Navigating Austerity

Currents of Debt along a South Asian River

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Author: Laura Bear

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804795541

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 7920

Navigating Austerity addresses a key policy question of our era: what happens to society and the environment when austerity dominates political and economic life? To get to the heart of this issue, Laura Bear tells the stories of boatmen, shipyard workers, hydrographers, port bureaucrats and river pilots on the Hooghly River, a tributary of the Ganges that flows into the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Through their accounts, Bear traces the hidden currents of state debt crises and their often devastating effects. Taking the reader on a voyage along the river, Bear reveals how bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and workers navigate austerity policies. Their attempts to reverse the decline of ruined public infrastructures, environments and urban spaces lead Bear to argue for a radical rethinking of economics according to a social calculus. This is a critical measure derived from the ethical concerns of people affected by national policies. It places issues of redistribution and inequality at the fore of public and environmental plans. Concluding with proposals for restoring more just long term social obligations, Bear suggests new practices of state financing and ways to democratize fiscal policy. Her aim is to transform sovereign debt from a financial problem into a widely debated ethical and political issue. Navigating Austerity contributes to policy studies as well as to the understanding of today's global injustices. It also develops new theories about the significance of state debt, speculation and time for contemporary capitalism. Sited on a single body of water flowing with rhythms of circulation, renewal and transformation, this ambitious and accessible book will be of interest to specialists and general readers.

Post-Soviet Social

Neoliberalism, Social Modernity, Biopolitics

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Author: Stephen J. Collier

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400840427

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 6161

The Soviet Union created a unique form of urban modernity, developing institutions of social provisioning for hundreds of millions of people in small and medium-sized industrial cities spread across a vast territory. After the collapse of socialism these institutions were profoundly shaken--casualties, in the eyes of many observers, of market-oriented reforms associated with neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus. In Post-Soviet Social, Stephen Collier examines reform in Russia beyond the Washington Consensus. He turns attention from the noisy battles over stabilization and privatization during the 1990s to subsequent reforms that grapple with the mundane details of pipes, wires, bureaucratic routines, and budgetary formulas that made up the Soviet social state. Drawing on Michel Foucault's lectures from the late 1970s, Post-Soviet Social uses the Russian case to examine neoliberalism as a central form of political rationality in contemporary societies. The book's basic finding--that neoliberal reforms provide a justification for redistribution and social welfare, and may work to preserve the norms and forms of social modernity--lays the groundwork for a critical revision of conventional understandings of these topics.

The Mediterranean Incarnate

Region Formation between Sicily and Tunisia since World War II

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Author: Naor Ben-Yehoyada

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022645116X

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 7925

In The Mediterranean Incarnate, anthropologist Naor Ben-Yehoyada takes us aboard the Naumachos for a thirty-seven-day voyage in the fishing grounds between Sicily and Tunisia. He also takes us on a historical exploration of the past eighty years to show how the Mediterranean has reemerged as a modern transnational region. From Sicilian poaching in North African territory to the construction of the TransMediterranean gas pipeline, Ben-Yehoyada examines the transformation of political action, imaginaries, and relations in the central Mediterranean while detailing the remarkable bonds that have formed between the Sicilians and Tunisians who live on its waters. The book centers on the town of Mazara del Vallo, located on the southwestern tip of Sicily some ninety nautical miles northeast of the African shore. Ben-Yehoyada intertwines the town’s recent turbulent history—which has been fraught with conflicts over fishing rights, development projects, and how the Mediterranean should figure in Italian politics at large—with deep accounts of life aboard the Naumacho, linking ethnography with historical anthropology and political-economic analysis. Through this sophisticated approach, he crafts a new viewpoint on the historical processes of transnational region formation, one offered by these moving ships as they weave together new social and political constellations.

Stages of Capital

Law, Culture, and Market Governance in Late Colonial India

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Author: Ritu Birla

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 082239247X

Category: History

Page: 359

View: 1496

In Stages of Capital, Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India’s market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the “free” circulation of capital, including measures regulating companies, income tax, charitable gifting, and pension funds, and procedures distinguishing gambling from speculation and futures trading. Birla argues that this understudied legal infrastructure institutionalized a new object of sovereign management, the market, and along with it, a colonial concept of the public. In jurisprudence, case law, and statutes, colonial market governance enforced an abstract vision of modern society as a public of exchanging, contracting actors free from the anachronistic constraints of indigenous culture. Birla reveals how the categories of public and private infiltrated colonial commercial law, establishing distinct worlds for economic and cultural practice. This bifurcation was especially apparent in legal dilemmas concerning indigenous or “vernacular” capitalists, crucial engines of credit and production that operated through networks of extended kinship. Focusing on the story of the Marwaris, a powerful business group renowned as a key sector of India’s capitalist class, Birla demonstrates how colonial law governed vernacular capitalists as rarefied cultural actors, so rendering them illegitimate as economic agents. Birla’s innovative attention to the negotiations between vernacular and colonial systems of valuation illustrates how kinship-based commercial groups asserted their legitimacy by challenging and inhabiting the public/private mapping. Highlighting the cultural politics of market governance, Stages of Capital is an unprecedented history of colonial commercial law, its legal fictions, and the formation of the modern economic subject in India.

Mutual Life, Limited

Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason

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Author: Bill Maurer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400840717

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 4510

Why are people continually surprised to discover that money is "just" meaning? Mutual Life, Limited spends time among those who, in acknowledging the fictions of finance, are making money anew. It documents ongoing efforts to remake money and finance by Islamic bankers who seek to avoid interest and local currency proponents who would stand outside of national economies. It asks how alternative moneys both escape and reenact dominant forms of money and finance, and reflects critically on their broader implications for scholarship. Based on fieldwork among participants in a local currency system in Ithaca, New York, and among Islamic banking practitioners in the United States, Indonesia, and elsewhere, this book exploits the convergence between the reflexivity of monetary alternatives and social inquiry by questioning the equivalence between money and ethnography. Can money ever be adequate to the value backing it? Can social description ever be adequate to messy and contingent realities? Bill Maurer's ethnographic discovery is that ethnography as such--the holistic description of a way of life--cannot be sustained when faced with a set of practices that anticipates and incorporates it in advance. His fluently written book represents an unprecedented critique of social scientific approaches to money through an ethnographic description of specific monetary alternatives, while also speaking broadly to the very problem of anthropological knowledge in the twenty-first century.

Anthropology of Policy

Perspectives on Governance and Power

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Author: Cris Shore,Susan Wright

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134827024

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 3376

Arguing that policy has become an increasingly central concept and instrument in the organisation of contemporary societies and that it now impinges on all areas of life so that it is virtually impossible to ignore or escape its influence, this book argues that the study of policy leads straight into issues at the heart of anthropology.

Saigon's Edge

On the Margins of Ho Chi Minh City

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Author: Erik Harms

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 9780816656059

Category: Social Science

Page: 294

View: 4497

Exploring the places where the rural and urban intersect, where many of the world’s people live.

Social Collateral

Women and Microfinance in Paraguay’s Smuggling Economy

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Author: Caroline E. Schuster

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520287045

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 9601

"Microcredit is part of a global trend of financial inclusion that brings banking services, and especially small loans, to the world's poor. While credit for the poor has increasingly come under the rubric of commercial banking, Paraguayan solidarity lending offers a window into the tensions between social development and global finance. There, non-profit development programs offer group loans to women. These highly regulated loans are secured through mutual support and peer pressure--social collateral--rather than through physical collateral. To understand the broader issues of economic interdependency and its regulatory features, Social Collateral tracks collective debt across the commercial society and smuggling economies at the Paraguayan border. The story of social collateral cannot be told without an interwoven story about the feminization of solidarity lending. At its core is an economy of gender--from pink-collar financial work, to men's committees, to hard women smugglers. At stake are interdependencies that bind borrowers and lenders, financial technologies, and Paraguayan development in ways that structure both global inequality and opportunity"--Provided by publisher.

Money from Nothing

Indebtedness and Aspiration in South Africa

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Author: Deborah James

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804793158

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 9368

Money from Nothing explores the dynamics surrounding South Africa's national project of financial inclusion—dubbed "banking the unbanked"—which aimed to extend credit to black South Africans as a critical aspect of broad-based economic enfranchisement. Through rich and captivating accounts, Deborah James reveals the varied ways in which middle- and working-class South Africans' access to credit is intimately bound up with identity, status-making, and aspirations of upward mobility. She draws out the deeply precarious nature of both the aspirations and the economic relations of debt which sustain her subjects, revealing the shadowy side of indebtedness and its potential to produce new forms of oppression and disenfranchisement in place of older ones. Money from Nothing uniquely captures the lived experience of indebtedness for those many millions who attempt to improve their positions (or merely sustain existing livelihoods) in emerging economies.

Landscape of Discontent

Urban Sustainability in Immigrant Paris

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Author: Andrew Newman

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780816689637

Category: Architecture

Page: 296

View: 6754

On a rainy day in May 2007, the mayor of Paris inaugurated the Jardins d'Éole, a park whose completion was hailed internationally as an exemplar of sustainable urbanism. The park was the result of a hard-fought, decadelong protest movement in a low-income Maghrebi and African immigrant district starved for infrastructure, but the Mayor's vision of urban sustainability was met with jeers. Drawing extensively from immersive, firsthand ethnographic research with northeast Paris residents, as well as an analysis of green architecture and urban design, Andrew Newman argues that environmental politics must be separated from the construct of urban sustainability, which has been appropriated by forces of redevelopment and gentrification in Paris and beyond. France's turbulent political environment also provides Newman with powerful new insights into the ways in which multiethnic coalitions can emerge⎯even amid overt racism and Islamophobia⎯in the struggle for more just cities and more inclusive societies. A tale of multidimensional political efforts, Landscape of Discontent cuts through the rhetoric of green cities to reveal the promise that environmentalism holds for urban communities anywhere.

Paper Tiger

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Author: Nayanika Mathur

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107106974

Category: Law

Page: 300

View: 3447

A big cat overthrows the Indian state and establishes a reign of terror over the residents of a Himalayan town. A developmental legislation aimed at providing employment and commanding a huge budget becomes 'unimplementable' in a region bedeviled by high levels of poverty and unemployment. Paper Tiger provides a lively ethnographic account of how such seemingly bizarre scenarios come to be in present-day India. This book presents a unique explanation for why and how progressive laws in India can do what they do and not, ever so often, what they are supposed to do. On the basis of detailing the everyday bureaucratic life on India's Himalayan borderland, it proposes an ethnographically derived concept - paper tiger - as a modality for the study of the state. This accessible monograph shifts the very frames of thought through which we will henceforth understand the implementation of law and the workings of the developmental Indian state.

Two Lenins

A Brief Anthropology of Time

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Author: Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov

Publisher: Malinowski Monographs

ISBN: 9780997367539

Category: History

Page: 112

View: 3067

Highly innovative and theoretically incisive, Two Lenins is the first book-length anthropological examination of how social reality can be organized around different yet concurrent ideas of time. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov grounds his theoretical exploration in fascinating ethnographic and historical material on two Lenins: the first is the famed Soviet leader of the early twentieth century, and the second is a Siberian Evenki hunter--nicknamed "Lenin"--who experienced the collapse of the USSR during the 1990s. Through their intertwined stories, Ssorin-Chaikov unveils new dimensions of ethnographic reality by multiplying our notions of time. Ssorin-Chaikov examines Vladimir Lenin at the height of his reign in 1920s Soviet Russia, focusing especially on his relationship with American businessperson Armand Hammer. He casts this scene against the second Lenin--the hunter on the far end of the country, in Siberia, at the far end of the century, the 1990s, who is tasked with improvising postsocialism in the economic and political uncertainties of post-Soviet transition. Moving from Moscow to Siberia to New York, and traveling form the 1920s to the 1960s to the 1990's, Ssorin-Chaikov takes readers beyond a simple global history or cross-temporal comparison, instead using these two figures to enact an ethnographic study of the very category of time that we use to bridge different historical contexts.

Lines of the Nation

Indian Railway Workers, Bureaucracy, and the Intimate Historical Self

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Author: Laura Bear

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231140027

Category: History

Page: 346

View: 9477

Lines of the Nation radically recasts the history of the Indian railways, which have long been regarded as vectors of modernity and economic prosperity. From the design of carriages to the architecture of stations, employment hierarchies, and the construction of employee housing, Laura Bear explores the new public spaces and social relationships created by the railway bureaucracy. She then traces their influence on the formation of contemporary Indian nationalism, personal sentiments, and popular memory. Her probing study challenges entrenched beliefs concerning the institutions of modernity and capitalism by showing that these rework older idioms of social distinction and are legitimized by forms of intimate, affective politics. Drawing on historical and ethnographic research in the company town at Kharagpur and at the Eastern Railway headquarters in Kolkata (Calcutta), Bear focuses on how political and domestic practices among workers became entangled with the moralities and archival technologies of the railway bureaucracy and illuminates the impact of this history today. The bureaucracy has played a pivotal role in the creation of idioms of family history, kinship, and ethics, and its special categorization of Anglo-Indian workers still resonates. Anglo-Indians were formed as a separate railway caste by Raj-era racial employment and housing policies, and other railway workers continue to see them as remnants of the colonial past and as a polluting influence. The experiences of Anglo-Indians, who are at the core of the ethnography, reveal the consequences of attempts to make political communities legitimate in family lines and sentiments. Their situation also compels us to rethink the importance of documentary practices and nationalism to all family histories and senses of relatedness. This interdisciplinary anthropological history throws new light not only on the imperial and national past of South Asia but also on the moral life of present technologies and economic institutions.

RAND in Southeast Asia

A History of the Vietnam War Era

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Author: Mai Elliott

Publisher: Rand Corporation

ISBN: 0833049151

Category: History

Page: 694

View: 8829

This volume chronicles RAND's involvement in researching insurgency and counterinsurgency in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand during the Vietnam War era and assesses the effect that this research had on U.S. officials and policies. Elliott draws on interviews with former RAND staff and the many studies that RAND produced on these topics to provide a narrative that captures the tenor of the times and conveys the attitudes and thinking of those involved.

The Savage Mind

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Author: Claude Lvi-strauss

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226474847

Category: Philosophy

Page: 290

View: 8622

Discusses the significance of totemism among primitive peoples and its interpretation by anthropologists and philosophies

Give a Man a Fish

Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution

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Author: James Ferguson

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375524

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 7735

In Give a Man a Fish James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa, in which states make cash payments to their low income citizens. More than thirty percent of South Africa's population receive such payments, even as pundits elsewhere proclaim the neoliberal death of the welfare state. These programs' successes at reducing poverty under conditions of mass unemployment, Ferguson argues, provide an opportunity for rethinking contemporary capitalism and for developing new forms of political mobilization. Interested in an emerging "politics of distribution," Ferguson shows how new demands for direct income payments (including so-called "basic income") require us to reexamine the relation between production and distribution, and to ask new questions about markets, livelihoods, labor, and the future of progressive politics.

Land’s End

Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier

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Author: Tania Murray Li

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

ISBN: 9780822356943

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 6646

Drawing on two decades of ethnographic research in Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tania Murray Li offers an intimate account of the emergence of capitalist relations among indigenous highlanders who privatized their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao. Spurred by the hope of ending their poverty and isolation, some prospered, while others lost their land and struggled to sustain their families. Yet the winners and losers in this transition were not strangers—they were kin and neighbors. Li's richly peopled account takes the reader into the highlanders' world, exploring the dilemmas they faced as sharp inequalities emerged among them. The book challenges complacent, modernization narratives promoted by development agencies that assume inefficient farmers who lose out in the shift to high-value export crops can find jobs elsewhere. Decades of uneven and often jobless growth in Indonesia meant that for newly landless highlanders, land's end was a dead end. The book also has implications for social movement activists, who seldom attend to instances where enclosure is initiated by farmers rather than coerced by the state or agribusiness corporations. Li's attention to the historical, cultural, and ecological dimensions of this conjuncture demonstrates the power of the ethnographic method and its relevance to theory and practice today.

What's So Controversial about Genetically Modified Food?

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Author: John T. Lang

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780236689

Category: Science

Page: 184

View: 5379

The rampant use of genetically modified food incites fierce and seemingly intractable debates among environmental activists, scientists, government regulators, and representatives of the food and agriculture industries. While some portray GMOs as scientific progress, others frame them as a form of perverted science. But why, exactly, are they so controversial? This timely and balanced book explores the science—and myth—that surrounds genetically modified food in order to help us understand just what’s at stake. John T. Lang begins by grounding the debates in the biology and chemistry behind genetic modification. He then shows how food is deeply imbued with religious, social, cultural, and ethical meanings, which bring a variety of non-scientific issues to the forefront and make genetically modified food a proxy for larger debates regarding topics such as globalization and corporate greed. Centrally, he contends that the controversies surrounding the technology reflect ongoing tensions between social and political power, democratic practice, and corporate responsibility. As Lang illustrates, while modern, mechanized, and genetically enhanced production has given the consumer an unprecedented variety and quantity of food, it has also introduced new social and environmental vulnerabilities and uncertainties into the global food system. Bringing together science, politics, economics, and culture, this book offers a deeply informed look at an important aspect of modern agriculture. It will prove invaluable to anyone who shops at the grocery store, whether they like the benefits that genetic modification has to offer or fear that nature is something we should have left alone.

North Korea, South Korea

U.S. Policy at a Time of Crisis

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Author: John Feffer

Publisher: Seven Stories Press

ISBN: 9781583226032

Category: History

Page: 197

View: 7214

Short and accessible, North Korea, South Korea offers a comprehensive outline of the history and political complexities of the Korean peninsula, explaining in detail why the U.S. currently stands on the brink of nuclear war. Putting the current political tensions in context through an exploration of the history of American policy towards Korea as well as the conflict between the communist North and capitalist South, this book offers concrete proposals for U.S. policies that could help reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula and bring an end to the last cold war.

The Orderly Entrepreneur

Youth, Education, and Governance in Rwanda

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Author: Catherine A. Honeyman

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804799865

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 6102

The first generation of children born after Rwanda's 1994 genocide is just now reaching maturity, setting aside their school uniforms to take up adult roles in Rwandan society and the economy. At the same time, Rwanda's post-war government has begun to shrug off international aid as it pursues an increasingly independent path of business-friendly yet strongly state-regulated social and economic development. The Orderly Entrepreneur tells the story of a new Rwanda now at the vanguard among developing countries, emulating the policies of Singapore, Korea, and China, and devoutly committed to entrepreneurship as a beacon for 21st century economic growth. Drawing on ethnographic research with nearly 500 participants, The Orderly Entrepreneur investigates the impact and reception of the Rwandan government's multiyear entrepreneurship curriculum, first implemented in 2007 as required learning in all secondary schools. As Honeyman shows, "entrepreneurship" is more than a benign buzzword or hopeful panacea for economic development, but a complex ideal with unique meanings across Rwandan society. She reveals how curriculum developers, teachers, and students all brought their own interpretations and influence to the new entrepreneurship curriculum, exposing how even a carefully engineered project of social transformation can be full of indeterminacies and surprising twists every step of the way.