Call for nominations: A.SK Social Science Award

The WZB Berlin Social Science Center invites nominations for the A.SK Social Science Award 2019.

The award honors research on public policy with a focus on economic and governmental reforms with a prize of USD 200,000.

Please submit a short letter of nomination by 14 December 2018. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

The A.SK Social Science Award honors research in the spirit of the A.SK mission statement (see below) with innovative ideas in a global perspective, such as:

Ideas on governmental reforms, e.g.

  • civil society and the contribution of non-governmental organizations to democratic and effective governance
  • the potential of multi-level democracies
  • preconditions of good governance in state and society,

Ideas on economic reforms, e.g.

  • the micro- and macroeconomic features of systems which allow employees to participate more in the ownership of their companies through ownership components of salaries
  • the allocative and distributive qualities of systems where individual land ownership rights are limited to long-term leases,
  • the possibilities for the financial sector to have more direct links to the national production of goods and services in order to prevent monetary instabilities and speculative deformations.

Previous A.SK Social Science Award holders are

  • Sir Antony Atkinson†, University of Oxford (2007)
  • Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago (2009)
  • Transparency International, Berlin (2011)
  • Paul Collier, University of Oxford (2013)
  • Esther Duflo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015)
  • John Ruggie, Harvard University (2017)

The members of the award committee are

  • Dorothea Kübler, WZB Berlin and Technical University Berlin (Chairwoman)
  • Jutta Allmendinger, President of WZB Berlin
  • Sir Richard Blundell, University College London
  • Tanja Börzel, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Craig Calhoun, Arizona State University, former President of LSE and Berggruen Institute
  • Klaus Töpfer, former Federal Minister of Environment and Founding Director of ISSC

Nominations should be submitted by 14 December 2018 to the Committee of the A.SK Social Science Award:

Katrin Schwenk
A.SK Award Committee
WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Reichpietschufer 50
10785 Berlin
Tel.: 030-25491-535

A.SK Mission Statement

The A.SK Social Science Award, named after their sponsors Angela and Shu Kai Chan, honors academic work and achievements in the social sciences on economic and government reform.

The award’s mission is to encourage social system reform, to facilitate and broaden people’s productive activities with fair wealth distribution, as well as to competently address current social issues. Society is rapidly changing, and old systems have become incompatible with new realities. New problems can only be solved with new solutions.

Today, the economy forms the basis of society more than the political system itself. The political structure provides security for society, while the economy creates wealth and quality of life for the people. The problem with capitalism is not free enterprise and free markets, which lead to highest efficiency in production, but rather that capital and profits are concentrated in small groups. In contrast, socialism favors workers with increased wages and social benefits, but without increasing productivity, resulting only in higher production costs and inflation.

While the nature of society has changed dramatically, dominant government structures have remained largely the same. These structures seem to reward politicians who care mainly about re-election and power, regardless of the long-term consequences of this behavior. It is necessary to reform democratic political systems so that they are better capable of handling problems which reach beyond the time-horizon of elected politicians. We need political structures which allow the rational management of a wide range of critical issues and divide some power. We also need a new checks and balances system of power.

(Shu Kai Chan, Founder of A.SK Social Science Award)

Application date
Social sciences : Demography, Economy, Environmental Sciences, Geography, International Relations, Law, Political science, Sociology