Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

IR Prizes Awarded

May 28, 2010

The following prizes have been awarded for international relations theses:

The University has honored Nandini Jayakrishna with the 2010 Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women’s Studies for her IR thesis, “A Critical Convergence: Gender Development Theory and the Practice of Women’s Empowerment in the Indian Informal Sector.”

In the thesis, Jayakrishna evaluates the Gender and Development (GAD) framework by studying the "evolution of the ideology and practice of India's Self-Employed Women's Association, one of the largest and internationally most successful indigenous grassroots organizations." Jayakrishna finds support for the GAD model, in opposition to the growing literature on its failure. She also proposes ways GAD can be revised to "better reflect ground realities."

Jae Wan Ahn and Alexander Rothman have won Mark and Betty Garrison Prizes for best thesis in international relations, foreign policy analysis, or diplomatic history.

Ahn’s thesis, “From Developmental State to Welfare State: Defining the Political and Economic Transformations and Consequent Social Conflicts in South Korea,” finds that “the detrimental effects of neo-liberal post-developmentalist transition unchecked by civil society in South Korea serve as a warning to the developing states today that have taken a similar development strategy.”

Rothman’s study, “Japan as a Non-Nuclear State: Capability, Contradictions, and the Nuclear Taboo,” concludes that Japan’s nuclear taboo has only strengthened over time, such that the country is unlikely to pursue the nuclear option in the near to mid term, despite the established military and prestige benefits of nuclear weapons in the international system. His research has also been nominated for the University-wide publication of best senior theses.

Chantal Berman and Claire Vergerio have both won Samuel C. Lamport Prizes, for best thesis on international understanding with an emphasis on cooperation and tolerance. 

Berman’s thesis, “Between Structure, Policy, and Human Security: Explaining Syrian and Lebanese Policy Responses towards Iraqi Refugees,” illuminates the logic by which the rights and resources constitutive of national citizenship are proffered or withheld by diverse postcolonial states and suggests how the conditions of refugee populations might be improved.

Vergerio’s thesis, “The Enforcement Gap: Understanding Persisting Discrimination against French and British Muslims in Employment,” describes how a failure to enforce anti-discrimination laws produces a vicious cycle of unemployment, low standards of living, and further negative stereotyping for Muslims in these two countries.

Victoria Haddad-Salah has received the Anthony Riccio Prize in International Relations, which is awarded each year to a student who “has demonstrated an unquenchable curiosity about another part of the world, a commitment to the rigorous learning of a foreign language, an intrepid pursuit of study abroad, and a pride in her university and in her country.”

Haddad-Salah’s time at Brown was focused on the Middle East, including eight semesters of Arabic language; study abroad at the University of Jordan, Amman; honors in IR; co-leadership of Common Ground: Justice and Equality of Palestine/Israel; and an internship at United Palestinian Appeal in Washington, DC.

Her thesis, “Defining the Borders of the Nation: Refugee Policy, Regime Security, and the Formation of National Identity in Jordan,” argues that variations in host countries’ refugee policies are not determined by standard policy formulas or legal obligations, but rather by these countries’ historical perceptions of security.

In addition, seven students have been honored for academic excellence in international relations: 
• Sancho Accorsi
• Kien Yoon Andy Chong
• Eric Gastfriend
• Victoria Haddad-Salah
• Chihiro Ikegami
• Rachel Katz-Kubala
• Harrison Kreisberg

And, Andrew Nelson, a leader in the International Relations Departmental Undergraduate Group, has been awarded the International Relations Concentration Service and Leadership Award.