Centre news

Postdoctoral researcher Dr Silvia Steininger wins Werner Pünder Prize 2024

Her prize-winning PhD dissertation investigates how regional human rights courts respond in times of backlash.

Silvia Steininger, postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Fundamental Rights, has been awarded the prestigious Werner Pünder Prize for 2024. This honour, awarded annually by Goethe University Frankfurt, recognises the best thesis on the topic of freedom and authority in both historical and contemporary contexts.

Silvia’s dissertation, “Dynamics of Resilience: Regional Human Rights Regimes in Times of Backlash”, examines how regional human rights courts can maintain their integrity and effectiveness in the face of political and social challenges. Her work provides an important comparative analysis of the European and Inter-American human rights systems, offering insightful perspectives on institutional resilience. In exploring the dynamics of institutional change, Silvia's research serves to shed light on how regional legal bodies adapt and respond to instances of backlash. As such, her work stands as an important contribution to our collective understanding of the complex social and political dynamics that shape our global legal landscape.

The Werner Pünder Prize, named after the Berlin lawyer who actively challenged the National Socialist dictatorship in 1935, carries significant historical and moral weight, as it not only honours academic excellence but also commemorates a legacy of fighting for justice and resisting totalitarian regimes.