The Holberg Prize is an international prize awarded annually by the government of Norway to outstanding scholars for work in the arts, humanities, social sciences, law and theology, either within one of these fields or through interdisciplinary work. The prize was established by the Parliament of Norway in honour of Ludvig Holberg in 2003 and complements its sister prize in mathematics, the Abel Prize. Ludvig Holberg excelled in all of the sciences covered by the award. It has been described as the "Nobel prize" for the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology.
The Holberg Prize is funded by the government's budget through a direct allocation from the Ministry of Education and Research to the University of Bergen, and is administered by the University of Bergen on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Research. The Holberg Prize award ceremony takes place annually in Bergen, Norway in June.
The Holberg Board awards the prize at the recommendation of the Holberg Committee who consists of five outstanding researchers in the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology. The Holberg Committee gathers assessments on the short-list candidates from international recognized scholars before giving their recommendation to the Board. The Prize amount is 4.5 million Norwegian kroner (approximately €500,000), which are intended to be used to further the research of the recipient.
|2004||Kristeva, JuliaJulia Kristeva||Paris Diderot University||Bulgarian
|"for innovative explorations of questions on the intersection of language, culture and literature which inspired research across the humanities and the social sciences throughout the world and have also had a significant impact on feminist theory"|
|2005||Habermas, JürgenJürgen Habermas||University of Frankfurt||German||"for developing path-breaking theories of discourse and communicative action and thereby providing new perspectives on law and democracy"|
|2006||Eisenstadt, ShmuelShmuel Eisenstadt||Hebrew University of Jerusalem||Israeli||"for developing comparative knowledge of exceptional quality and originality concerning social change and modernization, and concerning relations between culture, belief systems and political institutions"|
|2007||Dworkin, RonaldRonald Dworkin||New York University
University College London
|American||"for developing an original and highly influential legal theory grounding law in morality, characterized by a unique ability to tie together abstract philosophical ideas and arguments with concrete everyday concerns in law, morals, and politics"|
|2008||Jameson, FredricFredric Jameson||Duke University||American||"for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the relation between social formations and cultural forms in a project he himself describes as the "poetics of social forms""|
|2009||Hacking, IanIan Hacking||University of Toronto||Canadian||"for his combination of rigorous philosophical and historical analysis which has profoundly altered our understanding of the ways in which key concepts emerge through scientific practices and in specific social and institutional contexts"|
|2010||Zemon Davis, NatalieNatalie Zemon Davis||University of Toronto
|"for being one of the most creative historians writing today, an intellectual who is not hostage to any particular school of thought or politics"|
|2011||Kocka, JürgenJürgen Kocka||Free University of Berlin||German||"for effecting a paradigm shift in German historiography by opening it up to related social sciences and establishing the importance of cross-national comparative approaches"|
|2012||Castells, ManuelManuel Castells||University of Southern California||Spanish||for shaping "our understanding of the political dynamics of urban and global economies in the network society"|
|2013||Latour, BrunoBruno Latour||Sciences Po||French||for having "undertaken an ambitious analysis and reinterpretation of modernity, and [having] challenged fundamental concepts such as the distinction between modern and pre-modern, nature and society, human and non-human"|
|2014||Cook, MichaelMichael Cook||
||Princeton University||British||for "... reshaped fields that span Ottoman studies, the genesis of early Islamic polity, the history of the Wahhabiyya movement, and Islamic law, ethics, and theology"|
|2015||Warner, MarinaMarina Warner||
||Birkbeck, University of London||British||for "... analysis of stories and myths and how they reflect their time and place. She is known for the emphasis of gender roles and feminism in her literary work"|
|2016||Greenblatt, StephenStephen Greenblatt||Harvard University||USA||for "... one of the most important Shakespeare scholars of his generation"|
|2017||O'Neill, OnoraOnora O'Neill||University of Cambridge||British||for "... her influential role in ethical and political philosophy"|
|2018||Sunstein, CassCass Sunstein||Harvard University||USA||"... has reshaped our understanding of the relationship between the modern regulatory state and constitutional law. He is widely regarded as the leading scholar of administrative law in the U.S., and he is by far the most cited legal scholar in the United States and probably the world."|
The Holberg Prize Academic Committee is composed of five members:
As part of its research dissemination targeting younger people, the committee also awards the Nils Klim Prize to an academic below the age of 35, and the Holberg Prize Schools Project to a high school.