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Transitions to What? Or why the anthropology of money and finance matters

Where does the money come from and who controls it? Against the background of a powerful worldwide financial expansion that ushered in a series of major financial crises between 2007 and 2014, some new (old) truths have been (re)learnt. This talk by anthropologists Don Kalb and Chris Hann (who co-edited the book “Financialization: Relational Approaches”, 2020) will dwell on this recent learning about the deeply political nature of money and finance, including on the ongoing contestations around it. We will place our conversation, inevitably, in the context of ‘pandemic finance’, the apparent return of inflation, talk of rising interest rates, the upcoming Green Transition, and the rise of China.

Don Kalb is a Professor of social anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway, where he leads the Frontlines of Value project. From 2003 to 2018 he was a professor of sociology and social anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest. He is a visiting scholar at the European University Institute, CUNY Graduate Center, The Fudan Institute for Advanced Studies, the University of Melbourne, and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle. Don has worked on value, class, labor, finance, globalization and development, post-socialism, and the rise of the neo-nationalist right.

Chris Hann is an Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Video recording of the lecture is available on the following URL:

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