Ian Scoones wins Ester Boserup prize

Published on 25 April 2019

The 2019 Ester Boserup prize for research on development has been awarded to Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at IDS and co-director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) STEPS Centre.

The Ester Boserup prize is ‘awarded to a scholar whose research has improved and deepened our knowledge of development dynamics and economic history, of poverty and wealth, of marginalization and political participation, and of lawlessness and justice’.

The prize is named in honour of the Danish economist Ester Boserup whose seminal contributions to the understandings of societal change transcended both national and disciplinary borders.  She is perhaps most well-known for her theory of agricultural development, which she published in 1965 under the title ‘The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure‘. Another influential work by Boserup was her 1970 publication ‘Woman’s Role in Economic Development‘, an empirical analysis of the role of women in developmental processes in Africa and East Asia.

On hearing he had won the prize Professor Scoones said:

“‘I am delighted to have been awarded the 2019 Ester Boserup prize, and look forward to giving the lecture in Copenhagen in June reflecting on the implications for development of taking uncertainty seriously”.

Previous prize recipients include Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille), Susan ‘Whyte (University of Copenhagen), James Scott (Yale), Nandini Sundar (Delhi University), Timothy Mitchell (Princeton) and Oriana Bandiera (London School of Economics).

The prize for research on development is awarded by the Copenhagen Centre for Development Research.

As part of the award Professor Scoones will deliver a lecture in Copenhagen on 14 June titled ‘Why embracing uncertainty means rethinking development’. The lecture will draw on the European Research Council funded project, PASTRES (Pastoralism, Uncertainty, Resilience: Global Lessons from the margins) and will link to the ESRC STEPS Centre’s uncertainty theme for 2019.


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