Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stuart Hall: Thatcherism

During the 1980s, living in England during the Thatcher years, one of the most profound influences on my intellectual development were the writings of Stuart Hall -- one of the original founders of New Left Review. Hall confronted the 1980s, to borrow from Gramsci, 'violently': unwilling to subscribe to old and outmoded shibboleths, his understanding of the rise of what we now call neoliberalism, but which he at the time called, more accurately, 'authoritarian populism', was accurate, accessible and prescient. I had the great privilege of hearing Stuart Hall speak several times (and met him on a couple of occasions). In this clip, based upon the reissuing of one of his key books, Policing the Crisis, Hall reflects upon the rise of Thatcherism and the implications for our understanding of the present. I cannot but reflect about how much I wish someone with his clarity, commitment, and intellectual rigor was helping us understand the current conjuncture, 'violently'.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Recent activities, fall 2012

The start of the 2012 - 2013 academic session signals both the end of a very busy summer and the start of busy fall. Indeed, the session has already started, as I am doing my graduate teaching, Development economics, on the Master's in Development Practice Program at Emory University, Atlanta, USA. Next week sees the start of term at Trent University, and the following week I will commence teaching Human inequality in global perspective and The world food system. There will be some work to do finishing up the final touches of my next book, Hungry for Change? Farmers, Food Justice and the Agrarian Question, which Fernwood Press will publish early in 2013. I will also (finally) return to work on a long-delayed book project, An Introduction to Feminist Economics: Foundations, Theories and Policies, which is being co-written with Nicky Pouw and will be published by Routledge. I will also be busy in my continuing role as an Adviser to the United Nations Development Programme's Gender Team as they continue to roll out the Global Gender and Economic Policy Management Initiative in the Asia-Pacific and Arab States regions -- some travel to Nepal and Bahrain may take place during the fall. On top of all this, of course, my administrative responsibilities as Chair of the Department of International Development Studies will continue, particularly in light of the program review that will be undertaken by the Department over the course of 2012 - 2013. It will, in other words, be business as usual -- which is to say, it will be hectic.

Global wealth inequality

For the past 7 years I have commenced my first year course with a lecture on global poverty and world income inequality. I have just seen a fantastic short video that, in less than 4 minutes, explains visually what it usually takes me 20 minutes to explain. I will be definitely using it next year. It is well worth the look:

The closure of the Canadian International Development Agency

Last week I offered some background to the Canadian government's decision to close the Canadian International Development Agency by merging it into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, now to be called the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. The comments, in the Peterborough Examiner, can be found here: http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2013/03/26/funding-cut-will-hurt-jamaican-self-help