On 16 December 2021, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau presented the prizes in the competitions for the best Master’s thesis on contemporary international relations. This year’s 33rd edition of the competition received 39 entries, of which seven were honoured with awards. Two of them went to Jagiellonian University students, Krzysztof Kowalski and Szymon Kucharski.
The annual competition under the patronage of the Minister of Foreign Affairs was first organised in December 1989. Its purpose is to attract academic attention to modern-day international relations, in particular Poland’s foreign policy.
According to a statement by the Ministry, the first prize was not awarded in this year’s edition. Instead, a joint second prize was presented to Kamil Kwiatkowski from the Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Armed conflict in the territory of eastern Ukraine in the light of international law) and to Krzysztof Kowalski from the Faculty of International and Political Studies at the Jagiellonian University (Sanctions in the US and the EU policy responses to the Ukrainian crisis in 2014–2020), whose thesis has been written under the supervision of Prof. Krzysztof Szczerski.
Krzysztof Kowalski’s MA thesis is devoted to the place, role and impact of US and EU sanctions regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Its aim was to identify the differences between the sanctions introduced by both actors as well as assessment of their effectiveness when compared to other international political tools. In the author’s view, these differences stem mostly from the dissimilarities in the political systems of the US and EU, different perceptions of the global public opinion and the role of sanctions as deterrents in international conflicts as well as their own security strategies. Both the US and EU have imposed sanctions upon political actors affiliated with Russia, but their scope and impact are not similar. The EU still has means to escalate the situation further in order to put more pressure on Moscow, and has potentially more severe, in particular when it comes to the economy.
Additionally, an honorary distinction was awarded to Szymon Kucharski from the JU Faculty of Law and Administration for his MA thesis entitled A study on the views adopted by the UN Human Rights Committee, No. 2728/2016, in Teitiota v. New Zealand, written under the supervision of Dr hab. Michał Kowalski, Prof. UJ. The case discussed in the thesis involved granting international protection to climate migrants coming from small island states. These states are currently threatened by the rising sea level caused by manmade climate change. The UN Committee did not agree that expelling a person to such an island infringes upon a person’s right to live. The main aim of the thesis was to investigate the legal aspects of the case that were not considered by the Committee, even though there might have been some reasons to do otherwise.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs