Sakıp Sabancı was remembered with the International Research Awards in the 14th Year of his passing.

11.04.2018

Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards’ Jury Prize goes to New York University Professor Adam Przeworski
Sabancı University’s the Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı:

  • We need to prioritize knowledge generation, research, scientific thinking and discussion to enable our country to become effective, capable and consistent in finding solutions to regional and global problems through its diverse characteristics and qualities. All three areas require that we stand together and act together with the world.
  • Sabancı University’s Honorary Chairman Sakıp Sabancı believed that social sciences deserved the same level of support as natural sciences. Being the visionary he was, he endowed Turkey's “only” academic prize in the field of social sciences with an international outreach so that this approach might be sustainable.
  • The Columbia University Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies opens on May 4. We believe that the Center will be one of the crucial reference points for the Turkish Studies.

In the honor of Sabancı University’s Honorary Chairman late Sakıp Sabancı, “Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards” were presented at the ceremony hosted by the Sakıp Sabancı Family and Sabancı University on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at the Sabancı Center.
"We need to prioritize knowledge generation, research, scientific thinking and discussion to enable our country to become effective, capable and consistent in finding solutions to the regional and global problems."

Sabancı University’s Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı began her speech by saying, "Sakıp Sabancı believed that social sciences deserved the same level of support as natural sciences. Being the visionary he was, he endowed Turkey's “only” academic prize in the field of social sciences with an international outreach so that this approach might be sustainable.”

Güler Sabancı continued, “Turkey has been a bridge between the West and East on the geopolitical and cultural levels, acting as a regional power and global key player for the world peace since the Ottoman Empire. We need to prioritize knowledge generation, research, scientific thinking and discussion to enable our country to become effective, capable and consistent in finding solutions to regional and global problems through its diverse characteristics and qualities." Güler Sabancı stated that all three areas require Turkey to stand together and act together with the world. Güler Sabancı added that both Sabancı University and the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards are based on this fundamental philosophy and said "This universal perspective is a clear embodiment of the late Sakıp Sabancı’s vision.”

"The Columbia University Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies opens on May 4. We believe that the Center will be one of the crucial reference points for the Turkish Studies."

Reminding the audience that Sakıp Sabancı thought for Turkey but his thoughts were not limited to Turkey's borders, Güler Sabancı said, “The international aspect of everything he did was very dear to him. The same line of thinking culminated in Sabancı University. We wanted to build an academic organization accepted with international respect and recognition. We set out on this path to become a 'global university' and today we are an organization that has a place on the international rankings."
Güler Sabancı stated that Sabancı University will celebrate its 20th year in 2019 and continued: "We would also like to announce a pioneering initiative that our young university found the courage to undertake thanks to its international recognition. The Columbia University Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies, the perfect place to make the Sakıp Sabancı name eternal, will open in New York on May 4." Güler Sabancı said that Sabancı University's efforts in social sciences would leap to the next level with this forthcoming international cooperation, adding that the support of Ayşe Kadıoğlu and the entire Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences would make the Center one of the points of reference for the Turkish Studies across the world.

To conclude, Güler Sabancı said that the theme for the 2019 Awards would be “The Future of Multipartisanism in Global Disorder: Rethinking Security, Economy and Democracy.”
"We share transnational problems which require international efforts to solve."

The winner of the Jury Prize was Adam Przeworski, a veteran of political science who has been working on democracies for over 50 years, and has inspired many political scientists in Turkey and the world. Adam Przeworski, the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Politics at New York University, won the Jury Prize for his outstanding work on the democratic regimes and markets. Adam Przeworski worked for the prestigious universities of different continents, trained a vast number of political scientists, and played a key role in shaping the field of comparative politics. He was an advisor to a number of international organizations such as the Latin American Council of Social Sciences, the United Nations Development Program, and the Organization of American States.

Speaking in the award ceremony, Adam Przeworski said that we share transnational problems which require international efforts to solve. He noted that the prize was especially relevant to young scientists for continuing their global efforts.

Adam Przeworski continued: "All my life, I tried to find answers to two questions. First: How can people divided by values, norms and interests live together? And second: How can democracy coexist with economic and social inequality? Considering that losing parties have a chance to win in the future, political actors and groups will prefer to stay within the system. The balance between economy and democracy is critical. Research suggests that countries which have attained certain levels of economic development were then able to improve their democracies. Democracy is under threat in all countries. For the first time in two hundred years, many parents believe that their children will be worse off than they are. In the longer term, economic consequences will influence the decision of political actors and groups to remain within the boundaries of democracy."
The three equally-weighted Essay Awards were given to:

  • Selim Erdem Aytaç for the essay “The Appeal of Populism and the Role of Elite Discourse: Evidence from Turkey”
  • İpek Çınar for the essay “Democracy Dismantled: Strategic Choices of Would-be Autocrats”
  • Berk Esen for the essay “Elective Affinities between Democratic Backsliding and Populism: the Cases of Turkey and Hungary in Comparative Perspective”

Introductory remark to the ceremony was delivered by Sabancı University’s Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı. Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Member Özge Kemahlıoğlu, the president of this year's award panel, explained the reasoning behind the award panel’s selection. Ms. Kemahlıoğlu said that Adam Przeworski, the winner of the Jury Prize, made great contributions to defining democracy as a political regime, and she highlighted that Przeworski focused on elections and ambiguity. Accordingly, democracy is a political system where the result of any election is a mere probability for citizens who are unaware of each other's political preferences.
Özge Kemahlıoğlu said that Adam Przeworski's studies played a critical part in developing the literature in this field, and noted that countries which have attained certain levels of economic development were then able to improve their democracies, and prevented any subsequent collapse of their democracies.

Following the speeches, Adam Przeworski received the Jury Prize from Sabancı University Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı and Sabancı University President Professor Zehra Sayers. The Essay Award winners received their prizes from Sabancı University Board of Trustees Member Sevil Sabancı, Melisa Tapan, and the University President Professor Zehra Sayers.

More than 370 submissions from 31 countries over 13 years

The Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards is an awarded program that started 13 years ago to honor the will of the late Sakıp Sabancı, and it is presented by Sabancı University in fields of “Turkish and Islamic Art and the History, Economy and Sociology of Turkey. The award program is led by the Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Istanbul Policy Center. The submitted articles are reviewed by an international award panel of independent jury members. In the last 13 years, the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards were presented for studies ranging from Turkey's economy to foreign policy, history to social dynamics. More than 370 submissions were received from 31 countries for this popular Award Awards presented for 13 years.

In 2015, the Board of Trustees and Sakıp Sabancı Family decided to give this award as a part of the International Sakıp Sabancı Remembrance Ceremony and the award themes of the previous years were other pressing issues on the country’s agenda, such as “Checks and Balances in Democracy: the Turkish Case from a Comparative Perspective,” “Gender Equality in Turkey,” "Coexisting in Turkey: Diversity, Dialog and Cooperation", and "New Centers in Turkey: Economy, Education, Arts and Peace in Cities”. The theme of 2017 Awards was “Europeans with Legacies from Turkey in Everyday Life”, and this year's theme was “Democratic Governance and Threats against Coexistence in Turkey and the World.”

Just like every year, 2019 Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards will seek to support scholars, particularly young social scientists, by discussing a current issue on an academic platform. The theme for the 2019 Awards will be “The Future of Multipartisanism in Global Disorder: Rethinking Security, Economy and Democracy.”
Award Panel

Özge Kemahlıoğlu, a faculty member of Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was the chairman of this year's award panel. Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center Director Fuat Keyman, Sabancı University Arts and Social Sciences Faculty Member Ayşe Kadıoğlu, John D. Huber from Columbia University, Milan Svolik from Yale University, Dr. Dimitar Bechev from The University of North Carolina, and Ellen Lust from Gothenburg University were on the international award panel.

About Adam Przeworski

Adam Przeworski is Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Politics at New York University.
After completing his bachelor’s degree at the Philosophy and Sociology Department of the University of Warsaw, he received his PhD degrees in Political Science from the Northwestern University and in Sociology from the Polish Academy of Sciences. He taught at the University of Chicago and Washington University. Among others, Professor Przeworski is the recipient of the Johan Skytte Prize and Woodrow Wilson Book Prize.

Professor Przeworski has contributed to the studies on democracy with his researches on “the empirical relationship between economic factors and political regimes”, “economic outcomes of democratic governments”, “theoretical definitions of political regimes”, and “strategic choices of political actors who are involved in the transition process”.

His books include Capitalism and Social Democracy, Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America, Democracy and Development: Political Regimes and Material Well-Being in the World, 1950-1990, Capital Democracy and the Limits of Self-Government and Why Bother with Elections?