Dr Allard Duursma awarded PSA Lord Bryce Prize for best dissertation in International Relations/Comparative Studies

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    Allard Duursma

Congratulations to Allard Duursma, a recent DPhil International Relations alumnus, who has been awarded the Political Studies Association 2016 Lord Bryce Prize for best dissertation in International Relations/Comparative Studies.

His thesis was entitled African Solutions to African Challenges: Explaining the Role of Legitimacy in Mediating Civil Wars in Africa, and his supervisor was Neil MacFarlane.

In awarding the prize, the  judge Professor Laleh Khalili (SOAS) noted that:

‘The Duursma thesis is polished, thoughtful and original.  It has an excellent puzzle at its heart, shows wonderful facility with research and displays a very sound argument and structure.  By discussing how mediation works in civil wars, the conditions under which it succeeds, and the mechanisms that allow for success, it provides not only a fascinating study in the workings of international relations, but also a thesis with substantial potential influence on policymaking. Methodologically the thesis draws on both large-N quantitative techniques and on qualitative case studies, adding depth to the broader statistical conclusions.  Further, the case studies are judiciously chosen. As a whole, the thesis is thoughtful, tightly argued, theoretically grounded, and empirically rich.  It provides a persuasive argument, delineates its scope judiciously and provides excellent fodder for both thought and practice.’

Allard Duursma is now a Research Associate at The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester.

More information on the Lord Bryce Prize can be found on the PSA’s website here.