On private property and the commons

Ryan Anderson: Earlier you referred to OA as “a strategy of resistance to privatization of the commons”. Can you elaborate on that point? Keith Hart: I meant that private property is still the great unresolved contradiction of modern society, not least because its ubiquity often makes society invisible. For Rousseau, the invention of private property […] →Read more

The limits of naivety for the study of money

What would happen if anthropologists, for some limited purposes, abolished the division between academic writing and journalism that Mauss himself observed and that has prevented us from grasping how they fed into each other at a key moment in his life? The dominant presence before the war of his uncle, Émile Durkheim, obviously contributed to […] →Read more

The 2015 British election and the UK’s creeping constitutional crisis

In the late 90s I met the US ambassador in Paris. He asked what Tony Blair was going to do with the pound/euro issue. I said the question should rather be which of Blair’s subjects he could bring along to take part in any currency deal. By that I meant that the United Kingdom, formed […] →Read more

Human Economy postdoctoral fellowships and doctoral scholarships

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA THE HUMAN ECONOMY RESEARCH PROGRAMME POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS – CALL FOR APPLICATIONS The University of Pretoria’s Human Economy Research Programme has funding for six postdoctoral fellows to undertake research on topics relevant to the following themes · Money in the Making of World Society · Building a Human Economy in southern and central […] →Read more

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

The Globalization of Apartheid: South Africa, Europe, World

South Africa recently celebrated twenty years of “democracy” since a Black majority government was formed by the African National Congress (ANC) and its allies in 1994. South Africa has been a central, not a peripheral player in world society for 150 years.  Its inhabitants have long been engaged in the struggle for democracy and equality.  […] →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

Waiting for emancipation: the prospects for liberal revolution in Africa

MP3 of the Audrey Richards lecture in African Studies at Cambridge University, 22nd May 2014 This was an improvised talk lasting 49 minutes. It contains several verbal mistakes: Kreisler for Kreutzer (violin sonata) George for Peter Peckard (echoes of George Peppard?) The city of Nantes was part of Brittany in the 1790s and La Vendee […] →Read more

Globalization from below: The world’s other economy (New Preface)

New Preface to Carlos Alba Vega and Gustavo Lins Ribeiro editors Globalization from Below: The world’s other economy (Spanish edition, Mexico City, 2015) Contents: 1. The great transformation 2. Globalization from above 3. Globalization from below (and above) 4. The informal economy has taken over the world 5. The digital revolution and intellectual property 6. […] →Read more