French historian Joseph Perez was named on Wednesday as the winner of the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences.
The 83-year-old is an expert on the 16th century, as well as the study of the monarchy, society and Spanish culture in the modern age.
He was described by the jury as someone who has "contributed to overturning many prejudices over the institutions and conflicts of the epoch and has enriched the analysis of European history."
The jury added that Perez, whose ancestors were Spanish, had "meant a revolution in the form of interpreting decisive episodes for the understanding of Western history and the independence movement in Hispano- America."
Perez beat competition from 25 other candidates for the award, including American philosopher Michael Sandel and British historian Geoffrey Parker.
The Prince of Asturias Awards was established on Sept. 24, 1980 by Felipe, Prince of Asturias, heir to the throne of Spain. They are presented in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias.
The Awards aim to recognize the "scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions."
This year's award winners will be named at regular intervals between now and September and the winners will receive their prizes, which include a cash award of 50,000 euros (69,500 U.S. dollars) and a sculpture by artist Joan Miro in a gala ceremony held in Oviedo in October.