Event highlight

2019 Michael Endres Prize recipient Adrienne Héritier asks, "Quo vadis, Europa?"

Former German President Horst Köhler, member of the jury, presents prize to the European political scientist.

Horst Köhler and Adrienne Héritier
Horst Köhler and Adrienne Héritier
Adrienne Héritier
Adrienne Héritier and Mark Hallerberg
Horst Köhler
Horst Köhler, Christine Reh, Adrienne Héritier, Mark Hallerberg and Wolfgang Schön.
Adrienne Héritier and Christine Reh

"Quo vadis, Europa?" asked Adrienne Héritier in a talk at the Hertie School on 7 November at which she was awarded the school's 2019 Michael Endres Prize. The Emeritus Professor of Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence spoke to the Hertie School community on possible future paths for the European Union, such as a federal state, a differentiated and flexible union, covert integration and disintegration, of which she said a flexible union and covert integration are the most likely. 

Former German President and member of the selection jury Horst Köhler presented the award to Héritier, honouring her work as an architect of policy research and European studies. 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.

In her laudation, Christine Reh, Hertie School Dean of Graduate Programmes and Professor of European Politics, noted that of Héritier's "...research spans decades and sub-disciplines of political science, including policy analysis and comparative politics, [and] ... made major contributions to the study of formal and informal institutional change in the European Union." 

Citing her attention to both theoretical argument and primary research in scholarly work, Reh said Héritier's work is an example of both the rigour and relevance she demands from the discipline: : "The rigour, because you would not go to your data without a theoretical hunch, specified indicators, and a well-developed methodological pathway to your results. The relevance, because you would always go out into the policy-world with a mind wide open for new questions; questions that sometimes bubbled up from the sidelines of a document or a legislative procedure, or that were triggered in casual conversation." 

 Dean of Research and Faculty Mark Hallerberg gave the opening remarks. 

This year's 50,000-euro research prize is shared by two women political scientists whose contributions have opened up new research territory and modernised political science: Adrienne Héritier  and Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a pioneer of the historical-institutional research approach in comparative political economy. It is the first time the jury has selected two winners to jointly receive the prize.

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. 

The Michael Endres 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. 

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

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.