Tag Archives: Anthropology

RCT, economics and qualitative research

Imagine how gratifying it is for me to wake up this morning and find this post by Edward Caar through a Twitter link: What brings me to today’s post is the new piece on hunger in Foreign Policy by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.  On one hand, this is great news – good to see… Read More »

Democratising the development discourse

From a commentary on Owen Barder’s comment on Bob Zoellick’s speech on development discourse: … if we really want to democratise the development discourse we should also publish, say, the minutes of Bank board meetings and other relevant internal documents to understand how ideas and statistics are translated into ‘reality’ through powerful interlocutors like the… Read More »

How useful is an approach that integrates institutional analysis with elements of cognitive science for anthropology?

Institutional analysis has been successfully used to study changes in property rights and the negotiation of the collective-action problem inherent in managing common-pool resources under a variety of property regimes. It is particularly well-suited to the analysis of socio-ecological systems, and is compatible with theories coming out of ecological and economic anthropology. Yet despite the… Read More »

CFP: The Informal and the Formal: Contested Categories of Socio-Economic Life

COMMISION ON URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY, IUAES ANNUAL CONFERENCE Gioiosa Marea, Sicily, 7-9 May 2010 The Informal and the Formal: Contested Categories of Socio-Economic Life Convenor: Italo Pardo (University of Kent) OUTLINE This conference recognizes both the empirical difficulty in categorising human activities as belonging strictly to the formal sector or the informal sector of the economy and the blurred… Read More »

“Ethnicity INC: or why ethnicity is not the bogeyman we were told it is”

… is the title of a review of anthropologists Jean and Jean Comaroff’s book, Ethnicity, INC. An excerpt of the review: From the very beginning of their study, the authors ask us to take a step back and stop thinking about ethnicity only as a political tool. Rather, we should extend new attributes and opportunities… Read More »

An Ethnography of Wall Street

Financial Times’ Gillian Tett reviews Karen Ho’s Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street: Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street By Karen Ho Duke Press £16.99, 392 pages When I first started covering finance for the FT, I used to get embarrassed when asked about my academic past. Before I became a journalist, I did a… Read More »

Keith Hart on A Cosmopolitan Anthropology

The rapid development of global communications today contains within its movement a far-reaching transformation of world society. ‘Anthropology’ in some form is one of the intellectual traditions best suited to make sense of it. The academic seclusion of the discipline, its passive acquiescence to bureaucracy, is the chief obstacle preventing us from grasping this historical… Read More »

Anthropologists blog on the financial crisis

At the blog of the Association of Social Anthropologists. The full announcement: The ASA blog’s attempt to discuss the financial crisis currently occurring around us seeks to bring together anthropologists, sociologists, who work on the cultural political economy, anthropology of money, class, labour, industry, economic anthropology, informal economy, wall street as an ethnographic site, micro… Read More »


A new blog by anthropologist Barbara Miller. In its About page: This blog is a project of the Culture in Global Affairs (CIGA) research and policy program of the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Along with several  colleagues at GW and anthropological professionals working in the Washington area, I founded… Read More »

David Graeber on Debt: The first five thousand years

Throughout its 5000 year history, debt has always involved institutions – whether Mesopotamian sacred kingship, Mosaic jubilees, Sharia or Canon Law – that place controls on debt’s potentially catastrophic social consequences. It is only in the current era, writes anthropologist David Graeber, that we have begun to see the creation of the first effective planetary… Read More »