Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation Research Communication Prize

The Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation Research Communication Prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding and groundbreaking communication of knowledge from the university to society. The prize is accompanied by a DKK 100,000 monetary Award.

Professor Jørgen Elklit is the winner of the 2016 Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation Research Communication Prize

“In my opinion, research should not only be performed in order to understand the world, but to improve it as well, although this can often be difficult.” Jørgen Elklit has lived by this motto throughout his 44 years as a researcher at Aarhus University.

The internationally recognised election expert was selected to receive the Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation Research Prize in recognition of his commitment to making research count in the real world, where the need for it is greatest. As an election adviser in connection with democratisation and the conduct of elections, Elklit translates his research into practical politics all over the world.

From Nepal to Norway

Elklit’s work to promote democracy in the world’s hotspots began in Nepal in 1990, where he assisted in conducting the country’s first democratic election. Since then, a large range of countries have drawn on his expertise, including Norway, Afghanistan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lesotho, Albania, Jordan, Sweden, Mauritius, China, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Mongolia.

One of the highlights was his work in South Africa in 1994, where he helped organise the election which marked the transition from apartheid to democracy.

“In relation to the electoral work I’ve done for many years – especially in Africa and Asia, but in Europe as well – I’d like to highlight that I’ve succeeded in communicating research-based knowledge from my area of interest to people involved in changing and improving political conditions and strengthening central institutions in their society,” says Elklit.

Impressive publications

Elklit is an outstanding researcher in a variety of topics in political science, including election systems, voter behaviour, party membership and processes of democratisation. He has over 300 publications, including more than 20 books and a long list of articles, som of which have been published in the best journals in his field: American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Democracy, Electoral Studies and European Journal of Political Research.

In the nomination for the prize, Elklit is described as a “tireless, enthusiastic and skilled communicator of his immense knowledge in innumerable radio and TV features, newspaper op-eds, lectures, and so on.” He is also greatly respected by his colleagues and students.

“I’m truly pleased and proud to receive this award, and to join the ranks of the strong, talented researchers and communicators who have received this prize before me,” says Elklit.

Previous honours

Elklit is the recipient of a number of other honours and prizes in recognition of his research and communication. He has received the Joe C. Baxter Award from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and two democracy awards from the government of South Africa for his work in that country. He is also the recipient of a variety of Danish awards, including the Meningsmodig Dane award, the Erik Rasmussen award and a special research communication prize from Aarhus BSS last year.

Without a doubt, Jørgen Elklit is a worthy recipient of the 2016 Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation Research Communication Prize in recognition of his outstanding and ground-breaking work in communicating knowledge from the university to society.