Björn Wittrock

Principal, SCAS.
University Professor, Uppsala University

Björn Wittrock is University Professor at Uppsala University and Principal of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS), Uppsala. He has formerly been Lars Hierta Professor of Government at Stockholm University.

He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and of Academia Europaea, and of the editorial board of its journal European Review. He has also been guest editor of the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Daedalus. He has held visiting positions at a large number of universities and scholarly institutions, including Berkeley, Berlin, Budapest, CASBS (Stanford), NIAS (Wassenaar), NHC (Research Triangle Park), and Vienna.

Björn Wittrock has worked extensively with research councils, academies, and institutes for advanced study in a number of countries and has been a member of panels of the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat); the Max-Planck-Society (MPG); the European Research Council (ERC); Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (WIKO), where he has been a member of the Academic Advisory Board but also served on many other committees; the Volkswagen Foundation (Volkswagen Stiftung); Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ); the Leibniz Gemeinschaft; RFEIA (the French network of Institutes for Advanced Study); European University Institute (EUI); the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton (IAS); the Institute for Advanced Study Budapest (Collegium Budapest), where he has been a member of the Academic Advisory Board and an External Faculty Member; Institut d’études avancées, Paris; Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen; Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies; INTAS (the former European research council for the states of the former Soviet Union); and SIAS (a group of eight leading institutes for advanced study), of which he was one of the founding members. He has also been a member of the Science Advisory Board of the Government of Sweden. He was President of the International Institute of Sociology (founded in Paris in 1893) in the years 2005-2013.

He has published extensively, with nineteen books to the present day, in the fields of intellectual history, historical social science, social theory, and civilizational analysis. He has served on the editorial boards of 23 scholarly journals. His publications from recent years include: Nordic Paths to Modernity (Berghahn, 2012, with Johann P. Arnason); Frontiers of Sociology (Brill, 2009; with Peter Hedström); Eurasian Transformations, Tenth to Thirteenth Centuries: Crystallizations, Divergences, Renaissances (Brill, 2004; paperback edition, 2011; with Johann P. Arnason); Axial Civilizations and World History (Brill, 2005; with Johann P. Arnason and S. N. Eisenstadt); Public Spheres and Collective Identities (Transaction, 2001, with S.N. Eisenstadt and Wolfgang Schluchter); The Rise of the Social Sciences and the Formation of Modernity: Conceptual Change in Context, 1750-1850 (Kluwer, 1998; Paperback edition, 2001; with Johan Heilbron and Lars Magnusson). Earlier books, recently republished, include: The European and American University Since 1800 (Cambridge University Press, 1993; Spanish edition 1996; Paperback edition [CUP] 2006; with Sheldon Rothblatt); and Social Sciences and Modern States (Cambridge University Press, 1991; Spanish edition 1999; Paperback edition [CUP] 2008; with Peter Wagner et al.)

In 1999, Björn Wittrock was awarded the Torgny Segerstedt Medal (highest award of Uppsala University to a Swedish scholar in the social sciences and humanities). In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate at the University of Tartu. In 2008, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz, 1. Kl) by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2009, he was awarded “H.M. the King’s Medal (8th class) in the ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim” by the King of Sweden for “significant contributions to Swedish social science research”. In 2010, he received the festschrift The Benefit of Broad Horizons: Intellectual and Institutional Preconditions for a Global Social Science (Brill, eds. Hans Joas and Barbro Klein). Two other books have also been dedicated to him: Social Theory: Twenty Introductory Lectures by Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and The Invisible African by Krishnan Srinivasan (Har-Anand Publications, 2012).