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