British Journal of Sociology Best Paper Prize 2018: Gabriel Abend, ‘Outline of a Sociology of Decisionism’
We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 British Journal of Sociology (BJS) Best Paper Prize, awarded to what we consider to be the best – most significant, provocative, intriguing, exciting, thought provoking – piece published in the journal over a two-year period running from our March 2017 issue to the December 2018 issue.
This year’s prize goes to Gabriel Abend, Professor of Sociology at University of Lucerne and Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University, for the article published in June 2018, “Outline of a Sociology of Decisionism”. The paper draws our attention to the ubiquity of decisions and decision-makers in society, and argues that we actually understand very little – conceptually – about what counts as a decision, what must be done in order for it to be a decision, who or what qualifies as a decision-maker. Moreover, not much has been researched empirically to investigate how decisions get made in a number of social contexts, from everyday life through politics and business, education, law, technology and science – as well as decisions about who wins a prize like this.
Abend’s paper stands out because besides rigorous, well-argued and properly thought-through, it is written in a provocative, engaging and entertaining style. One of the reviewers commented that “sociology needs more writing like this”, arguing that the paper “shows you can make serious arguments without being so serious all the time” – and the editorial team and journal board members fully concur. We had an excellent pool of papers to choose from for this prize, but Abend’s really stood out, so many congratulations to him!
Read Gabriel Abend’s prize winning article for free, until end 2019, here.
The BJS prize is a biennial prize to be awarded for an article, published in the BJS during a 24 month period that, in the opinion of the judges, makes an outstanding contribution to increasing sociological knowledge. On alternate years the journal offers the The BJS Early Career Prize, created as an award for authors of papers published in the journal who are in the first five years after gaining their PhDs. For previous BJS Best Paper prize winners, see here and for the 2017 BJS Early Career prize winner, see here.