UACES awards a prize annually for the PhD thesis that has made an original and promising contribution to research in the area of contemporary European Studies in the previous year.

Scroll down for competition rules, eligibility and how to enter the 2018 prize.


2017 Winner

The 2017 prize for best thesis was awarded to Lisanne Groen for her work The Importance of Fitting Activities to Context: The EU in Multilateral Climate and Biodiversity Negotiations.

In this thesis, Groen seeks to explain variation in European Union effectiveness within international fora by looking at EU performance in multilateral environmental negotiations. She does this through an elaboration of seven case studies, giving rise to a line of inquiry whose analytical depth and breadth left our judges deeply impressed.  This analysis leads her to conclude that the degree of fit between EU activities and EU actors’ position within international fora serves to greatly increase effectiveness scores. Bargaining power can also be enhanced through adjusting activities to specific positions, leading to unexpected positive negotiating outcomes.
The extent of this study and the rigour with which it has been undertaken was remarked upon by all of our judges. They also agreed that the thesis reveals gaps in the existing literature and provides “new insights with policy implications.”

Lisanne Groen

Lisanne Groen at the UACES 47th Annual Conference Awards Ceremony, Krakow, Poland

Previous Winners
Year Winner Thesis Title Institution
2016 Paul Tobin Explaining Climate Policy Variation in Developed States University of York
2015 Rikke Wagner Exit as Voice: Transnational Citizenship Practices in Response to Denmark’s Family Unification Policy London School of Economics and Politics Science
2014 Sonja Kittelsen The EU and the Securitization of Pandemic Influenza Aberystwyth University
2013 Ania Zbyszewska Gendering the European Working-Time Regimes - The Universe of Political Discourse, Working-Time Regulation, and Gender Equality in the Wider European Union and in Poland University of Victoria
2012 Alison Johnston European Monetary Union and Institutional Change: The Perverse Effects of Supranational Macroeconomic Regimes on Wage Inflation London School of Economics & Political Science
2011 Heike Klüver Lobbying in the European Union: Interest Group Influence on Policy Formulation University of Mannheim
2010 Ronan McCrea Religion and the Public Order of the European Union London School of Economics & Political Science
2009 Frank Häge Decision-Making in the Council of the European Union: The Role of Committees Universiteit Leiden
2008 Mihalis Kritikos Institutions and Science in the Authorization of GMO Releases in the EU (1990-2007): The False Promise of Proceduralism London School of Economics & Political Science
2007 Thomas Larue Agents in Brussels: Delegations and Democracy in the European Union Umeå Universitet
2006 Sara Hobolt Europe in Question: The Role of Political Information in Referendums on European Integration University of Cambridge
2006 Maria Strömvik To Act as a Union: Explaining the development of the EU's collective foreign policy Lunds Universitet
2005 Dermot Hodson Economic Governance and the Dual Outcome in Euro Area Fiscal Policy 1999-2002 London School of Economics & Political Science

Nominate for 2018 Best PhD Thesis Prize

The deadline for nominations is 31 January 2018.

To be eligible for the award, the PhD thesis must:

  • have been written in English;
  • have been examined in the previous calendar year (i.e. up to 31 December 2017);
  • be authored by an Individual or Student member of UACES.

Nominations should be sent to the UACES office and must be made by the PhD supervisor in conjunction with the external examiner and must include:

The prize is 100 GBP and the winning scholar will be invited to attend our Annual Conference as our guest and to collect the prize.


Competition Rules

  • The jury's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into;
  • No responsibility is accepted for ineligible entries;
  • UACES does not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt;
  • UACES reserves the right to cancel this competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion;
  • It is not always possible to return submissions;
  • Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering this competition.

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