DPIR MPhil students awarded Department’s first thesis prize

A host of students have received the Department’s inaugural MPhil thesis prize for 2022-23 for getting the highest thesis mark in their cohort.

MPhil students Sofía Sam Chung, Barbara Krumpholz, Miyo Peck-Suzuki and Aryemis Brown all received the highest mark in their thesis for their degree programme.

Further details of the award recipients and their theses are below:

Sofía Sam Chung – MPhil Politics: Comparative Government; thesis title: ‘Insecurity, Social Norms, and Authoritarian Attitudes’.

She said: “I am pleasantly surprised by this kind recognition and am grateful to all who helped me with comments, suggestions, and funding - including my supervisor; faculty at the DPIR and CESS; St Peter’s College; and course peers.

“My thesis is in the subfield of political psychology; it addresses the effects of crime-related insecurity on authoritarian attitudes in Peru through an online survey experiment.”

Barbara Krumpholz – MPhil Politics: European Politics and Society; thesis title: ‘Explaining the gender gap in right-wing populist representatives: Do women who support right-wing populist parties prefer male candidates?’

She said: “I am delighted and grateful for my research to be recognised by the department. It was a truly rewarding experience to be able to contribute original research to questions of candidate gender and its effects on voting among female supporters of right-wing populist parties.

My thesis investigates candidate gender preferences among female right-wing populist party supporters. It tests whether the underrepresentation of female legislators in right-wing populist parties can be explained by a lack of demand for female representation among female right-wing populist supporters.

“The findings offer new insights into the relationship between gender norms, partisanship, and candidate gender preferences among women and highlight the heterogeneity of women’s preferences for descriptive representation.”

Miyo Peck-Suzuki – MPhil Politics: Political Theory; thesis title: ‘Between Carceralism and Community: Assessing Feminist Alternatives to the Carceral State’.

She said: “It is a wonderful surprise to have been recognised by the department for my thesis work.

“I am very grateful to the department for giving me the opportunity to closely engage the questions which motivate my research; I am also immensely grateful to my MPhil supervisor, Professor Amia Srinivasan, for the care she showed the project in even its roughest stages.”

Aryemis Brown – MPhil International Relations; thesis title: ‘Duties and Debris: An Analysis of the International Norm Against Conventional Space Weapons’

He said: “‘I am very honoured to receive this prize. For the past two years, I have been generously supported by the academic excellence and warm friendships at the DPIR.”

“I thank Janina Dill for welcoming me to our discipline and supervising my MPhil.”

“Laws and norms are important tools to improve international peace and security. I am grateful for the attention this award may bring to the research.”

We're really pleased to start awarding prizes to the student awarded the highest thesis mark in each of our four MPhil degree programmes, in recognition of the superb quality of the work. 

Many congratulations to the four deserving winners: Aryemis, Barbara, Miyo and Sofía.”

Nick Owen, joint Head of Department