilliant researcher and a professor at the University of Bergen where he spent most of his career, Rokkan was also president of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and one of the founders of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR).
The prize is open to works in comparative studies from all social science disciplines. It is given to a submission that is deemed by the Jury to be a very substantial and original contribution in comparative social science research.