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Awarded every two years, the Albert O. Hirschman Prize is the highest honor of the Social Science Research Council. It recognizes excellence in research, theory and public communication, in the tradition of German-born American economist Albert Hirschman’s pioneering role in social science and public policy. Exploring theory and practice, the history of ideas—economic, social, or political—and innovative approaches to fostering growth, Hirschman saw scholarship both as a tool for social change and as an inherent value in a world in need of better understanding. He wrote in ways that help social science effectively inform public affairs. His work stands as an exemplar of the necessary knowledge that the SSRC seeks to develop and the interdisciplinary and international approach that it champions.

The winner of the 2016 Albert O. Hirschman Prize is renowned economist, philosopher, and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.

Past recipients include Dani Roderick, Charles Tilly, and Benedict Anderson. Most recently, the Prize recognized the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT and the two scholars who codirect it, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.


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