Winners of 2024 Deirdre and Paul Malone Prize announced

MPhil students Annie Hsu and Astrid Jenkins have been jointly awarded the Deirdre and Paul Malone Thesis Prize in International Relations for outstanding achievement in the final MPhil thesis and exams in International Relations.

The prize is awarded to postgraduate students in International Relations at Oxford who have completed the MPhil in International Relations and who intend to proceed to the DPhil.

It is also aimed at rewarding the quality of the candidate’s proposal for doctoral work; and to provide support for the doctoral research of the recipient.

The International Relations Graduate Studies Committee made the award, which is a prize of £1,000.

Annie’s MPhil thesis, ‘Contesting International Order and the “Standard of Civilisation”: The Republic of China (ROC) in the League of Nations’ Technical Domains, 1920-1927’, explores China’s diplomatic engagement in the technical activities of the League of Nations (LON) from 1920 to 1927, until China’s “Beiyang” government was replaced by a new ROC government in 1928. In it, she examines China’s efforts in engaging with and contesting a post-war international order under reconstruction at the LON.

Annie’s research centres on China in international society in the early twentieth century, particularly China's diplomatic engagement in the League of Nations and China's contestation of sovereignty and international order. Building on Constructivist and English School theories in International Relations, her work historicizes non-Western actors’ struggles for recognition, as well as the ways in which international hierarchy is enacted and practiced in international institutions. 

It is an honour to receive the Deirdre and Paul Malone Thesis Prize. I thank the International Relations Graduate Studies Committee’s kind consideration of my research, and Dr David Malone’s generosity and commitment to supporting young International Relations researchers.

“I am immensely grateful to my MPhil supervisors, Professor Rana Mitter and Dr Yuna Han, for their thoughtful guidance and the interest they took in my ideas.”

Annie Hsu

Astrid’s MPhil thesis, ‘The Mechanisms of Memory: How memory disputes impact the prospect for international energy cooperation’, analyses in detail state preferences towards cooperation over natural gas in the east Mediterranean, focusing on relations between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus (ROC). In doing so, it aims to develop a framework with which to explain when, how and why we see variation in national policy towards energy cooperation amidst the existence of a memory dispute.

Astrid’s research focuses on the impact of memory disputes on international cooperation, seeking to explain how the existence of deeply embedded historical narratives impact elite decision making over material gains. In doing so, her work aims to develop a deeper understanding of the traditional dichotomy between the logic of consequence and the logic of appropriateness in the creation of foreign policy and in IR theory more broadly.

It is a great honour to receive the Deirdre and Paul Malone Thesis Prize. I am grateful to Dr David Malone for his commitment to International Relations scholars following in his footsteps at Oxford.

I am also grateful to my supervisors, Professor Todd Hall and Professor Neil MacFarlane, for their guidance and support.”

Astrid Jenkins

The Deirdre and Paul Malone Prize in International Relations was established by David M. Malone, one-time president of the International Peace Institute, who was awarded a DPhil in International Relations from Oxford in 1997 with a thesis on decision making in the UN Security Council. The prize was named in honour of his parents and is awarded annually.