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Department's top-performing postgraduates are honoured

The prizes for best postgraduate student and best dissertation in the Department of European and International Studies were shared this year.

university graduates
The department's top-performing MA graduates were honoured.

Nils Jäck and Elly Darkin were awarded the best overall MA dissertation prize and the best overall student prize among the graduating MA cohort of 2020. Both Nils and Elly received £100 for each prize in recognition of their efforts.

Professor Johnna Montgomerie, head of the Department of European and International Studies, said: “For Nils and Elly to win both prizes is an unusual occurrence, but speaks to their fantastic achievement during the course of their MA studies, which took place in such extraordinary circumstances. I know, I speak for all teaching staff in the department when I say what great accomplishment this is. I wish them both the very best for their futures.”

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Nils Jäck and Elly Darkin

Elly’s dissertation was entitled 'Climbing Global Value Chains: Industrial Upgrading in the Mexican Automotive Industry'. Since graduating from King’s, she has secured employment with Global Counsel, a public policy consultancy. You can read it here.

Elly said: “I was asked many questions about my dissertation during my interview for the role last summer. Being able to speak confidently about my research and having an area of expertise in global value chains helped me pass the interview and ultimately secure the perfect role. I'm very grateful to the academics at King's for helping me with the dissertation supervision and general academic study last year.”

Nils’s dissertation was entitled ‘Making news: Interest groups’ social media activities as a channel to the public discourse? A case study of the 2019 EU copyright directive’. You can read it here.

Nils said: “I am thrilled to receive both prizes together with Elly. The MA in international political economy was an enriching journey and I enjoyed being surrounded by so many inspiring people - and friends - from diverse backgrounds every day.

“I remember numerous exciting discussions that built on everyone’s different experiences and ideas. Even though the year took a different turn than expected in March 2020, I am very grateful to be part of this community. I hope to live up to King’s values in the future and connect people across borders, cultures and beliefs.”

Nils, who now works for the strategic communications consulting firm Finsbury Glover Hering in Berlin, also extended his thanks to Dr Karsten Kohler and Dr Roberto Roccu for their guidance in writing his dissertation.

Professor Montgomerie also paid tribute to the MA students who were among the top 10 per cent in the 2020 cohort. She said: “There was some truly outstanding work this year and many who achieved excellent grades. Our cohort was made up of more than 150 students so to be in the top 10 per cent of all students is worthy of note and congratulations.”

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Clockwise from top left: Anne-Sophie Werner, Sergio Mujica, Denis Anwar, Lucas Kantaris Diaz, and Jonathan Schmidt-Troschke.

Among those in the top 10 per cent was Denis Anwar (dissertation: ‘Does income inequality in the target state determine the effectiveness of economic sanctions?’). Denis is currently undertaking a traineeship in government affairs and geopolitics at Berlin Global Advisors in Berlin.
Denis said: “I will miss terribly the late 10am lecture on Mondays and the deserved two-hour coffee and lunch break that always happened afterwards.”

Anne-Sophie Werner’s dissertation was entitled ‘Racing for Supremacy? A quantitative analysis of the AI race narrative in international media coverage’. A delighted Anne-Sophie said: “My fondest memory of King’s was having lunch breaks with friends on the eighth floor of Bush House and eating this wonderful Donburi salad.”
Since graduating, Anne-Sophie took on a role as public health administration in her German hometown as a containment scout to support the fight against the pandemic.

Jonathan Schmidt-Troschke has started a blue book traineeship at the European Commission in Brussels in the directorate general for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union. His dissertation was entitled 'Emerging Market Development - Does Subordinate Financialization increase Income Inequality'.

Sergio Mujica is planning to pursue his studies further and is currently preparing an application for a doctoral programme. Sergio’s dissertation was entitled ‘Food Production Systems and Hunger in Latin America: The Case of Paraguay’.

Lucas Kantaris Diaz is now working as a research intern at the British and Colombian Chamber of Commerce. His dissertation was entitled 'Neoliberalism, Dispossession and Necropolitical Governmentality: The consolidation of extractivism in ‘post’-conflict Colombia.'

Lucas said: "I found the international political economy course to be extremely interesting, stimulating, and academically challenging. It gave me the opportunity to study a wide range of fascinating topics, from political economic theory, to the intricacies of global governance. I particularly enjoyed the freedom of the dissertation module, whereby I could dedicate my time to researching an area which I am passionate about."

Edward Worsdell titled his dissertation 'Mind the Global G.A.P: Investigating Epistemicide, Misrecognition, and (Neo)colonialism within Private Agrifood Standards’. Edwards is currently in the process of preparing an application for a PhD programme.

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Johnna Montgomerie

Johnna Montgomerie

Head of the Department of European & International Studies & Professor of International Political Economy