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 2019 prize.

2018 Winner

The 2018 prize for best thesis was awarded to Koen Slootmaeckers for his work From ‘Strategic Accession’ to ‘Tactical Europeanisation’? The Promotion of and Resistance to LGBT Equality in Serbia’s European Integration Process

In this thesis, Slootmaeckers examines the promotion of and resistance to LGBT equality in Serbia’s EU integration process and how this has affected domestic LGBT politics and activism. The thesis introduces the concept of ‘Tactical Europeanisation’ to highlight that the EU accession process is better thought of as a process of negotiated transformation in which EU policies and norms are (re)defined, negotiated and transformed with both sides making compromises to further the political integration.

The judges praised the great care given to pay attention to details of the argument, triangulate findings and present these in a easily accessible way that is duely attentive to the complexity of information conveyed. They considered the thesis a highly valuable and forward-looking contribution to debate in the area of Europeanisation, as well as in the case study area of Western Balkans.

Best PhD Thesis European Studies

Koen Slootmaeckers with UACES Chair Helen Drake at the UACES 48th Annual Conference Awards Ceremony, Bath, UK (view more)


Interview with Koen Slootmaeckers during the 48th Annual Conference Awards Ceremony, Bath, UK

Previous Winners
Year Winner Thesis Title Institution
2017 Lisanne Groen The Importance of Fitting Activities to Context: The EU in Multilateral Climate and Biodiversity Negotiations Free University of Brussels
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 2019 Best PhD Thesis Prize

The deadline for nominations is 31 January 2019.

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 2018);
  • be authored by an Individual, Early-Career 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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