9 November 2022

Ole Wæver wins the Erik Rasmussen Prize


This year, the most prestigious prize in Denmark within political science, the Erik Rasmussen Prize, goes to Professor Ole Wæver from the University of Copenhagen.

Ole Wæver. Photo: Lars Svankjær
Ole Wæver. Photo: Lars Svankjær

Since 2012, the Erik Rasmussen Prize has been given to significant political science researchers in Denmark.

This year the prize goes to Ole Wæver, professor of international relations and head of the Center for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. And he is definitely the right winner, assesses Asmus Leth-Olsen, deputy head at the Department of Political Science.

"Until now, the prize has only gone to researchers in elections, voters and administration. It was time to honour a researcher in international politics, and here Ole is the right choice. He has put UCPH on the world map in the field of international relations, and the award is intended for people who put Danish political science on the agenda in the wider world," he says.

Creates debate on security policy

For more than thirty years, Ole Wæver has been an internationally leading researcher in the field of international politics. Furthermore, he has been a major force in the development of security studies.

"Ole has shaped International Relations for a number of years and has also put Northern Europe on the map within the discipline. He is one of the founders of 'The Copenhagen School', a broad and critical approach to security studies, which became trendsetting internationally, says Nina Græger, professor and head of department at Political Science.

She adds that Ole Wæver, through his research, has also contributed to attract a number of prominent researchers at all levels to the institute.

The motivation text about Ole Wæver says, among other things:

"With over 41,000 citations on Google Scholar, as well as more than 3,000 mentions in Danish media over the past 10 years, he is one of the most prominent Danish researchers not only in political science but in general. In parallel with his research, Wæver is also a very significant contributor to public debate with a focus on security and research policy issues.”

Harder times for young researchers

The recipient is himself happy that it is an award that is about the development of the subject as a whole:

"It is a great honour and pleasure to have helped to pave the way for new generations to make Danish political science increasingly outward-looking and diverse – with a creative interaction between research in international politics and other forms of political science," says Ole Wæver, elaborating:

"On the other hand, when you are brought into the atmosphere of backward-looking status, it is also striking how much harder it is to be a young researcher today. We had much more time and space to come up with crazy ideas in my youth – and some unpopular ideas turn out to make a difference.”

On the same evening as the Erik Rasmussen prize was awarded, Rebecca Adler-Nissen and Frederik Hjorth won the prize for best article in the journal Politica. UPCH thus received both awards that were presented on the occasion.


Nina Græger
Head of Department
Department of Political Science
Mail: ng@ifs.ku.dk
Mobile: +45 93 51 60 18

Simon Knokgaard Halskov
Press and communications advisor
Faculty of Social Sciences
Mail: sih@samf.ku.dk
Mobile: +45 93 56 53 29