Stein Rokkan: A Man of Several Worlds
Original title: Stein Rokkan. Fra sentrum til periferi
Publisher: Vigmostad & Bjørke, 2019
Pages: 573 pages
This biography is an intimate portrait of Stein Rokkan – as both scientist and man.
Stein Rokkan (1921–1979) introduced the concepts of ‘centre and periphery’ and ‘counterculture’ and also formulated the idea that ‘votes count but resources decide’ in elections. Rokkan was a founder of both Norwegian and International Social Science, he became a world leader in the discipline.
This biography offers an intimate portrait of both the scientist and the man. Born in Lofoten and raised in Narvik, he rapidly became a star talent at Oslo University. He was courted by the great American universities – Harvard, Yale and Stanford – and universities in Manchester, London and Paris, but opted to stay in Bergen, accepting only sporadic guest professorships and assuming a series of central honorary posts. Throughout the political science world he was viewed as a powerhouse in the discipline, especially in the relatively new research field of comparative politics. When he died in 1979 aged only 58, his contribution was praised on all sides; he had become a role model, the epitome of an international scholar. Who was he?