On the Call for the Walter-Markov-Prize 2019/2020, ENIUGH received 19 complete applications of which 18 were PhD dissertations and one was a MA thesis. These submitted works had been written and defended at institutions in eight European countries as well as at universities located in the United States. Based on the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Committee (Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Katja Castryck-Naumann, Matthias Middell, and Corinna Unger), the ENIUGH Steering Committee decided to award the prize to

Eric Burton (University of Vienna / now University of Innsbruck) for his PhD dissertation on “Tanzania’s ‘African Socialism’ and the Development Politics of the two German States: Actors, Relations and Agency, 1961-1990“ (Original title: Tansanias ‘Afrikanischer Sozialismus’ und die Entwicklungspolitik der beiden deutschen Staaten: Akteure, Beziehungen und Handlungsspielräume, 1961-1990).

Moreover, the Steering Committee decided to honour the following three works with an ‘honorary distinction’:

  1. John L. Hennessey (Linnaeus University/ now Uppsala University): Rule by Association: Japan in the Global Trans-Imperial Culture, 1868-1912
  2. Mariusz Lukasiewicz (Graduate Institute Geneva /now Leipzig University): Gold, Finance and Speculation: The making of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, 1887-1899
  3. Theo Paul Williams (University of London, King’s College): ‘Each Movement Will Neglect the Other at Its Peril’: The International African Service Bureau and British Socialism, 1929-1947.

While these three honoured works will be presented thoroughly in the e-journal Connections early next year, the following will illuminate the awardee’s work and its outstanding relevance for the Markov-Prize:

Contributing to the global history of development, Burton’s thesis investigates development as a field of agency through a focus on entanglements between socialist Tanzania and the two German states between 1961 and 1990. The entanglements between ‘South,’ ‘East,’ and ‘West’ are uncovered through an analysis of the trajectories and strategies of concrete actors (university students, academics, development workers and their national counterparts) in different arenas (economic planning, the University of Dar es Salaam, and a rural development programme). On the basis of multi-archival research and over one hundred oral history interviews, these arenas are shown through different, often competing, perspectives.

From the outset, and against the proclaimed intentions of ‘self-reliance,’ Tanzania’s development efforts in the period of ‘African Socialism’, or ujamaa, heavily relied on strategies of extraversion – the mobilization of resources from external sources. Tanzanian actors often successfully initiated resource transfers under the label of development in order to consolidate their position and ensure administrative functionality; at the same time, actors from the two German states also used development aid’ and ‘solidarity’ or ‘socialist aid’ to pursue political, economic and social interests which were often at odds with official motives. In all arenas, and across different groups of actors, long-term and often genuinely global visions of societal transformation in the 1960s and early 1970s gradually gave way to short-term strategies to mitigate the economic crisis in Tanzania in the 1980s.

On the basis of written reviews and a joint discussion of the submissions, the Selection Committee ultimately decided to award the prize to Eric Burton for three reasons. First, Burton comes up with the innovative conclusion that the golden rule of the relations between development workers and their national counterparts was to find a modus vivendi in between all the contradictions. His argument contrasts sharply those of other scholars in the field that suggest that the inherent contractions of ‘aid to self-directed development’ inevitably led to phenomena of exclusion, force and violence. Second, Burton brilliantly masters to put practices to the fore while linking them to structural conditions, such as national development policies, the Cold War and asymmetrical power relations. Third, the Selection Committee was impressed by the empirical density and analytical strength of the social history of development aid that Burton had written.

Due to the postponement of the VI ENIUGH Congress originally to be held in Turku in 2020, the Markov-Prize 2019/2020 was presented during the public online webinar on June 26 2020. You can find the laudatory speech for Eric Burton held by Katja Castryck-Naumann (GWZO, Leipzig), President of ENIUGH, here.

ENIUGH congratulates Eric Burton for his excellent study and looks forward to the publication of his thesis which is announced for spring next year. Published by deGruyter Oldenbourg (‚Studien zur internationalen Geschichte‘ series), the title will be: “In Diensten des Afrikanischen Sozialismus: Tansania und die Globale Entwicklungsarbeit der beiden Deutschen Staaten, 1961-1990”.

Last but not least, ENIUGH would like to take the opportunity to announce that the Call for Applications for the Walter-Markov-Prize 2021 will open soon with a deadline in spring 2021 and the awarding ceremony at the postponed congress which will take place in June 2021. Details will follow soon!

(Photos depicted above: Courtesy of Eric Burton)