28 Jul 2016

Reading James Ferguson: Give a Man a Fish. Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution

CARG #07 – seventh session of the Contemporary Anthropology Reading Group

For the seventh session of our reading group we are reading James Ferguson’s book on the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa.

Ferguson, James. 2015. Give a Man a Fish. Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution. Durham: Duke University Press.

Description from Duke University Press:

In Give a Man a Fish James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa, in which states make cash payments to their low income citizens. More than thirty percent of South Africa's population receive such payments, even as pundits elsewhere proclaim the neoliberal death of the welfare state. These programs' successes at reducing poverty under conditions of mass unemployment, Ferguson argues, provide an opportunity for rethinking contemporary capitalism and for developing new forms of political mobilization. Interested in an emerging "politics of distribution," Ferguson shows how new demands for direct income payments (including so-called "basic income") require us to reexamine the relation between production and distribution, and to ask new questions about markets, livelihoods, labor, and the future of progressive politics.

Contact:
Highland Asia Research Group
LMU, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oettingenstr. 67
80538 Munich, Germany

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