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Chapter 7 focuses on the process that transformed West Central Africans from forced laborers into consumers of products manufactured elsewhere. The expansion of the colonial bureaucracy reveals the items West Central Africans collected during their lifetimes and the emotional and financial value associated with material culture. Their consumption patterns make it possible to explore the movement of goods, the role of commercial centers, and the changes in taste and fashion. Africans imported items that favored European industries at the expense of their local production, a clear demonstration of how colonial power, dispossession, and dependency have a long history and predate the twentieth century. Rulers and commoners desired material things beyond their basic needs and aspired to buy and collect a variety of goods. They consumed items that connected them to societies around the world and encouraged African political elites and warlords to engage in warfare and other strategies to enslave enemies, exacerbating violence, dispossession, and displacement. The expansion of the colonial bureaucracy reveals that African women not only acquired imported goods and transmitted them to loved ones but also made constant efforts to protect the assets they had accumulated during their lives.
The uses and transformations of the concept of land use, occupation, and possession in West Central Africa from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth century are examined. Rather than stressing the concept of wealth in people, this chapter explores how people exercised land rights and control and displayed wealth. In West Central Africa, as elsewhere in the continent, claims over land, people, and things were based on and shaped by notions of kinship, community membership, and the broader social context. The distinction between the public and the private was blurred. Recognition of claims and rights was the result of political and economic competition among rulers, subjects, and neighbors. All actors, some with more power than others, engaged in the definition of land use, rights, occupation, and inheritance, retaining control of goods and wealth that could be expressed in a variety of ways. With the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, more actors engaged in the principle of territorial occupation and subjugation to make bold claims of sovereignty based on the idea that land was unused or unoccupied. Since different ideas of possession and jurisdiction were at the center of these interactions, clashes between conceptions of land use, access, and occupation are analyzed.
Forced migration as a reaction to National Socialism represents individual as well as simultaneously collective, transnational, and global experiences. Not only identity-forming categories but also forms of knowledge are profoundly reshaped by processes of displacement and resettlement. The paper argues that the biography of the archaeologist Grete Mostny (1914–91) offers an exemplary case study of such processes of adaptation on individual, collective, and academic levels. Due to her escape from Austria to Chile as a persecuted Jew in 1938/39, Mostny's identity as a white European (female) scholar attained a whole new significance and became the door opener for her interdisciplinary career at the interface of archaeology and anthropology in her new homeland. Her research in Chile was a product of a global event—namely mass forced emigration from Europe—as well as of factors on the micro level, such as her European descent and her academic education, which gave her certain privileges in her new environment. When Mostny arrived in Chile in 1939, a new European and U.S. hegemony had already begun to dominate academia in the country, which was trying to modernise itself and move from the academic periphery closer to the centre. Mostny, the once racially persecuted scholar, fit well in this process by making use of her “European” knowledge and her networks. In 1954 she received international attention when she put together a pioneering interdisciplinary research team to study El Niño del Cerro El Plomo, a four-hundred-year-old Inca mummy found in the Andes five thousand metres above sea level. Nationally, Mostny's study contributed, beyond all measure, to the Andean state's identity, as it re-evaluated and enhanced Chile's prehistory. In a time of political and social tensions in Chile, the rediscovery of its Indigenous prehistory—even by a foreign white scholar—helped to overcome the old shadows of colonial historical research, perhaps because in the immediate present the Indigenous movement in Chile offered little potential for consensus. This article uses Mostny's transnational biography as a lens through which to detect these connected histories and entangled hegemonies in the fields of anthropology and archaeology, which have become instrumental in the formation of Chile's national identity. Moreover, the paper shows that the category of race played a central role in the field of knowledge production and career development, not only for Grete Mostny.
Exploring the multifaceted history of dispossession, consumption, and inequality in West Central Africa, Mariana P. Candido presents a bold revisionist history of Angola from the sixteenth century until the Berlin Conference of 1884–5. Synthesising disparate strands of scholarship, including the histories of slavery, land tenure, and gender in West Central Africa, Candido makes a significant contribution to ongoing historical debates. She demonstrates how ideas about dominion and land rights eventually came to inform the appropriation and enslavement of free people and their labour. By centring the experiences of West Central Africans, and especially African women, this book challenges dominant historical narratives, and shows that securing property was a gendered process. Drawing attention to how archives obscure African forms of knowledge and normalize conquest, Candido interrogates simplistic interpretations of ownership and pushes for the decolonization of African history.
This paper aims to analyze the inequalities in general practitioner (GP) distribution in China.
GPs-based primary health care (PHC) has been implemented from 2011 in China, aiming to improve the accessibility and quality of basic medical and healthcare services. GPs in China, as the gatekeeper of people’s health, mainly undertake integrated health services at the grass-roots level.
The number of GPs and inequality in GPs distribution from 2012 to 2018 was analyzed by the Lorenz Curve/Gini coefficient and Theil L index. Data were extracted from China Health Statistical Yearbook 2013–2019.
The demographic Gini coefficient of GPs changed from 2012 (0.234) to 2018 (0.167), showing high equality in China. In contrast, the Thiel L index from 2012 (0.372) to 2018 (0.345) showed less equality. The decomposition of Thiel L index implicated the inequalities within the divisions. The number of GPs in China shows a fast growth trend since the general practice system established, and the GPs distribution becomes more demographically equitable. However, the shortage of GPs and inequality in their distribution remains severe. More incentive and supportive policies need to be made to enhance the quantity, quality, and structure of GPs in China.
Whose fault are financial crises, and who is responsible for stopping them, or repairing the damage? Impunity and Capitalism develops a new approach to the history of capitalism and inequality by using the concept of impunity to show how financial crises stopped being crimes and became natural disasters. Trevor Jackson examines the legal regulation of capital markets in a period of unprecedented expansion in the complexity of finance ranging from the bankruptcy of Europe's richest man in 1709, to the world's first stock market crash in 1720, to the first Latin American debt crisis in 1825. He shows how, after each crisis, popular anger and improvised policy responses resulted in efforts to create a more just financial capitalism but succeeded only in changing who could act with impunity, and how. Henceforth financial crises came to seem normal and legitimate, caused by impersonal international markets, with the costs borne by domestic populations and nobody in particular at fault.
We study changes in educational homogamy in the US and four European countries over the decade covering the Great Recession. The marital preferences identified point to the widening of the social gap between different educational groups since these preferences have increased the inclination of the individuals to match with others of similar educational traits in all five countries. We obtain this finding with an aggregate measure characterizing revealed preferences of individuals in relationship. We apply a novel approach for validating our finding: we compare our aggregate measure with dating data informative about the reservation points not only of those people who will be in a couple, but also those who will remain single. Finally, we challenge a commonly held view: we argue that marital preferences should not be blamed for the documented increase of the social gap since preferences are not exogenous, but are shaped by changes in the employment prospects of the potential partners.
The Reinventing Capitalism series seeks to feature explorations about the crisis of legitimacy facing capitalism today, including the increasing income and wealth gap, the decline of the middle class, threats to employment due to globalization and digitalization, undermined trust in institutions, discrimination against minorities, global poverty and pollution. The series is intended to be a collection of authoritative literature reviews of foundational topics on renewing capitalism. Being grounded in a business and management perspective, the series incorporates insights from multiple disciplines that promise to substantiate the causes of the current crisis and potential solutions what needs to be done. This Element provides an overview of the series, explains the background of its development and contains eight sections that deal with various facets of the subject from the perspectives of a group of top-notch authors.
In 1532 a motley band of 168 Spanish soldiers arrived on the outskirts of Cajamarca, the capital of the mighty Incan empire in present-day Peru. Already on his third expedition to the New World, Francisco Pizarro had one aim: to find gold and claim it for the Spanish king. He first sent his trusted captain, Hernando de Soto, to meet with the In can emperor – Atahualpa – and invite him to a meeting. De Soto rode out on his horse. It was the first time Atahualpa had ever seen such an animal. Impressed with his strange visitor, he agreed to meet Pizarro the next day.
Pizarro, however, had different plans. He prepared an ambush and, when Atahualpa arrived with 6,000 unarmed men, he attacked with 106 soldiers on foot and 62 on horses. The Incas were completely caught off guard; about 2,000 Inca died in the volleys of gunfire that ensued.
The extent of material inequality and its relationship to economic development are central questions for historians of all periods. In recent decades, historians of ancient Greece have sought to provide the basis for answering those questions by attempting to estimate the distribution of wealth and income in Athens (and to a lesser degree in other Greek poleis) by reference to statements in ancient texts, proxy data, and simple models. While there remains much room for debate on specifics, we suggest that, for certain periods of Athenian history, very rough, but nonetheless suggestive, estimates can be offered of the distribution of wealth across the citizen population and the distribution of income across the entire population. The chapter briefly sketches ancient Greek economic performance before discussing material inequality in Greece, with special reference to Athens, and in comparison with other premodern economies. It explains how Greek political institutions and competition among individuals and states drove comparatively high levels of growth, while inequality remained comparatively low. Finally, it tests this hypothesis against some more and less familiar facts about Greek history.
In December 1932, in the throes of a deep recession, South Africa left the gold standard. Britain had abandoned it the previous year – and a political battle within South Africa’s government had ensured a delay that severely hurt the economy. The decision to leave had an immediate effect; instead of having the currency backed by gold, the South African pound depreciated, making South African exports more attractive to foreign buyers. It proved a huge boon to gold-mining companies. Gold prices rose rapidly and mining output expanded, increasing the demand for inputs and workers, and as a consequence government revenues increased significantly. In 1936, only three years later, the Johannesburg municipality could begin construction of the South-Western Townships, or Soweto, on the back of windfalls from the mining industry.
These mining windfalls – profits for shareholders and taxes for government – depended on one important factor: paying cheap wages.
How has Augmented Human Development been distributed across countries? Chapter 3 offers an answer. It presents long-run inequality trends for AHDI and its dimensions and examines gains across the distribution using growth incidence curves, in absolute and relative terms. Augmented human development inequality declined since 1900. In the long run, countries in the middle and lower deciles obtained larger relative gains over the last century. Over time, changes in the international distribution of augmented human development largely depended on the behaviour of schooling and civil and political liberties, even though life expectancy was inequality’s main driver until the 1920s since the uneven diffusion of new medical knowledge and technology and health practices in the early stages of the epidemiological transition provoked unequal life expectancy gains. The global spread of schooling and the diffusion of epidemiological transition made a substantial contribution to reducing AHD inequality between the 1920s and the early 1980s. The rise of authoritarian political regimes partly offset AHD inequality decline, since its dispersion only fell from the 1970s. These findings are at odds with the evolution of per capita income dispersion that increased until the late twentieth century and only fell since 1990. (198 words)
The first chapter posits the book’s approach in the context of dominant ideas about civil society in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is widely considered an authoritarian state with little space for any civil initiative to maneuver in or to flourish. The rentier state paradigm, which has dominated much of the discussion of state–society relations in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, assumes that the oil-rich state buys its citizens’ acquiescence through the strategic investment of hydrocarbon revenues into welfare and high living standards. Yet Saudi Arabia’s growing wealth gap challenges these assumptions.
This book presents a different perspective from which to view and understand Saudi Arabian society, not from a top-down vantage point but "bottom-up," from the point of view of local civil society initiatives. The chapter introduces the four charity organizations that form the basis of the book’s analysis. Given the difficulties of field research in Saudi Arabia, the chapter discusses opportunities and challenges that this project faced and how these contributed to the research design and findings.
In this chapter I focus on another form of EV as a hazard: extreme weather events – specifically tropical cyclones or hurricanes. Where the Sonfon mining example runs the risk, if we don’t apply the EV model, of being portrayed as a local problem, largely driven by local, or at most national, corruption or lack of regulation (whereas the EV model makes clear that the causal process is a global one, and the impacts are wide-ranging), the case of extreme weather sometimes risks being seen as too global to easily assess. Here I explore the cases of three different islands recently struck by storms exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change: Hurricane Lane in Hawaii (2018), Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico in the United States (2017), and Hurricane Dorian, Abaco Island in the Bahamas (2019). I argue that the human processes and practices that beget EV in the form of toxic pollution as discussed in Chapter 4 – practices such as excess and disproportionate consumption, unequal power dynamics and distribution of impacts, and the like — also precipitate this nontoxic, greenhouse gas-based form of EV and mediate its outcomes.
The final chapter summarizes the major findings of the book along two perspectives.
First, the book shows that the study of civil society under authoritarianism needs to take a bottom-up approach that pays attention to local issues and gives a voice to the people engaged for the public good and for the local community. At its heart, the debate about civil society in Saudi Arabia is about the difference between agency and sovereignty. Saudi Arabia is a country in which the population profoundly lacks popular sovereignty. Yet ordinary men and women in Saudi Arabia – young and old; social activists, philanthropists, and social workers; Saudis and non-Saudis – do have agency.
Second, the analysis shows that where the public social welfare system of the state has failed or systematically excluded specific segments of the population, charity organizations have tried to meet some of the needs of marginalized groups. Sometimes this transgresses the policies set down by the state; sometimes they complement or occasionally work together with the state. The meaning of charity has been subject to debate and scrutiny. Charity is a constantly evolving, contested field, in which numerous actors engage – often highly critical of each other and with competing approaches.
Chapter 9 proposes concrete measures to promote role-based constitutional fellowship. First, the chapter acknowledges that bounded solidarity can support fellowship. Accordingly, the chapter identifies ways of imagining the nation to ensure that that solidarity is inclusive, and urges liberal democrats to promote inclusion cautiously. Second, the chapter discusses trust among political actors. The chapter acknowledges that some institutional arrangements – namely Westminster systems – seem relatively effective at channelling competition and alleviating the need for fellowship. Most democratic systems, however, are non-Westminster systems. Accordingly, the chapter suggests reforms that can make it easier for political competitors to act like fellows. Third, the chapter discusses trust among citizens at large. In addition to certain democratic education arrangements, the chapter argues that the integrated workplace and less-voluntary associations are more promising than voluntary civil societal associations as forums to promote trust. Fourth, the chapter demonstrates the need for some material redistribution to ensure that citizens feel that they are all in it together.
The personal futures of older adults are continually in mind, motivating goals, desires and plans. People approach the near and long term with differing agentic traits and dispositions, and they face forward, as well, from differing standpoints according to socio-economic position. This is a study of how persons who are economically privileged diverge in their future thought from persons of modest means, asking how income level qualifies the capacity to imagine, and foresee affecting, the future. We draw upon interviews conducted with 42 older, community-dwelling individuals in the Midwestern United States of America, a sample that was partitioned into two groups, one with below-median incomes versus one with incomes above 200 per cent of median. Interviews disclosed various foci of future thought with common contents among the two groups. Three foci, however, confirmed between-group differences in confidence about handling possible material and support needs, and also in enacting idealised norms of retirement. The underlying theme of these foci – financial security, long-term supports and services, and trips and travel – was the perceived affordability of the future. We conclude that there is indeed a material basis for imagination of and proactivity toward the future. When paradigms about later life set expectations that idealise lifestyle choice, consumption and prudential preparation for the future, these are prospects towards which some can reach more readily than others.
How has human development evolved during the last 150 years of globalization and economic growth? How has human development been distributed across countries? How do developing countries compare to developed countries? Do social systems matter for wellbeing? Are there differences in the performance of developing regions over time? Employing a capabilities approach, Human Development and the Path to Freedom addresses these key questions in the context of modern economic growth and globalization from c.1870 to the present. Leandro Prados de la Escosura shows that health, access to knowledge, standards of living, and civil and political freedom can substitute for GDP per head as more accurate measures of our wellbeing.
In this innovative study of everyday charity practices in Jeddah, Nora Derbal employs a 'bottom-up' approach to challenge dominant narratives about state-society relations in Saudi Arabia. Exploring charity organizations in Jeddah, this book both offers a rich ethnography of associational life and counters Riyadh-centric studies which focus on oil, the royal family, and the religious establishment. It closely follows those who work on the ground to provide charity to the local poor and needy, documenting their achievements, struggles and daily negotiations. The lens of charity offers rare insights into the religiosity of ordinary Saudis, showing that Islam offers Saudi activists a language, a moral frame, and a worldly guide to confronting inequality. With a view to the many forms of local community activism in Saudi Arabia, this book examines perspectives that are too often ignored or neglected, opening new theoretical debates about civil society and civic activism in the Gulf.
This article advances explanations of the housing crisis in modern political economies. It argues that the rise of agglomeration economies is driving the massive increase in housing prices in superstar cities. These concentrate high-paying jobs and life chances in central metropolitan areas, pulling in a highly skilled workforce who are willing and able to pay ‘whatever it takes’ for access to these opportunities. As a result, the value of homeownership in strategic urban locations has surged. Investors have thus found it rational to capitalize on longer-term price inflation and invest. Based on a comparison between New York City, London, Paris, and Berlin, this article demonstrates that housing prices in superstar cities move in lockstep with the reconfiguration of urban labour markets. Investors follow this trend in their decisions to invest in housing, which further compounds affordability pressures. The article concludes that access to homeownership in strategic urban locations increasingly mediates inequality and class formation in modern political economies.