Research Prize for Dilek Kurban

Dilek Kurban has been awarded one of the five Research Prizes from the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation for her PhD dissertation titled ‘The Limits of Transnational Justice: The European Court of Human Rights, Turkey and the Kurdish Conflict’. Dilek earned his doctorate from the Faculty of Law on 23 February 2018. The prize comes with a €3,000 grant and a certificate.

Since 1988, the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has awarded up to five Research Prizes each year to young researchers in the humanities and social sciences who have defended PhD dissertations of particularly high quality at a Dutch university. The relevant faculties nominate candidates.

Dilek Kurban’s dissertation explores the effects of the European Court of Human Rights’ interventions on the rights of Kurds in Turkey since the 1990s. The dissertation shows that under certain conditions, a transnational human rights court can positively promote democratic reforms, but also that such reforms can be undermined when there is no governmental will to enhance its reputation abroad. It challenges prevailing views about the need to leave to the national authorities the primary role in protecting human rights; this can completely undermine rights protection in a semi-authoritarian state like Turkey.


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