25 July 2019

Alumna Receives SNIS Award for Best Thesis in International Relations

Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg received the CHF 10,000 award ex-aequo for her thesis on “Collective Non-State Entities in International Law”. Presented by the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), the prize is granted to the best PhD thesis received in a Swiss University on a subject related to International Studies. 

“I was fortunate enough to stumble across a topic that speaks to many contemporary social and governance problems involving entities such as corporations and armed groups", said Ms Polackova Van der Ploeg. "The topic also testifies to the major changes currently ongoing in international law as a legal system, with international law directly regulating - in a legally binding manner - not only states, international organisations and to some extent individuals, but also collective non-state entities. I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor Andrea Bianchi, and my second reader, Professor Andrew Clapham, for their support throughout the project".

I am very grateful to the SNIS for its recognition of my work.

“The intuition at the basis of the work is very interesting, as it causes one to re-consider the widely shared belief that collective non-state entities have no place in the formal setting of contemporary international law”, said Andrea Bianchi, Professor of International Law. “In her insightful study, Dr Polackova Van der Ploeg draws from the practice of several areas of international law to show how collective non-state entities are, in certain circumstances, already regulated by and are part of binding international law.”

Ms Polackova Van der Ploeg earned her PhD in International Law from the Graduate Institute in International Law. She is currently Assistant Professor in Law at the University of Nottingham Law School, where she continues to explore the subject of collective non-state entities in contemporary international law.