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Recent York Politics PhD student wins thesis prize

Posted on 12 September 2016

A recent Politics PhD student at the University of York has won a prestigious prize for his PhD thesis on the politics of climate change.

The UACES (University Association for Contemporary European Studies) thesis prize is awarded annually to a scholar whose PhD makes an original and promising contribution to research in the area of contemporary European Studies.

This year’s winner is Dr. Paul Tobin, who was supervised in the Politics Department at the University of York by Professor Neil Carter and Dr. Sofia Vasilopoulou. Paul’s thesis was described by the prize’s judges as being ‘outstanding’ and ‘a pleasure to read’.

Paul’s thesis sought to explain why some developed states are more ambitious than others regarding their climate change policies. He used a mixed methods approach that combined a fuzzy sets analysis with in-depth case study investigation. In particular, he sought to explain why Germany and Sweden were climate change leaders in the late 2000s, while neighbours Austria and Finland lagged behind.

Since submitting his thesis, he has spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher, as part of a project led by Dr. Charlotte Burns in the Environment Department at the University of York. He is now a Lecturer in the Politics Department at the University of Manchester.