MARKETS OF DISPOSSESSION NGOS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE STATE IN CAIRO POLITICS HISTORY AND CULTURE

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Markets Of Dispossession

Author : Julia Elyachar
ISBN : 9780822387138
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 21.21 MB
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What happens when the market tries to help the poor? In many parts of the world today, neoliberal development programs are offering ordinary people the tools of free enterprise as the means to well-being and empowerment. Schemes to transform the poor into small-scale entrepreneurs promise them the benefits of the market and access to the rewards of globalization. Markets of Dispossession is a theoretically sophisticated and sobering account of the consequences of these initiatives. Julia Elyachar studied the efforts of bankers, social scientists, ngo members, development workers, and state officials to turn the craftsmen and unemployed youth of Cairo into the vanguard of a new market society based on microenterprise. She considers these efforts in relation to the alternative notions of economic success held by craftsmen in Cairo, in which short-term financial profit is not always highly valued. Through her careful ethnography of workshop life, Elyachar explains how the traditional market practices of craftsmen are among the most vibrant modes of market life in Egypt. Long condemned as backward, these existing market practices have been seized on by social scientists and development institutions as the raw materials for experiments in “free market” expansion. Elyachar argues that the new economic value accorded to the cultural resources and social networks of the poor has fueled a broader process leading to their economic, social, and cultural dispossession.
Category: Business & Economics

Financial Derivatives And The Globalization Of Risk

Author : Edward LiPuma
ISBN : 9780822386124
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 57.74 MB
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The market for financial derivatives is far and away the largest and most powerful market in the world, and it is growing exponentially. In 1970 the yearly valuation of financial derivatives was only a few million dollars. By 1980 the sum had swollen to nearly one hundred million dollars. By 1990 it had climbed to almost one hundred billion dollars, and in 2000 it approached one hundred trillion. Created and sustained by a small number of European and American banks, corporations, and hedge funds, the derivatives market has an enormous impact on the economies of nations—particularly poorer nations—because it controls the price of money. Derivatives bought and sold by means of computer keystrokes in London and New York affect the price of food, clothing, and housing in Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, and Buenos Aires. Arguing that social theorists concerned with globalization must familiarize themselves with the mechanisms of a world economy based on the rapid circulation of capital, Edward LiPuma and Benjamin Lee offer a concise introduction to financial derivatives. LiPuma and Lee explain how derivatives are essentially wagers—often on the fluctuations of national currencies—based on models that aggregate and price risk. They describe how these financial instruments are changing the face of capitalism, undermining the power of nations and perpetrating a new and less visible form of domination on postcolonial societies. As they ask: How does one know about, let alone demonstrate against, an unlisted, virtual, offshore corporation that operates in an unregulated electronic space using a secret proprietary trading strategy to buy and sell arcane financial instruments? LiPuma and Lee provide a necessary look at the obscure but consequential role of financial derivatives in the global economy.
Category: Business & Economics

Economic Anthropology

Author : Chris Hann
ISBN : 9780745699394
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.54 MB
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This book is a new introduction to the history and practice of economic anthropology by two leading authors in the field. They show that anthropologists have contributed to understanding the three great questions of modern economic history: development, socialism and one-world capitalism. In doing so, they connect economic anthropology to its roots in Western philosophy, social theory and world history. Up to the Second World War anthropologists tried and failed to interest economists in their exotic findings. They then launched a vigorous debate over whether an approach taken from economics was appropriate to the study of non-industrial economies. Since the 1970s, they have developed a critique of capitalism based on studying it at home as well as abroad. The authors aim to rejuvenate economic anthropology as a humanistic project at a time when the global financial crisis has undermined confidence in free market economics. They argue for the continued relevance of predecessors such as Marcel Mauss and Karl Polanyi, while offering an incisive review of recent work in this field. Economic Anthropology is an excellent introduction for social science students at all levels, and it presents general readers with a challenging perspective on the world economy today. Selected by Choice as a 2013 Outstanding Academic Title
Category: Social Science

Privatizing Poland

Author : Elizabeth C. Dunn
ISBN : 9781501702198
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 51.81 MB
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The transition from socialism in Eastern Europe is not an isolated event, but part of a larger shift in world capitalism: the transition from Fordism to flexible (or neoliberal) capitalism. Using a blend of ethnography and economic geography, Elizabeth C. Dunn shows how management technologies like niche marketing, accounting, audit, and standardization make up flexible capitalism's unique form of labor discipline. This new form of management constitutes some workers as self-auditing, self-regulating actors who are disembedded from a social context while defining others as too entwined in social relations and unable to self-manage. Privatizing Poland examines the effects privatization has on workers' self-concepts; how changes in "personhood" relate to economic and political transitions; and how globalization and foreign capital investment affect Eastern Europe's integration into the world economy. Dunn investigates these topics through a study of workers and changing management techniques at the Alima-Gerber factory in Rzeszów, Poland, formerly a state-owned enterprise, which was privatized by the Gerber Products Company of Fremont, Michigan. Alima-Gerber instituted rigid quality control, job evaluation, and training methods, and developed sophisticated distribution techniques. The core principle underlying these goals and strategies, the author finds, is the belief that in order to produce goods for a capitalist market, workers for a capitalist enterprise must also be produced. Working side-by-side with Alima-Gerber employees, Dunn saw firsthand how the new techniques attempted to change not only the organization of production, but also the workers' identities. Her seamless, engaging narrative shows how the employees resisted, redefined, and negotiated work processes for themselves.
Category: Political Science

Pious Property

Author : Bill Maurer
ISBN : STANFORD:36105123253556
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69.28 MB
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Owning a home has always been central to the American dream. For the more than one million Muslims in the United States, this is no exception. However, the Qur'an forbids the payment of interest, which places conventional home financing out of reach for observant Muslims. To meet the growing Muslim demand for home purchases, a market for home financing that would be halal, or permissible under Islamic law, has emerged. In Pious Property, anthropologist William Maurer profiles the emergence of this new religiously based financial service and explores the ways it reflects the influence of Muslim practices on American economic life and vice versa. Pious Property charts the development of Islamic mortgages in America, starting with Islamic interpretations of the prohibition against riba—literally translated as "increase" but interpreted as "usury" or "interest." Maurer then explores the different practices that have emerged as permissible options for Islamic homebuyers—such as lease-to-own arrangements, profit-loss sharing, and cost-plus contracts—and explains how they have gained acceptance in the Islamic community by relying on payment schemes that avoid standard interest rate payments. Using interviews with Muslim homebuyers and financiers, and in-depth analysis of two companies that provide mortgage alternatives to Muslims, Maurer discovers an interesting paradox: progressive Muslims tend to use financial contracts that seemingly comply better with the prohibition against interest, while traditional Muslims seem more inclined to take on financing very similar to interest-based mortgages. Maurer finds that Muslims make their decisions about using Islamic mortgage alternatives based not only on the views of religious scholars, but also on their conceptions of how business is supposed to be conducted in America. While one form of Islamic financing is seemingly more congruent with the prohibition against riba, the other exhibits more of the qualities of American mortgages—anonymity and standardized forms. The appearance that an Islamic financing instrument is legal and professional leaves many Muslim homebuyers with the impression that it is halal, revealing the influence of American capitalism on Muslim Americans’ understanding of their religious rules. The market for halal financial products exists at the intersection of American and Islamic culture and is emblematic of the way that, for centuries, America's newcomers have adapted to and changed the fabric of American life. In Pious Property, William Maurer explores this rapidly growing economic phenomenon with historical perspective and scholarly insight.
Category: Social Science

Liquidated

Author : Karen Ho
ISBN : 9780822391371
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70.78 MB
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Financial collapses—whether of the junk bond market, the Internet bubble, or the highly leveraged housing market—are often explained as the inevitable result of market cycles: What goes up must come down. In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy. Ho, who worked at an investment bank herself, argues that bankers’ approaches to financial markets and corporate America are inseparable from the structures and strategies of their workplaces. Her ethnographic analysis of those workplaces is filled with the voices of stressed first-year associates, overworked and alienated analysts, undergraduates eager to be hired, and seasoned managing directors. Recruited from elite universities as “the best and the brightest,” investment bankers are socialized into a world of high risk and high reward. They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business. Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U.S. corporations, Liquidated reveals the particular culture of Wall Street often obscured by triumphalist readings of capitalist globalization.
Category: Social Science

Everyday Sectarianism In Urban Lebanon

Author : Joanne Randa Nucho
ISBN : 9781400883004
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82.37 MB
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What causes violent conflicts around the Middle East? All too often, the answer is sectarianism—popularly viewed as a timeless and intractable force that leads religious groups to conflict. In Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon, Joanne Nucho shows how wrong this perspective can be. Through in-depth research with local governments, NGOs, and political parties in Beirut, she demonstrates how sectarianism is actually recalibrated on a daily basis through the provision of essential services and infrastructures, such as electricity, medical care, credit, and the planning of bridges and roads. Taking readers to a working-class, predominantly Armenian suburb in northeast Beirut called Bourj Hammoud, Nucho conducts extensive interviews and observations in medical clinics, social service centers, shops, banking coops, and municipal offices. She explores how group and individual access to services depends on making claims to membership in the dominant sectarian community, and she examines how sectarianism is not just tied to ethnoreligious identity, but also class, gender, and geography. Life in Bourj Hammoud makes visible a broader pattern in which the relationships that develop while procuring basic needs become a way for people to see themselves as part of the greater public. Illustrating how sectarianism in Lebanon is not simply about religious identity, as is commonly thought, Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon offers a new look at how everyday social exchanges define and redefine communities and conflicts.
Category: Social Science

Global Formation

Author : Christopher K. Chase-Dunn
ISBN : 0847691020
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 82.91 MB
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The fall of communism, the emergence of the information age, and the expansion of economic globalism are the point of departure for this text. The author shows how these seemingly new developments fit with earlier patterns of global formation and change. This edition also evaluates studies of the modern world-system and assesses the implications for the future of the contemporary system.
Category: Business & Economics

The Sage Handbook Of Social Anthropology

Author : Richard Fardon
ISBN : 9781446266014
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 50.11 MB
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In two volumes, the SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology provides the definitive overview of contemporary research in the discipline. It explains the what, where, and how of current and anticipated work in Social Anthropology. With 80 authors, contributing more than 60 chapters, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date statement of research in Social Anthropology available and the essential point of departure for future projects. The Handbook is divided into four sections: -Part I: Interfaces examines Social Anthropology's disciplinary connections, from Art and Literature to Politics and Economics, from Linguistics to Biomedicine, from History to Media Studies. -Part II: Places examines place, region, culture, and history, from regional, area studies to a globalized world -Part III: Methods examines issues of method; from archives to war zones, from development projects to art objects, and from ethics to comparison -Part IV: Futures anticipates anthropologies to come: in the Brain Sciences; in post-Development; in the Body and Health; and in new Technologies and Materialities Edited by the leading figures in social anthropology, the Handbook includes a substantive introduction by Richard Fardon, a think piece by Jean and John Comaroff, and a concluding last word on futures by Marilyn Strathern. The authors - each at the leading edge of the discipline - contribute in-depth chapters on both the foundational ideas and the latest research. Comprehensive and detailed, this magisterial Handbook overviews the last 25 years of the social anthropological imagination. It will speak to scholars in Social Anthropology and its many related disciplines.
Category: Social Science

Poverty Capital

Author : Ananya Roy
ISBN : 9781136992490
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 85.83 MB
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Winner of the 2011 Paul Davidoff award! This is a book about poverty but it does not study the poor and the powerless; instead it studies those who manage poverty. It sheds light on how powerful institutions control "capital," or circuits of profit and investment, as well as "truth," or authoritative knowledge about poverty. Such dominant practices are challenged by alternative paradigms of development, and the book details these as well. Using the case of microfinance, the book participates in a set of fierce debates about development – from the role of markets to the secrets of successful pro-poor institutions. Based on many years of research in Washington D.C., Bangladesh, and the Middle East, Poverty Capital also grows out of the author's undergraduate teaching to thousands of students on the subject of global poverty and inequality.
Category: Social Science