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The Myth of Self-Reliance: Economic Lives inside a Liberian Refugee Camp by Dr Naohiko Omata has been chosen for the GDS Book 2018–2019 Honorable Mention Category by the GDS Book Award Committee.

The book challenges whether Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana deserves its reputation as a model of self-reliance, and sheds light on the considerable economic inequality that exists between refugee households. By following the same refugee households over several years, it also provides valuable insights into refugees’ experiences of repatriation to Liberia after protracted exile and their responses to the ending of refugee status for remaining refugees in Ghana.

The GDS Book Prize is awarded annually by the International Studies Association (ISA) Global Development Studies (GDS) section. Books should meet the goals of the section, including a scholarly concern “with development and global justice working across a number of fields, for example, postcolonial studies, development studies, critical political economy, critical security studies, social and political theory, history, sociology, gender studies, and public policy.” The Committee said they were very impressed with the book and the research that it represented. 

The Myth of Self-Reliance was also included in the final shortlist of three books for the Thinking Allowed/BSA Ethnography Award for 2018. The final three books were discussed on BBC Radio 4’s programme Thinking Allowed in April. Listen to the programme here: Ethnography Award Shortlist 2018

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