What happens when the market tries to help the poor? In many parts of the world today, neoliberal development programs are offering ordinary people the tools of free enterprise as the means to well-being and empowerment. Schemes to transform the poor into small-scale entrepreneurs promise them the benefits of the market and access to the rewards of globalization. Markets of Dispossession is a theoretically sophisticated and sobering account of the consequences of these initiatives. Julia Elyachar studied the efforts of bankers, social scientists, ngo members, development workers, and state officials to turn the craftsmen and unemployed youth of Cairo into the vanguard of a new market society based on microenterprise. She considers these efforts in relation to the alternative notions of economic success held by craftsmen in Cairo, in which short-term financial profit is not always highly valued. Through her careful ethnography of workshop life, Elyachar explains how the traditional market practices of craftsmen are among the most vibrant modes of market life in Egypt. Long condemned as backward, these existing market practices have been seized on by social scientists and development institutions as the raw materials for experiments in “free market” expansion. Elyachar argues that the new economic value accorded to the cultural resources and social networks of the poor has fueled a broader process leading to their economic, social, and cultural dispossession.
What is the relationship between trafficking and free trade? Is trafficking the perfection or the perversion of free trade? Trafficking occurs thousands of times each day at borders throughout the world, yet we have come to perceive it as something quite extraordinary. How did this happen, and what role does trafficking play in capitalism? To answer these questions, Johan Mathew traces the hidden networks that operated across the Arabian Sea in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Following the entangled history of trafficking and capitalism, he explores how the Arabian Sea reveals the gaps that haunt political borders and undermine economic models. Ultimately, he shows how capitalism was forged at the margins of the free market, where governments intervened, and traffickers turned a profit.
Under the guise of 'development', a globalizing capitalism has continued to cause poverty through dispossession and the exploitation of labour across the Global South. This process has been met with varied forms of rural resistance by local movements of displaced farm workers, small and landless (women) peasants, and indigenous peoples in South and East Asia, the Pacific and Africa, who are resisting the forced appropriation of their land, the exploitation of labour and the destruction of their ecosystems and ways of life. In this provocative new collection, engaged scholars and activists combine grounded case studies with both Marxist and anti-colonial analyses, suggesting that the developmental project is a continuation of the colonial project. The authors then demonstrate the ways in which these local struggles have attempted to resist colonization and dispossession in the rural belt, thereby contributing essential movement-relevant knowledge on these experiences in the Global South. A vital addition to the fields of critical development studies, political-sociology, agrarian studies and the anthropology of resistance, this book addresses academics and analysts who have either minimized or overlooked local resistances to colonial capital, especially in the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions.
Exploring the emerging and vibrant field of critical agrarian studies, this comprehensive Handbook offers interdisciplinary insights from both leading scholars and activists to understand agrarian life, livelihoods, formations and processes of change. It highlights the development of the field, which is characterized by theoretical and methodological pluralism and innovation.
Despite rich archives of work on race and the global economy, most notably by scholars of colour and Global South intellectuals, the discipline of Political Economy has largely avoided an honest confrontation with how race works within the domains it studies, not least within markets. By way of corrective, this book draws together scholarship on the material function of race at various scales in the global political economy. The collective provocation of the contributors to this volume is that race has been integral to the formation of capitalism – as extensively laid out by the racial capitalism literature – and takes on new forms in the novel market spaces of neoliberalism. The chapters within this volume also reinforce that the current political conjuncture, marked by the ascension of neo-fascist power, cannot be defined by an exceptional intrusion of racism, nor can its racism be dismissed as epiphenomenal. Raced Markets will be of great value to scholars, students, and researchers interested in political economy and racial capitalism as well as those willing to explore how race takes on new forms in the novel market spaces of contemporary neoliberalism. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the New Political Economy.
In this unprecedented account of the dynamics of Nigeria's pharmaceutical markets, Kristin Peterson connects multinational drug company policies, oil concerns, Nigerian political and economic transitions, the circulation of pharmaceuticals in the Global South, Wall Street machinations, and the needs and aspirations of individual Nigerians. Studying the pharmaceutical market in Lagos, Nigeria, she places local market social norms and credit and pricing practices in the broader context of regional, transnational, and global financial capital. Peterson explains how a significant and formerly profitable African pharmaceutical market collapsed in the face of U.S. monetary policies and neoliberal economic reforms, and she illuminates the relation between that collapse and the American turn to speculative capital during the 1980s. In the process, she reveals the mutual constitution of financial speculation in the drug industry and the structural adjustment plans that the IMF imposed on African nations. Her book is a sobering ethnographic analysis of the effects of speculation and "development" as they reverberate across markets and continents, and play out in everyday interpersonal transactions of the Lagos pharmaceutical market.
As urbanization progresses at a remarkable pace, policy makers and analysts come to understand and agree on key features that will make this process more efficient and inclusive, leading to gains in the welfare of citizens. Drawing on insights from economic geography and two centuries of experience in developed countries, the World Bank’s World Development Report 2009: Reshaping Economic Geography emphasizes key aspects that are fundamental to ensuring an efficient rural-urban transformation. Critical among these are land, as the most important resource, and well-functioning land markets. Regardless of the stage of urbanization, flexible and forward-looking institu- ons that help the efficient functioning of land markets are the bedrock of succe- ful urbanization strategies. In particular, institutional arrangements for allocating land rights and for managing and regulating land use have significant implica- ons for how cities deliver agglomeration economies and improve the welfare of their residents. Property rights, well-functioning land markets, and the management and servicing of land required to accommodate urban expansion and provide trunk infrastructure are all topics that arise as regions progress from incipient urbani- tion to medium and high density.
Market Justice explores the challenges for the new global left as it seeks to construct alternative means of societal organization. Focusing on Bolivia, Brent Z. Kaup examines a testing ground of neoliberal and counter-neoliberal policies and an exemplar of bottom-up globalization. Kaup argues that radical shifts towards and away from free market economic trajectories are not merely shaped by battles between transnational actors and local populations, but also by conflicts between competing domestic elites and the ability of the oppressed to overcome traditional class divides. Further, the author asserts that struggles against free markets are not evidence of opposition to globalization or transnational corporations. They should instead be understood as struggles over the forms of global integration and who benefits from them.
Around the globe, economists affect markets by saying what markets are doing, what they should do, and what they will do. Increasingly, experimental economists are even designing real-world markets. But, despite these facts, economists are still largely thought of as scientists who merely observe markets from the outside, like astronomers look at the stars. Do Economists Make Markets? boldly challenges this view. It is the first book dedicated to the controversial question of whether economics is performative--of whether, in some cases, economics actually produces the phenomena it analyzes. The book's case studies--including financial derivatives markets, telecommunications-frequency auctions, and individual transferable quotas in fisheries--give substance to the notion of the performativity of economics in an accessible, nontechnical way. Some chapters defend the notion; others attack it vigorously. The book ends with an extended chapter in which Michel Callon, the idea's main formulator, reflects upon the debate and asks what it means to say economics is performative. The book's insights and strong claims about the ways economics is entangled with the markets it studies should interest--and provoke--economic sociologists, economists, and other social scientists. In addition to the editors and Callon, the contributors include Marie-France Garcia-Parpet, Francesco Guala, Emmanuel Didier, Philip Mirowski, Edward Nik-Khah, Petter Holm, Vincent-Antonin Lépinay, and Timothy Mitchell.
This thought-provoking book analyses the process of labour commodification, through which the individual’s ability to earn a basic living becomes dependent on the conditions of the market relationship. Building on the premise that the separation of a group of individuals from the means of production is an intrinsic element of capitalism, Fausto Corvino theorises that this implies a form of domination in a neo-republican sense.