DPIR thesis awards announced

The Department of Politics and International Relations is delighted to announce the winners of our postgraduate thesis prizes.

The winners of the 2018 Pavry and Winchester Thesis Prizes, awarded to outstanding doctoral theses, are alumni Dr Mara Tchalakov and Dr Claire Vergerio. The 2018 Deirdre and Paul Malone Prize in International Relations was won by Edward Howell.

Dr Tchalakov won the 2018 Dasturzada Dr Jal Pavry Memorial Prize, which recognises theses on a subject in the area of international peace and understanding. Her doctoral thesis, ‘Minds at War – Dual Mindset Theory and the Psychology of Europe’s Descent into the First World War’, focused on dual mind set theory, “that the mindsets of individual leaders act as an intervening variable that can help to explain when and why they choose to go to war instead of prolonging peaceful negotiations, and vice versa”. Her study investigated “the ways in which individuals contribute to war and peace decisions”. Dr Tchalakov now works in the United States Foreign Service as a political officer in Mauitania, and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr Vergerio’s doctoral thesis, ‘Constructing the Right to War: Alberico Gentili and his Receptions in International Law’, won the 2018 Bapsybanoo Marchioness of Winchester Thesis Prize. Her research analysed the early modern jurist’s Alberico Gentili’s intentions when writing De iure belli, and subsequent approaches to his work. The study aims to reconcile the two opposing views of Gentili: as law-maker and justification for law-breakers. In addition to the Winchester Thesis Prize, Dr Vergerio’s thesis has also been recognised by the International Studies Association’s Frances V. Harbour Award and the Association for Political Thought’s Graduate Paper Prize. Vergerio is now an assistant professor of International Relations at Universiteit Leiden.

The Pavry and Winchester Thesis Prizes were established by Bapsybanoo Pavry, the Dowager Marchioness of Winchester. Awarded by the Social Sciences Board, University of Oxford, the two awards recognise outstanding theses from across the faculties of Law, Social Sciences, and Modern History. The Bapsybanoo Marchioness of Winchester Thesis Prize was established in 1991 and first awarded in 1992. The Dasturzada Dr Jal Pavry Memorial Prize, first awarded in 1990, was established in the memory of the Dowager Marchioness’s brother, Dr Jal Pavry. In 1995, the Dowager Marchioness also granted two Winchester Visiting Lectureships at the University of Oxford.

Mr Howell won the 2018 Deirdre and Paul Malone Prize in International Relations for his MPhil thesis, focusing on the domestic legitimacy of North Korea. He is now an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded DPhil student in DPIR, researching North Korea and legitimacy.

The Malone Prize in International Relations were established by Dr David Malone in honour of his parents and awarded annually by the International Relations Graduate Studies Committee. Eligibility is limited to MPhil candidates who intend to continue to the doctorate in International Relations, and the prize recognises outstanding achievement in the MPhil, including the MPhil thesis, and the quality of the doctoral proposal.