New Norbert Elias Essay Prize


With some regret, the Norbert Elias Foundation has decided to discontinue the biennial Norbert Elias Prize for the best first book by a sociological author. Reasons included other prizes being established elsewhere for the same purpose, but especially the increasing administrative burden on the Foundation’s office in Amsterdam. In its place, however, it has been decided to establish a Norbert Elias Essay Prize, to be awarded every other year. Submissions will be requested for particularly topical and pertinent issues. The prize will be awarded to the paper which provides the most incisive and innovative figurational approach to the topic.

Our first call is for papers which explore the topic ‘Contemporary Crises as Social Processes’.

Today there seem to be more crises in the world than ever before: banking, financial and economic, climate change, health epidemics, war and humanitarian disasters across diverse locations such as Ukraine, Venezuela, West Africa and the Middle East.   All these crises have a social component to them and lead to the question ‘What can be said about the crises from the perspective of process sociology?’

Essays should be no longer than 5,000 words, and be submitted by email to by the closing date of 30 April 2015. Papers must be written in English, but allowance will be made and possible support given to submissions by those for whom English is not their first language. Professor Stephen Vertigans of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, will act as chair of the jury. The winning paper will be submitted for publication in Human Figurations and the author will receive a prize of 1,000 Euro. Any queries should be directed to

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