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Ralf Dahrendorf

Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 2007

Your Majesty,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Members of the Jury,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

You will be surprised to see me here today, but my husband´s illness, from which he is now recovering, has made it impossible for him to receive the Award in person. Ralf Dahrendorf feels deeply honored to be granted the Prince of Asturias Award and was really looking forward to coming to Oviedo.

For him, Spain was the first country in a new league of liberty. Observing Spain´s transition marked the beginning of his taking interest in the processes of democratisation in previously non-democratic countries.

When he wrote his ``Reflections on the Revolution in Europe´´, he recommended to the East Europeans the path that Spain had successfully taken. He gratefully accepts the Award as an award for a social science of freedom.

My husband knows that I agree with him, though my own life is not one of Politics or Social Science, but of Medicine and Art: or of the individual rather than of theories. This means that we mostly try to bridge three cultures.

My husband does thank you so much and thoroughly regrets that he cannot be here today.

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