Press release

Adrienne Héritier and Kathleen Thelen awarded Hertie School‘s Michael Endres Prize

2019 prize given jointly to two winners for the first time.

Berlin, 24 June 2019 – The Hertie School has awarded its 2019 Michael Endres Prize to two political scientists: Adrienne Héritier, Emeritus Professor of Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, and Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is the first time the jury has selected two winners to jointly receive the annual research prize totalling 50,000 euros.

The jury, chaired by former German President Horst Köhler, honours two women political scientists whose contributions have opened up new research territory and modernised political science: Adrienne Héritier as an architect of policy research and European studies, and Kathleen Thelen as a pioneer of the historical-institutional research approach in comparative political economy.

"We are honouring two outstanding female scholars whose work is distinguished by its close linkage of exceptional theoretical work and high practical relevance,” said Henrik Enderlein, President of the Hertie School and a member of the selection committee. “The strong connection between excellent research and intelligent policy application is a core concern of the Hertie School. Both prize winners are role models for this form of academic research.”

Before assuming the Chair in Social and Political Sciences at the EUI in 2003, the Swiss academic Adrienne Héritier worked at the Max Planck Society in Bonn. Héritier’s research focuses on European policymaking, comparative public policy, European decision-making processes and theories of institutional change. She is a member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the Academia Europae, and she holds the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation. She also holds an honorary doctorate from UCLouvain, among others.

Kathleen Thelen of the United States is Ford Professor of Political Science at MIT and Immediate Past President of the American Political Science Association. Her work focuses on the origins and evolution of political-economic institutions in the rich democracies. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015 and was awarded honorary degrees at the London School of Economics and the European University Institute in Florence, among others. She is one of the General Editors of the Cambridge University Press Series in Comparative Politics and a permanent external member of the Max Planck Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung in Cologne, Germany.

Adrienne Héritier and Kathleen Thelen will spend several weeks at the Hertie School in Berlin during the academic year 2019/2020.

The Michael Endres Prize is awarded to renowned academics whose work centres on topics within the Hertie School’s research and teaching fields, and who have helped bridge academic research and policymaking. The prize is named for the long-time Chairman and current honorary Chairman of the Hertie Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Michael Endres, who was instrumental in founding the Hertie School in 2003 and who has helped guide its successful development since.

The Hertie School in Berlin prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. The school offers master’s, doctoral and executive education programmes distinguished by interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, as well as outstanding research. Its extensive international network positions it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. The school was founded in 2003 by the Hertie Foundation, which remains its major funder. The Hertie School is accredited by the state and the German Science Council.