Samuel Ritholtz awarded the PSA's Elizabeth Wiskemann Prize for best dissertation on (in)equality & social justice

Congratulations to Departmental Lecturer in International Relations Samuel Ritholtz, who has been awarded the Elizabeth Wiskemann Prize for best dissertation on (in)equality & social justice by the Political Studies Association.

Sam won for their thesis ‘Civil War and the Politics of Difference: Paramilitary Violence against LGBT People in Columbia,’ with the prize judges commenting:

"This dissertation represents an exceptional piece of scholarship that stands out for its interdisciplinary approach and its significant contribution to our understanding of the complex relationship between social transformation, violence, and identity politics during civil war."

Sam's winning dissertation explored the dynamics of violence against LGBTIQ+ people during war through an analysis of paramilitary violence against this population in Colombia in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. It sought to engage debates of political violence, conflict processes, and international relations with insights from political theory, psychology, sociology, as well as sexuality and gender studies in order to understand how anti-LGBT violence relates to the logics of war. The dissertation was developed through field and archival research in Colombia that they continue today. Two chapters from the dissertation have been published in Global Studies Quarterly and Third World Quarterly.

On hearing the news Sam commented:

"I’m honored to receive this recognition from the Political Studies Association and to be connected with the legacy of Elizabeth Wiskemann. This dissertation would not have been possible without the social leaders and activists in Colombia, who have worked tirelessly to memorialize their history and seek justice. I thank them and hope that my work reflects the time and expertise that they shared with me.”

The prize announcement was made at the PSA's Annual General Meeting on Monday 25 March 2024 during the PSA Annual Conference. 

"...the author reveals the ways in which violence perpetuated against social minorities contributes to the construction of new social and political formations, thereby advancing our comprehension of the complexities inherent in civil war dynamics."
PSA Prize judges