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Research Assistant Dr. Matej Babšek is the recipient of the 2024 NISPAcee Mzia Mikeladze Award, which he received at the recent NISPAcee Annual Conference held in Tbilisi, Georgia, from 23 to 25 May 2024.

"The Mzia Mikeladze Prize recognises the international impact of my research work and motivates and inspires me for future outstanding scientific achievements. The award also confirms the comparability of the quality of the PhD programme at the Faculty of Public Administration, University of Ljubljana with similar programmes in the wider European area," said Dr. Babšek after receiving the award.

He received the award for his doctoral dissertation entitled Evaluation of the Social Work Centres' Reorganisation in the Republic of Slovenia from the Perspective of Selected Public Governance Models (supervised by Prof. Dr. Polonca Kovač, co-supervised by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nina Tomaževič), which he defended in June 2023. He presented the key findings of his research at the NISPAcee conference, and also spoke about his work last year in the Vroči mikrofon show on Val 202 radio station.

Award confirms the quality of doctoral studies at the Faculty of Public Administration

The Mzia Mikeladze PhD Thesis Award aims to promote work by young scholars on public administration and public policy, and to acknowledge outstanding research and a significant contribution in this field. Thus, the award is a recognition for the joint Doctoral Study Programme Governance and Economics in the Public Sector, which is run by the Faculty of Public Administration, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Croatia.

"Dr Babšek's work is superlative in several respects, primarily in terms of its synergistic multidisciplinary, i.e. primarily legal, but also organisational, macroeconomic and sociological treatment of the subject, both in terms of content and methodology (for example, through the combined use of normative, comparative and sociological methods, statistical analysis, surveys and interviews, focus groups, axiological and ontological methods). The topic of the evaluation of the reorganisation of social work centres was examined in a holistic way, and critical proposals for improvement were argued, making it a model for similar social science studies," the supervisor Prof. Dr. Polonca Kovač explained the contribution of the award-winning PhD thesis to the development of (administrative) science.