Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 »

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 »

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 »

Prickly Pear Pamphlets

In 1993, in Cambridge, England, the anthropologists Anna Grimshaw and Keith Hart started a small press called Prickly Pear. Inspired by the eighteenth-century figure of the pamphleteer, their goal was nothing less than to revitalize a stagnant academy. Together, they published a series of ten pamphlets by a range of authors — young, old, unknown,… Read More »