Award of the Ester Boserup Prizes
The Ester Boserup Prize 2017 goes to Timothy Mitchell, Columbia University, New York.
Professor Timothy Mitchell is a political theorist who studies the political economy of the Middle East, the political role of economics and other forms of expert knowledge, the politics of large-scale technical systems, and the place of colonialism in the making of modernity. Mitchell has made original contributions to our understanding of the formation of states during and after colonisation. He shows how the roots of colonial modernity are as much internal as external, and that power operates through representation and culture as well as brute force. Mitchell is the author of three path-breaking books: Colonising Egypt (1991) is a study of the emergence of the modern state in the colonial period and an exploration of the forms of reason, power and knowledge that define the experience of modernity. Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (2002) examines the creation of economic knowledge and the making of ’the economy’ and ’the market’ as objects of twentieth-century politics, the role of expert knowledge in the formation of the contemporary state, and the relationship between law, private property, and violence in this process. His recent Carbon Democracy (2011) examines the history of fossil fuels and the possibilities for democratic politics that were expanded or closed down in the construction of modern energy networks. These books, together with his highly influential article, ‘The limits of the state: Beyond statist approaches and their critics.’ American Political Science Review (1991), and his edited volume Questions of Modernity (2000) have influenced fields as diverse as anthropology, history, law, philosophy, cultural studies, and art history. By exploring the origins and limits of many of the key ideas of modernity, Mitchell contributes to the decolonization of political thought.
The Ester Boserup Thesis Prize
The Ester Boserup Thesis Prize will be awarded to Emilija Zabiliūtė for her PhD dissertation Living with Others: Subjectivity, Relatedness and Health among Urban Poor in Delhi.
The assessment committee praised the thesis saying ’it excels in presenting a rich ethnography and in the sensitivity and empathy with which the everyday lives of the poor are analysed and portrayed. The study draws on a long-term fieldwork among urban poor, informal biomedical practitioners, and at a governmental health clinic, run under a developmental programme in the poor urban area. This innovative inquiry underscores how healing, care and developmental interventions are interlinked with everyday relations in the families and community. The study rethinks precarity among poor embedded in political economies, and shows how vulnerabilities among the poor are relational. By considering the diversity of medical care available to the poor, the study also shows how their access to health is less a question of lack, and more of quality, coherence and navigation of complex healthcare ecologies.
In connection with the ceremony, Timothy Mitchell and Emilija Zabiliūtė will give public lectures on 9 June 2017 at 14.00 in Festauditoriet, Bülowsvej 17, 1870 Frederiksberg C.
The event is public.
The Ester Boserup Prize for Research on Development and the Ester Boserup Thesis Prize are awarded by the Copenhagen Centre for Development Research (CCDR).
For more information, see ccdr.ku.dk