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Inaugural lecture

Radical Spotlights: Economics of Political Chaos

Wednesday 6 March 2024

We are excited to announce the inaugural seminar of a new series, Radical Spotlights, a collaboration of the Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA) in the AAA and the Network Anthropology of Economy in the EASA. The series will kick-off on March 6th and spotlight critical research in economic anthropology across the globe twice a year. Please feel free to share widely.


States and institutions do not always stabilize capitalist markets. States can instead be agents of chaos. Current far-right or fascist politics show how attempts at top-down transformations do not go smoothly. In this inaugural seminar to the Radical Spotlights Series, anthropologists explore the implications of disorderly politics on everyday economics.

How do people navigate state-induced disorder in production, trade, and consumption? How do Kafkaesque laws threaten or create business opportunities? In which ways do discriminatory political economies yield unintended consequences, and chaotic politics shape people’s economic outlooks? What do we gain by putting political chaos centre stage in the study of everyday economics?


Caroline E. Schuster
Associate Professor Australian National University, Australia.
Love in the time of El Niño: towards a politics of radical forecasts 

Kanchana N Ruwanpura
Professor – Development Geography, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Revisiting Militarized Capitalism: Labouring for global garments in debt-ridden Sri Lanka 

Douglas R. Holmes
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology,  State University of New York, Binghamton, United States.
Money Troubles: Fascism and the Discontents of Finance


Andreas Streinzer, University of St. Gallen and Institute for Social Research Frankfurt and Erik Bähre, Leiden University

Thanks to the “Moralizations of Inequality” project at the University of St. Gallen for the financial support to the seminar.

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