The Struggling State, published in February 2016, analyzes the controversial system of “national service,” which resulted in forced, indefinite militarization of Eritrean citizens, many of whom have not been released from service in nearly two decades.
"It's really nice to see one's hard work receive acknowledgment," said Dr. Riggan. "Often work on a small country, which is seldom in the news like Eritrea, doesn't get much recognition. I'm particularly pleased to receive an honorable mention for the Jackie Kirk award because Jackie Kirk's work was particularly focused on teachers, education in conflict, and post-conflict and education among refugees– all things which I care a great deal about."
The Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award recognizes literature that focuses on education in fragile states or nations in conflict. In The Struggling State, Dr. Riggan identifies the impact national service has had on Eritrea’s education system, especially after a 2003 law required students to complete secondary school in a military facility.