Philipp Lottholz (centre-left) with co-awardee David Scheuing and jury members Dr Simone Wisotzky (right) and Dr Claudia Brunner (left). Photo by Elke Schneider

Philipp Lottholz has been awarded the Christiane Rajewsky Prize for young scholars by the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies for his PhD thesis on ‘post-liberal statebuilding in Central Asia’.

Philipp Lottholz, a PhD student at IDD, has been awarded the Christiane Rajewsky Prize at this year’s Annual Conference of the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies (AFK e.V.). The Prize, which was awarded for the 25th time this year, seeks to acknowledge outstanding contributions to peace and conflict studies made by young scholars. It is named after Christiane Rajewsky, who was a Professor of Political Science at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany, a founding member of the Association for Peace and Conflict Studies and is seen as one of the most significant peace and conflict scholars in Germany. The prize is aimed at honouring works of young scholars who have produced critical and daring works with interdisciplinary and theoretically or methodologically innovative approaches or who investigate topics such as social justice, moral courage or pacifism.

At the 50th Annual Conference and Founding Anniversary of the German Association for Peace and Conflict, Philipp was awarded this Prize together with David Alexander Scheuing from the University of Marburg. The Prize acknowledges the theoretical and empirical contributions of Philipp’s PhD thesis under the title “Post-liberal statebuilding in Central Asia: A decolonial perspective on community security practices and imaginaries of social order in Kyrgyzstan”, which he successfully defended in February. In her laudatory speech, the prize jury chairwoman, Dr Simone Wisotzky, pointed out the main strengths of this work: first, the ‘undogmatic’ and constructive way in which existing critiques of Western-dominated state- and peacebuilding interventions are examined; second, the combination of a cultural studies perspective with the political sociological approach of the research; and third, the decolonial perspective which helps to show how peacebuilding and security practices help reproduce national and international relations of dependency and thus successfully integrates practical and theoretical insights.

In his acceptance speech, Philipp thanked the International Development Department and School of Government and Society, alongside other funders and partners, for their support for the research project. Besides his partner, family and friends, he is also very grateful to his supervisors Dr Nicolas Lemay-Hébert and Prof Heather Marquette and to his inspiring colleagues at the School. Most of Philipp’s research, including parts of his PhD research, is available on

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