Historian Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, a great specialist in Russia and permanent secretary of the French Academy, was awarded on Wednesday in Spain with the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, considering her “one of the most brilliant personality” of the contemporary European thinker.
“The work of Hélène Carrère d’Encausse – which includes research monographs, biographies and large essays on historical interpretation – probably constitutes the greatest contribution made in recent decades to the knowledge of the Soviet Union and Russia”, highlighted the Minutes released. on Wednesday in the jury for this award called by the Princess of Asturias Foundation, the heir to the throne of Spain.
“Hélène Carrère d’Encausse is one of the most brilliant, original and famous personalities of French historiography and contemporary European thought”, adds the decision to recognize this 93-year-old intellectual.
Hélène Zourabichvili, who became Carrère d’Encausse after she married, was born in Paris on July 6, 1929, to a Georgian father and a mother of Russian-German origin.
He later graduated in Political Science and received a doctorate in History and Letters and Humanities. He taught at several universities and soon became an international reference in Slavic studies, especially in the Soviet Union.
His book “L’Empire éclaté (1978)” is one of the most remarkable titles of his career, in which he predicted the collapse of the USSR a decade in advance.
His candidacy for the award was chosen among 25 applications, from 15 nationalities, who competed this year in this category.
His son, the writer Emmanuel Carrère, has already received the Princess of Asturias Award, but in the category of Literature, in the 2021 edition.
– French Academy –
The relationship with the Carrère d’Encausse lyrics is very intense. Author of more than thirty historical works and biographies, this intellectual has been an elected member of the French Academy since 1990 and its permanent secretary since 1999, when she became the first woman to hold the post.
Last February, when the Spanish-Peruvian Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa entered the French Academy, he was in charge of handing him the sword to become a member of this institution.
Among many other recognitions, Carrère received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor from the French government, the Russian Orders of Honor and Friendship of Peoples, and the Faith and Loyalty Award from the Russian San Andrés Foundation.
In the political field, the historian belongs to the conservative French party Rally for the Republic (RPR, for its acronym in French), and was a member of the European Parliament at the end of the 1990s.
– Award Series –
The Social Sciences is the third of the eight awards in this edition of the prizes, considered the most prestigious in the Ibero-American world, awarded annually, and at the rate of one per week, by the Princess of Asturias Foundation.
Last year, in this category, recognition went to the Mexican archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, an important figure in the dissemination of the pre-Hispanic world.
In other editions, the Indian economist Amartya Sen, the world reference researcher on poverty and human development, the Cuban-American sociologist Alejandro Portes and the British historian Mary Beard were also awarded. .
So far, the awards announced for the 2023 edition are the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, which went to the American actress Meryl Streep, and the Humanities Award, which distinguished last week the Italian professor, writer and philosopher Nuccio Ordine. .
Established in 1981, these awards come with 50,000 euros (about $55,000) and a sculpture created by the late Catalan artist Joan Miró.
The awards, which take their name from the title of the heir to the throne of the Spanish Crown, Princess Leonor, were presented by Kings Felipe and Letizia in October at a ceremony in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias.