School of Social and Political Science

SPS teaching fellow wins prestigious award from Political Studies Association for best dissertation



Dr Leah McCabe


A teaching fellow in Politics and International Relations (PIR) at the School of Social and Political Science has won a prize for the year’s best dissertation on inequality and social justice.

Congratulations to Dr Leah McCabe in PIR, who won the 2022 Elizabeth Wiskemann Prize from the Political Studies Association (PSA) for her dissertation exploring the ‘dynamics of power and inclusion’ surrounding social inequality.

The prize was created in honour of Elizabeth Wiskemann, a former professor in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh and its first woman professor, holding the Montague Burton Chair of International Relations from 1958 to 1961. She was also a journalist and war hero.

The competition recognises and encourages research in the subject areas of ‘social inequality and their intersection, and strategies for addressing these inequalities and promoting social justice.’The judges of the competition said Leah’s dissertation, Change, Continuity, and Contestations: Framing Domestic Abuse Policy in Scotland since 1998, ‘meticulously examines dynamics of power and inclusion’ and that: ‘The jury would also like to give the author credit for literary merit. The dissertation is well-structured and highly engaging.’

Leah said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have won such a prestigious award, especially one that is named after the first woman Politics and IR professors in the UK – and here at Edinburgh, no less! I’m thankful to my wonderful PhD supervisor, Dr Meryl Kenny, for nominating my thesis and for her continued and invaluable support (alongside Dr Claire Houghton). I am planning on publishing from my thesis shortly so for those interested in gender politics, policy and intersectionality: keep your eyes peeled!”