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Call for submissions: Hans-Christoph-Binswanger-Prize

  • 1.  Call for submissions: Hans-Christoph-Binswanger-Prize

    Posted 05-29-2019 09:45
    The Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWÖ) at the University of St. Gallen, where Hans Christoph Binswanger worked until his death in January 2018, invites submissions for the Hans-Christoph-Binswanger-Prize, which will be awarded for the first time in 2019. This prize commemorates Hans Christoph Binswanger (1929-2018), one of the most important unorthodox economists of the 20th century in German-speaking countries.

    Hans Christoph Binswanger's work and research interests included environmental and resource economics, monetary theory, the history of economic thought, the role of agriculture in today's economy and, at the beginning of his research activities, European integration. He investigated the relationship between economics and ecology and highlighted the role of money in the economic process. Binswanger was convinced that the modern monetary economy is subject to both a growth imperative as well as a permanent incentive to grow. The economy is forced to grow not because people constantly want to consume more but because firms in the aggregate can only realize profits if GDP increases over time. 

    Among Binswanger's most important works are the NAWU report: How to Escape the Prosperity Trap (1978), Work without Harming the Environment (1983), but also the 1985 piece Money and Magic, an economic interpretation of Goethe's Faust, whom he understands as a protagonist of the modern, growth-oriented monetary economy. The latter book has become a classic and has inspired a number of other works. The book The Growth Spiral appeared in 2006 as a kind of theoretical synthesis of his work. Binswanger was not only critical of mainstream economics, but in his research he also repeatedly crossed the boundaries of his own discipline. The social relevance of his research and its practical applicability were of great concern to him throughout his life. He was also the first economist to propagate the idea of an ecological tax reform.


    The prize is awarded to young scientists and postgraduates who do not yet have a full professorship. The intention of the prize is to honor studies in areas that go beyond mainstream economics and in which Hans Christoph Binswanger has made significant contributions. In particular, these include the following topics:

    • The role of nature and money in the economic process
    • The growth imperative in capitalist economies
    • The economic interpretation of important works in literature and art

    We invite published and unpublished papers or monographs for submission. The submitted pieces may be written in German or English and should not be older than 5 years. Master's or Bachelor's theses are excluded. The originality and social relevance of the contributions are particularly emphasized in the evaluation process.

    The prize includes a monetary reward of 3000 Swiss Francs. The award ceremony will take place during the oikos conference at the University of St.Gallen on November 26, 2019. The winner will be invited to give a keynote speech at the conference.

    Documents for submission

    The submission for the prize includes the following documents:
    • Curriculum vitae with personal details
    • Summary of the results of the submitted study on 1-2 pages
    • Self-assessment by the applicant as to why the submitted work is qualified for the prize
    • Declaration that the work was written independently, and that it is not older than 5 years.
    • The study itself

    The submitted documents will be treated as confidential.

    Please send submissions by 31 July by e-mail to hcbpreis@unisg.ch. You may use WeTransfer or a cloud service. If you have any questions about the price, please use the same email address.


    Participants of the jury include:
    • Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Allgoewer, University of Hamburg
    • Prof. Dr. Johannes Binswanger, University of St.Gallen
    • Prof. Dr. Mathias Binswanger, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland
    • Dr. Arthur Braunschweig, E2 Management Consulting, Zurich
    • Prof. Dr. Thomas Dyllick, University of St. Gallen
    • Prof. Dr. Martin Kolmar, University of St.Gallen
    • Prof. Dr. Marco Lehmann-Waffenschmidt, TU Dresden
    • Prof. Ernst Mohr, Ph.D., University of St.Gallen

    The jury decides on the award of the prize in a private meeting. Legal recourse is excluded.

    The participants of the competition and the winner will be informed of the results of the jury by the end of September 2019.

    Judith Walls
    University of St. Gallen
    St. Gallen