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Anna Berglund successfully defends her doctoral thesis

Anna Berglund vid disputation, foto: theo hagman rogowski

Anna Berglund at the Department of Sociology defended her doctoral thesis in social anthropology ”Ambiguous hopes: an ethnographic study of agricultural modernisation in a Rwandan village” on Friday 4th October.

For her PhD project, Anna Berglund spent 13 months in a Rwandan village studying the consequences of agricultural modernization policies. The Rwandan government has since 2006 tried to transform the agricultural sector into modern market-oriented farming, imposing single crop farming onto small-scale farms, causing poor yields and increased hunger. Anna Berglund's thesis examines the policies’ consequences for the famers, and tries to make sense of why no one is showing resistance to the unfavourable reforms. “… I have found that rather than evading or resisting state policies, villagers endeavoured to be included in the modernization plans. My argument is that the societal hierarchy, in combination with the prevailing norms to aspire not to be poor and to strive to develop, can help us to understand this ambition to be part of a project that made their lives miserable and even precarious,” she states in the thesis abstract.

Johan Pottier Pottier of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London
Professor Johan Pottier

Professor Steven Sampson opened the doctoral dissertation by explaining the anthropological concept of the novice having to go through a ritual of pain to enter the tribe. Chief Pain Inflictor and discussant for the occasion was Professor Johan Pottier of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, who expressed excitement about reading the thesis.

Members of the examination committee shared Professor Pottier’s sentiment and unanimously decided that the thesis should be “godkänd”.

Anna Berglund's profile in Lund University Research Portal

Dissertation details

Professor Johan Pottier,School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Main supervisor
Professor Steven Sampson, Division of Social Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Lund University

Lecturer Simon Turner, Saxo Institute, Copenhagen University

Examination committee
Associate Professor Ulf Johansson Dahre, Department of Sociology, Lund University
Associate Professor Camilla Orjuela, Center for Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
Associate Professor Eric Komlavi Hahonou, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University