Kristen Monroe, political science Chancellor’s Professor and UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality director, has been named a Berlin Prize recipient. Awarded by the American Academy in Berlin, the honor is awarded annually to outstanding scholars, writers, composers and artists from the U.S. Recipients – 22 this year – get to spend a semester at the academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center in Berlin-Wannsee working on academic and artistic projects while also delivering public lectures throughout Berlin and Germany.
Monroe is a renowned political psychologist and theorist. She’s the author of nearly 100 journal articles and book chapters and 15 single-authored books or edited volumes. She is noted particularly for her research on altruism and moral choice, or the treatment of others, work which has earned her a Pulitzer Prize nomination, a National Book Award nomination, two American Political Science Association Best Book Awards for both The Heart of Altruism (1996) and The Hand of Compassion (2004), and the 2010 Paul Silverman Award for Outstanding Scientific Work on Ethics. She is a past president of the International Society of Political Psychology and past vice president of the American Political Science Association, the latter of which awarded her both Frank J. Goodnow and Ithiel de Sola Pool honors in 2010 for professional and service contributions. She spent the 2012-13 academic year as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and in April 2013, she received the Nevitt Sanford Award from the International Society of Political Psychology for distinguished professional contributions to the field of political psychology. And in 2014, she was named UCI’s Outstanding Mentor.
Monroe will be spending next spring in Berlin focusing on how Germany’s twentieth-century experience can help illuminate the warning signs for democracies under stress, and how people can learn about democratic threats and respond positively to them. Based in part on her interviews with German-Jewish exiles from Hitler’s Europe, her research will explore the importance of the narratives people construct to both help them understand politically traumatic experiences and compose a meaningful life after political trauma.