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Manuel Castells receives the Holberg Prize 2012
Author: Holbergprisen / Marit Hommedal / Scanpix
Author: Holbergprisen / Marit Hommedal / Scanpix
Manuel Castells, full professor and director of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC), is to receive the Holberg International Memorial Prize 2012. This distinction is a recognition of his work which "has shaped our understanding of the political dynamics of urban and global economies in the network society". The award is to be presented on 6 June in Bergen, Norway, by Princess Mette-Marit at a ceremony where UOC President Imma Tubella is to give a speech in honour of the award-winner.

The jury's decision highlighted how Castells's work "has illuminated the underlying power structures of the great technological revolutions of our time and their consequences. He has helped us to understand how social and political movements have co-evolved with the new information technologies." His most recent book, Communication Power (2009), was cited by the jury as an essential contribution to a new understanding of politics.

Holberg Prize

The Holberg International Memorial Prize was created by the Norwegian parliament in order to cover the shortcomings of the Nobel Prize in the areas of social sciences, art, humanities, law and theology. It is generally considered as equivalent to the Nobel in these fields of research. It is awarded annually by an international academic committee and is worth 570,000 euros.

Holberg held the Chair of Metaphysics at the University of Copenhagen and played an important part in bringing the Enlightenment to the Scandinavian countries. Castells is to receive the award in Bergen, the city where Holberg was born in 1684.

Manuel Castells

Manuel Castells has been a professor at the UOC since 2001 and director of the IN3 since 2008. Currently he is also member of the Governing Board of the new European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), as well as Professor Emeritus of Sociology and of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught and researched for 24 years. In 2011, he was awarded the Erasmus Medal from the Academia Europaea. He is a Fellow of the Spanish Royal Academy of Economics and Finance, a Fellow of the Academia Europaea, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the American Political and Social Science Association. In 2009 he received the 1st Catalonia Sociology Prize from the Catalan Association of Sociology and the National Prize for Sociology and Political Science from the Spanish government.

Author of twenty-five books, Castells's most renowned work is The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, which has been translated into more than twenty languages and become a benchmark study on the impact ofinformation and communication technologies in our world.

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