DPhil alum, Alexander Wentker, awarded two prizes for his thesis, "Party Status to Armed Conflict in International Law"

Alexander Wentker smiles as he walks through a crowd of people at a conference

Alexander Wentker, a recent Law DPhil graduate, has been awarded two prizes for his thesis, "Party Status to Armed Conflict in International Law”, which he defended in June 2022. 

The “Deutscher Studienpreis” (German Thesis Award) is awarded by the Körber Foundation, non-profit organisation which develops projects on social and political issues. This award is considered to be the most competitive thesis prize in Germany (with roughly 700 applications this year) and aims to select PhD theses with the greatest relevance to society. For his share of the award, Alexander received a prize worth 5000 Euros. Alexander was awarded second prize in the arts and humanities section.

In response to the news, Alexander said:


I am very honoured to receive the German Thesis Award and I am deeply grateful to my supervisors and everyone at Oxford, Heidelberg, and elsewhere who supported me during my work on the thesis. As today’s wars are increasingly characterised by complex patterns of co-operation, knowing who is ‘at war’ and what legal implications flow from this finding is both crucial and challenging. By developing a common analytical framework for identifying parties to an armed conflict, I hope that my thesis enhances our understanding of the architecture of the international legal regulation of armed conflict and how it can respond to the realities of contemporary armed conflicts.

Read Alexander's abstract of the competition entry on the Körber Foundation website.

The German Thesis Award is not the first prize Alexander has received for his thesis; in 2022, he was awarded the "Helmuth James von Moltke Prize" from the German Society for Military Law and Laws of War which was worth 2000 Euros.

Following the success of his DPhil in Law at Oxford, Alexander will begin a postdoc position at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg.