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 »

Prospects for the anthropology of money and finance

What directions might the anthropology of money and finance take in future? Anthropologists have only just begun to address monetary relations as a global phenomenon. This means that fieldwork-based ethnography must be integrated with the study of world society and history. There are precedents for this, in addition to the legacy of classical founders like… Read More »

Contemporary research on the anthropology of money and finance

Since the 1980s, anthropologists have once more begun to investigate the specific roles that money can play in different social settings. Research on the everyday uses of money in traditional “exotic” fields, but also at “home”, has vividly exposed the limitations of mainstream economics’ theoretical models. Yet, although these studies usually represent their efforts as… Read More »

Money and finance: anthropology’s classical legacy

Sociology and anthropology emerged as modern academic disciplines as part of the attempt to grasp how industrialization was changing the place of Europe and North America in world history.  Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and George Simmel are the classical sources for this enterprise; but we have chosen to highlight the contribution of Durkheim’s… Read More »

West African political economy: a regional history

The origins of West African political economy In the course of the twentieth century West Africa went through a revolution consisting of an explosion in population, the rise of huge cities and the political division of the region into nominally independent states. While becoming more closely integrated into the world economy than ever before, the… Read More »

Category: APE

The human economy: a strategy in the struggle for happiness

An earlier essay, ‘Manifesto for a human economy‘, deals explicitly with the object, theory and methods of a human economy approach. Here I examine some of the precedents for such an approach in the history of modern revolutions. ‘Human economy’ is one way of taking forward the great conversation about making a better world. Here… Read More »