ESR Best Article of the Year Prize

The European Consortium for Sociological Research (ECSR) and the European Sociological Review (ESR) issue the Prize for the Best Article of the Year published in the ESR. The ESR is the flagship journal of the ECSR.


The criteria on which articles will be evaluated are in line with the core aims of the ECSR, namely to stimulate rigorous empirical–theoretical sociological research in Europe.

More specifically, the papers will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Substantively interesting and relevant research problem;
  • Good explanation of the contribution to the field;
  • Rigorous use—and possibly development—of social scientific theory;
  • Rigorous use of advanced research methods.


  1. For each volume (calendar year), one prize will be awarded, starting with papers published in 2016.
  2. The jury for the prize consists of the ESR’s lead editor, a delegate of the ECSR board, and an external member from outside Europe. The ESR editor is the chair of the jury. The chair of the jury informs the members and requests their input.
  3. By 15 February of each year, all jury members nominate two articles to the chair of the jury, by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The (maximum of) six articles are then ranked by all three jury members, from 1 to N (with N nominated articles, 1 is highest). The winner is the article with the fewest points. In the event of a tie, the Chair of the ECSR offers an additional ranking, resulting in one winner and two runners-up.
  4. The jury sends the list with the selected winner and runners-up to the ECSR secretary, who informs the ECSR Board.
  5. The prize winners will receive a certificate and a cash prize of Euro 500.
  6. The prize is handed out at the annual General ECSR Conference.
  7. The papers of the winner and the two runners-up are made freely available (open access) on the ESR site at Oxford University Press for one year.

Winner(s) of 2020

Zhang, Nan, Amelie Aidenberger, Heiko Rauhut, and Fabian Winter, for their 2019 article
Prosocial Behaviour in Interethnic Encounters: Evidence from a Field Experiment with High- and Low-Status Immigrants

Former winners

Year Name and article title
2019 Javier G. Polavieja Perera, Mariña Fernández-Reino and María Ramos, for their 2018 article
Are Migrants Selected on Motivational Orientations? Selectivity Patterns amongst International Migrants in Europe
2018 Wojtek Przepiorka, Lukas Norbutas and Rense Corten, for their 2017 article
Order without law: reputation promotes cooperation in a cryptomarket for illegal drugs
2017 Jörg Dollmann, for his 2016 article
Less choice, less inequality? A natural experiment on social and ethnic differences in educational decision-making