•  Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn, Science Award Winner 2021

    Berliner Wissenschaftspreis 2021 for Michael Zürn

The political scientist Michael Zürn has been awarded the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis 2021. The Nachwuchspreis went to the theologian Mira Sievers.

He is one of the most prominent political scientists in Germany and is also considered a committed shaper of Brain City Berlin: On 5 November Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn, Director of the Berlin Social Science Center  (WZB) and Professor of International Relations at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin), was awarded the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis 2021 by the Governing Mayor, Michael Müller. Michael Zürn received the most important science award of the State of Berlin, endowed with 40,000 Euro, for his outstanding research work on the analysis of international relations and for his contribution to the further development of the Berlin science location.

In his research, Michael Zürn is primarily concerned with the politicisation processes and legitimacy of international organisations and their interaction in the context of national politics. His work “A Theory of Global Governance” (Oxford University Press, 2018) is one of the most cited books in the field of international relations worldwide. His latest book “Die demokratische Regression” (Suhrkamp, 2021) also received considerable attention. Together with the political scientist Armin Schäfer, he investigates the political causes of authoritarian populism.

In Berlin, Michel Zürn established the Hertie School (2004 to 2009) as the founding Dean, which advocates “Good Governance” and modern statehood. With the “Global Governance” department at the WZB, he set up a research unit with international visibility. Since 2019 he has been co-speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)” and since 2008 Co-founder and Board member of the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS). He has also been its Director since 2015. Michael Zürn is also involved in various committees of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW) and the Einstein Foundation Berlin.

Mira Sievers receives the Nachwuchspreis 2021

PProf. Dr. Mira Sievers, Nachwuchspreis Winner 2021 (Photo: P. Plum / HU Berlin)

The Nachwuchspreis, endowed with 10,000 Euro, went to Prof. Dr. Mira Sievers. The theologian has been teaching and researching as a junior professor for Islamic Foundations of Belief, Philosophy and Ethics at the newly founded Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin) since 2020. The 30-year-old was honoured for her innovative research approaches, with which she has often broken new ground, as well as for the integrative conception of her research fields. According to the reasoning of the selection committee, in her dissertation she already outlined an important contribution to the development of a contemporary systematic theology of Islam.

Michael Müller, paid tribute to both award winners as bridge builders, both for science and for Berlin as a science location. “Even if they are in different phases of their research career, both represent science that is highly socially relevant, provides important impulses and moves our city in the truest sense,” said the Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research. “With their work, both award winners show impressively how strong Berlin science is and our city can rightly be proud of that.”

The Berliner Wissenschaftspreis, awarded annually by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, has been honouring outstanding research achievements that have been made in the capital since 2008. The prize money goes to the institution of the award winner. The Nachwuchspreis is given to a particularly innovative research approach in a future field in Berlin. (vdo)

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