Vicente Valentim has been awarded this year's Linz Rokkan Prize for the Best EUI Doctoral Thesis in Political Sociology for his dissertation Social norms and stigmatized political behavior. Valentim defended his thesis on 14 July 2021, under the supervision of Professor Elias Dinas.
In their evaluation of the thesis, the prize committee praised Valentim's work, sharing that "This dissertation innovatively and rigorously investigates the thorny yet important research topic of political and social norms, showing under what conditions previously stigmatised actors, ideas, and symbols can be normalised."
From the research point of view, Valentim's dissertation presented both "an outstanding example of cutting edge research design techniques, developing and applying a range of causal identification strategies," as well as a "highly innovative" approach to empirical research, "via the collection and analysis of survey data, parliamentary speeches, and visual symbols (flags)."
The committee concluded its assessment adding that the thesis' key findings, for example that citizens are more likely to engage in previously stigmatised behaviour when governing institutions signal a change in the set of actors or behaviours that is acceptable, "will no doubt inspire future researchers to further develop and test these ideas in new ways and other settings."
The Linz-Rokkan Prize was instituted by the Department of Political and Social Sciences in honour of two great post-war political sociologists, the late Stein Rokkan and the late Juan Linz.
The Prize is awarded annually for the best EUI thesis in a field of political sociology engaging with a theme in the broadly defined fields of work of Juan Linz and Stein Rokkan. It has been sponsored by Professor Richard Rose, one of the founding fathers of post-war political science in Europe.
Vicente Valentim’s thesis is available in open access in the EUI's research repository, Cadmus.