Stein Rokkan

The Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research is awarded for very substantial and original contributions in comparative social science research. Submissions can be either an unpublished manuscript of book length, or a printed book, or collected works published no more than two years before the award year. Laureates receive a diploma and a cash prize, awarded every year and awarded during an ISSC Executive Committee or General Assembly meeting, or at a World Social Science Forum, where laureates are usually asked to deliver a public lecture.

The Stein Rokkan Prize was first awarded in 1981 in honour of Stein Rokkan (1921-1979), who pioneered this type of research. Rokkan was a Norwegian political scientist and sociologist. The Prize was instituted jointly by the ISSC and the Conjunto Universitario Candido Mendes in Brazil, and until 2002 the Prize was awarded jointly by both institutions.

Since 2008, and thanks to the generous support of the University of Bergen, where Stein Rokkan was professor of comparative politics, the Stein Rokkan Prize amounts to $US 5000 and is awarded on an annual basis with and is presented jointly with the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR).



Pepper D Culpepper

The winner of the XVIIth Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Research (2012) was Professor Pepper D Culpepper from the European University Institute’s Department of Political and Social Sciences.

In his book on Quiet Politics and Business Power” Pepper D. Culpepper takes issue with Abraham Lincoln’s view of the democratic process. He argues that open contestation, political conflict, compromise and accountability of politicians applies only to a smaller fraction of all major political decisions, above all to those issues which are marked by high political salience, a predominance of formal institutions — defined as rules established in the legislative arena by state actors — and moderate or low levels of complexity.

His book takes up a major topic of Stein Rokkan’s work. Namely, the role of economic interests in democratic politics. Culpepper’s‘quiet politics’ is closely related to Rokkan’s insight in his analysis of political opposition in Norway, that ‘votes count, but resources decide’. ‘Quiet politics’ points to a major problem of democracies, often overlooked by the focus of politicians and political scientists on salient political conflicts, partisan coalitions and public debate. It contributes to empirical democratic theory, redirecting attention to policy-making in non-salient but tremendously important arenas.

In addition, Culpepper’s study builds empirical and theoretical bridges to the fields of business administration, to law and to comparative political economy more generally. Quiet Politics and Business Power is a major contribution to the study of political and economic institutions, processes and outcomes; and a deserving winner of the prize.

2011 – James W. McGuire

2010 – Beth A. Simmons

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

2008 – Prof. Cas Mudde

2006 – Milada Anna Vachudova

2004 – Daniele Caramani

2002 – Patrick Le Galès

2000 – Eva Anduiza-Perea

1998 – Robert Rohrschneider

1996 – Kees van Kersbergen

1992 – Kaare Strøm

1990 – Stefano Bartolini and Peter Mair

1988 – Charles Ragin

1986 – Louis M. Imbeau

1983 – Jens Alber

1981 – Manfred Schmidt