Robert Goodin awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science

25 April 2022

Professor Robert Goodin, Australian National University, is the recipient of the 2022 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize in Political Science’. He is awarded the prize for a number of works over several decades in which he “with acuity and success endeavoured to blend political philosophy with empirical political science to increase the understanding of how decent and dignified societies can be shaped”.

Goodin took his DPhil in Politics at Oxford University in 1975 and has a classical education in political philosophy, an area of particular strength at Oxford. Goodin has now been with the Australian National University for many years.

He is a political thinker whose entire scholarly life has been shaped by the conviction that human progress is possible and that carefully designed public policy is one of the main tools we have for achieving it. He could thus be called one of the ‘social engineers’ of political philosophy, and one of his lasting contributions has indeed been to develop ‘institutional design’ as a field of research. Government institutions must be designed in the right way to uphold the moral values upon which they are founded. In short, welfare policy requires politicians to understand both the moral principles and the practical design. And for that, they need research.

About the Johan Skytte Prize

In 1622, Johan Skytte, then Vice-Chancellor of the University, established the Johan Skytte Chair in Eloquence and Government, which is probably the world’s oldest active professorship in political science. The lands included in the original donation continue to finance research and the Johan Skytte Prize. The prize money of SEK 500,000 is awarded every year by the Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University to the person who has made the “most valuable contribution to political science”.