We are now welcoming nominations for the 2014 Johan Skytte Prize!


  The 2013 Johan Skytte Prize laureate receives the prize

Professor Robert Axelrod at Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Department of Political Science University of Michigan, is the winner of the 2013 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. He is awarded the prize for “profoundly having changed our presumptions about the preconditions for human cooperation”. The Johan Skytte Prize is one of the finest and most prestigious prizes in Political Science, often considered a Political-Science equivalent to the Nobel Prizes. 

The Johan Skytte Prize was awarded for the 19th year by the Johan Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University in a ceremony which took place on September 28, 2013. 

Robert Axelrod’s most cited and famous book “The Evolution of Cooperation” came out in 1984, preceded by a prize-winning article in Science (1981) co-authored together with biologist William D. Hamilton. The fundamental question of under which conditions cooperation and not conflict could become a beneficial strategy when self-interest is the individually driving force is at the centre of Robert Axelrod’s works. He shows that for reciprocity to develop, durable and long-term relations of an infinite nature are determinant.

Robert Axelrod has opened new research frontiers through his work and contributed to form political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, biology and computer science. His conclusions are decisive for improving our understanding of international relations, negotiations, complex organisations, and political decision-making bodies.

Click here to watch an interview with Robert Axelrod conducted by the Scandinavian Political Studies journal on the occasion of winning the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. 

Click here to watch the Prize-award lecture delivered by Robert Axelrod. 

Picture gallery from the award-ceremony is forthcoming. 


  The Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science

The Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University has established an annual prize, The Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, to the scholar who in the view of the Foundation has made the most valuable contribution to Political Science. Research in all areas of the discipline is considered: political theory, comparative politics, public administration and international relations. The prize consists of a medal and an award of approximately 50.000 EUR.

After international nominations each year (deadline for this year is December 20, 2013) the candidates are evaluated by the Prize Committee. The decision is then made in early April by the Board of the Foundation (Nils-Axel Mörner, patron and chairman, Li Bennich-Björkman, vice chair, Jonas Mörner, secretary, Anders Barth, treasurer, Jacob Lagercrantz and Anders Hallberg).

Johan Skytte 

Johan Skytte (1577-1645) was a leading politician in 17th century Swedish political life: a scholar, skilled in Latin and a master of eloquence, the prince's teacher, member of the government, governor, diplomat and a great land owner. 

The Chair, established to provide for the education of higher civil servants, was his gift as University Chancellor to Uppsala University. The Johan Skytte chair in Eloquence and Government was founded in 1622 and is today one of the oldest professorships in the world. The farms that were part of the initial donation still help to finance research, including the Prize.

Skytteanum & Department of Government 

The Johan Skytte house in Uppsala, the originally medieval building called the Skytteanum, is still used by the Department of Government and the Johan Skytte Professor has his/her residence in the building. Li Bennich-Björkman is the 21st Professor Skytteanus and the first woman to ever hold the chair.

Click here to read more about Prof. Li Bennich-Björkman (website under construction). 

The Department of Government offers BA-, MA-, and PhD degrees in Political Science and Development Studies. It has about 1000 undergraduate students, 40 PhD-candidates, 15 professors and an additional staff of 25 persons. Four to five PhD theses are presented every year. The Department is mainly research-oriented: two thirds of the budget covers research, one third education.

Click here to read more about the Department of Government.


Portrait of Johan Skytte by Jacob Henrik Elbfas (1600-1664), oil on canvas, 200 x 120 cm.
Photo: Uppsala University Art Collection


2008 The Skytte Foundation