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Sabrina Maurus receives the Prize for Excellence in Applied Development Research of the KfW Development Bank


The KfW Development Bank awarded Sabrina Maurus the Prize for Excellence in Applied Development Research for her dissertation “Battles over State Making on a Frontier. Dilemmas of Schooling, Young People and Agro-Pastoralism in Hamar, Southwest Ethiopia”.

During the digital opening ceremony of the German Development Economics Conference (GDE) on June 17, 2021, the annual price was awarded to three dissertations that are outstanding in their contribution to scientific debates as well as to development practice. Sabrina Maurus received the second price for her dissertation that was graded with summa cum laude.  

In her dissertation, Maurus analyses a timely and ongoing conflict that receives little public attention: the conflict about the universal implementation of compulsory schooling.

From the perspective of young people, who are first generation students, the dissertation shows the dilemmas and violent conflicts, which the attempt to implement compulsory schooling in Hamar district in southwest Ethiopia created between government officials and agro-pastoralists. Based on anthropological fieldwork, Maurus conceptualizes dilemmas and reflects how international development goals stand in conflict with agro-pastoral livelihoods. This raises important questions for policy makers. The study is groundbreaking for thinking about the question of how under conditions of multiple livelihoods, the universal goal of schooling for all can be dealt with and how questions of education shape not only childhoods but also societies and politics.


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