Shpend Kursani has been awarded the Linz Rokkan Prize for the Best EUI Doctoral Thesis in Political Sociology for his dissertation Contested States: The struggle for survival and recognition in the post-1945 international order.
Kursani defended his thesis on 23 July 2020, under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Welsh.
In their evaluation of the thesis, the prize committee praised the work as "an exceptional thesis for systematically analyzing the phenomenon of contested state. It carefully defines the concept and creates a powerful topology. It then moves on to ask why some contested states survive while others disappear, identifying conditions and pathways for survival. Finally, the thesis argues compellingly how contested states' seeking of international recognition comes with a high price. This is a mixed-methods thesis that combines analytical rigor with profound theoretical insight and yields important findings that will inform the literature on pluri-national states."
The Linz-Rokkan Prize was instituted by the Department of Political and Social Sciences in honour of two great postwar political sociologists, the late Stein Rokkan and the late Juan Linz.
The Prize is awarded annually for the best EUI thesis in a field of political sociology engaging with a theme in the broadly defined fields of work of Juan Linz and Stein Rokkan. It has been sponsored by Professor Richard Rose, one of the founding fathers of postwar political science in Europe.
Shpend Kursani's thesis is available in open access in the EUI's research repository Cadmus.