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9 June 2016

Announcing the New Statesman/SPERI prize 2016

For a second time, this prize - a collaboration between the New Statesman and Sheffield University - will recognise the most exciting scholarship in the field of political economy. 

By Helen Lewis

The New Statesman/SPERI prize is returning this year for a second award, with a winner announced in the autumn. It is jointly run by the NS and the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield. 

The first biennial prize was won in 2014 by Mariana Mazzucato, a professor in the economics of innovation at the University of Sussex. Her 2013 book The Entrepreneurial State contained a wealth of examples showing how the state – not just the private sector – could foster innovation. The judges praised the originality of her thinking, her willingness to challenge the conventional wisdom and her capacity take her arguments forward with gusto.

After winning the prize, Mazzucato gave a prize lecture in Westminster on “smart growth”, and contributed an article to the New Statesman. She has since been invited to contribute to shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s “New Economics” debates.

The prize returns this year, and will again attempt to identify the scholar who has succeeded most effectively in disseminating original and critical ideas in political economy to a wider public audience over the preceding two or three years. It carries an honorarium and an invitation to give a New Statesman/SPERI lecture in London. 

The shortlist will be announced in late summer, and the winner in the autumn.

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The Prize Jury will be Helen Lewis, Deputy Editor of the New Statesman; George Eaton, Political Editor of the New Statesman; Professor Tony Payne, Director of SPERI; Professor Andrew Gamble, professorial fellow, SPERI; Rachel Laurence of the New Economics Foundation; and Lord (Stewart) Wood, former adviser to Ed Miliband.  

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