Shortlist and Winner Dissertation in the Social Sciences - IBP2019

Do Young Oh, From a Colonial Institution to a Neoliberal Real Estate Developer: Comparative Analysis of Universities in the Urban Process in East Asia. (London School of Economics)
Do Young Oh’s From a Colonial Institution to a Neoliberal Real Estate Developer represents a critical and innovative approach to the role of East Asian universities in the evolving urbanisation processes of neoliberal globalisation. This study is important to anyone concerned with wider questions of the role and status of universities and the education system.

Melissa Johnston, The Political Economy of Gender Interventions: Social Forces, Kinship, Violence, and Finance in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste. (Murdoch University)
Melissa Johnston’s The Political Economy of Gender Interventions is a well-defined and deeply reflective thesis using structural feminist political economy to argue that gender interventions in the peace-building processes of post-conflict Timor-Leste perpetuate and reproduce elite and masculine domination. It offers a convincing argument against a ‘local turn’ in development and peace-building studies.

Simon Christian Rowedder, The Art of Being Small: Exploring the Trans-national World of Lao Small-Scale Traders in the Yunnan-Laos-Thailand Borderland. (National University of Singapore)
Simon Rowedder's The Art of Being Small is a model anthropological dissertation, which examines daily cross-border trade dynamics in a tri-national borderland economy, bringing out the key role of small-scale Lao traders as enablers of multidimensional transnational social spaces and drawing attention to the importance of such fieldwork based investigations.

Yimin Zhao, The Hegemony of Urbanisation: Questioning the Production of Space by the State in Beijing’s Green Belts. (London School of Economics)
Yimin Zhao’s The Hegemony of Urbanisation argues that China’s land business is a project aimed at upholding the Party’s legitimacy and capital accumulation. Vigorously exploring the issues of modernity, ecology, urbanisation, governmental techniques and political potential of urban citizens, Zhao gives a compelling picture of contemporary urbanisation and its discontents.

 

WINNER of the IBP 2019 – Dissertations – Social Sciences

Aleksandra (Leksa) Lee, Modeling China: Business, Politics, and Material in China's Museum Industry. (University of California, Irvine)
Aleksandra Lee’s Modeling China is a well-researched and well written dissertation, properly informed by theoretical considerations, which raises questions about the nature and definition of the capitalist system itself. It explores material authenticity and specificities of late capitalism through analysis of the complex networks in which new museums are embedded, demonstrating how displays of Chinese history and culture are constructed as part of nationalist discourse.

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