Utrecht University is set to honour PSA Vice-President Professor Matthew Flinders (University of Sheffield) alongside past PSA annual lecture giver Professor Robyn Eckersley (University of Melbourne) with honorary doctorates, in recognition of their fresh perspectives on democracy. The awards will be presented during the university’s 388th birthday event on 26 March 2024.

“In a climate of growing public dissatisfaction with politics and plummeting levels of trust in democratic institutions, Matthew Flinders and Robyn Eckersley stand out as leading voices offering fresh perspectives on democracy's future,” says Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University. “We are eager to host and honour these distinguished scholars, known for informing and stimulating the public debate around this essential topic through cutting-edge research and provocative insights.”

Congratulations from all of us at the PSA on this wonderful honour and achievement, Matthew and Robyn.


Prof. Matthew Flinders

Matthew was recognised as being a bold defender of democracy’s enduring value and for his commitment to the societal impact of research. In his award-winning book, "Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the Twenty-First Century", Matthew promotes the achievements of democracy, challenging those who say democratic politics is broken: “Democratic politics delivers far more than most members of the public appear to acknowledge and understand,” he writes. “Would politics be interpreted as failing a little less if we all spent a little less time emphasising our individual rights and a little more time reflecting on our responsibilities to society and future generations?”


Prof. Robyn Eckersley

Robyn Eckersley was recognised as a trailblazer in environmental politics and the political and institutional innovations required to tackle climate change in tandem with democracy.