Informality: problem or solution?

Presentation at the World Bank PSD Forum 2006, Washington DC, April 4-6 Bureaucratic form and informality Most people attending this Forum live substantially inside what we may call the formal economy. This is a world of salaries or fees paid on time, regular mortgage payments, clean credit ratings, fear of the tax authorities, regular meals,… Read More »

Varieties of community currency

LETS and ‘open money’ The late twentieth century saw a revival of self-organized credit money, paradoxically in the leading centres of western capitalism. LETS, meaning ‘Let’s do it’, but later elaborated as Local Exchange Trading Systems, began in British Columbia in 1982-83 at the initiative of Michael Linton. This was in response to a temporary… Read More »

Keith Hart Interview in Porto Alegre

Transcription of a video interview with Ruben Oliven and Arlei Damo held at UFRGS postgraduate programme in Social Anthropology, Porto Alegre, Brazil on 27 May 2011. To be published in Portuguese in Horizontes Antropologicos 45, January 2015. Q: This is an interview with Professor Keith Hart who has already been here several years ago. The… Read More »

Europe is the main and permanent loser in this world crisis

Europe is likely to be the main and permanent loser in the current world crisis. It is once again the focus of world attention; and its current plight has implications for all humanity. The European Union holds parliamentary elections later this month. These are generally considered to be much less important than national elections in… Read More »

Money and finance: For an anthropology of globalization

Keith Hart (London School of Economics and University of Pretoria) and Horacio Ortiz (Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Paris) There is much talk today of a financial and economic crisis comparable to the 1930s. With the threat of a currency war and the euro’s collapse looming, the specter of the Great Depression’s bloody aftermath has… Read More »

Why is anthropology not a public science?

Anthropologists have given up on speculating about the unity of humanity and simply chronicle the diversity (as Lévi-Strauss put it in his UNESCO paper on race). Everywhere we look these days, the question arises of why anthropology has so weak a public profile. This is my answer, some parts tongue in cheek, others less so.… Read More »

The anthropology of money and finance: references

References Abolafia, M., 1996, Making Markets. Opportunism and restraint on Wall Street, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Agar, J. 2004. Constant Touch: A global history of the mobile phone. London: Faber & Faber. Akin, D. and J. Robbins (eds) 1999. Money and Modernity: State and local currencies in Melanesia. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. Appadurai,… Read More »