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Creative Encounters

African Trade and Chinese Oil Production in Western Chad

Nikolaus Schareika

also traded the credits for mobile phones that were then not available on every corner or by phone-to-phone transfer as they are nowadays. Iba not only sold his merchandise for direct cash but also gave it out on credit in anticipation of payday. He did

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Debarati Sen and Sarasij Majumder

The global circulation of food and agricultural commodities is increasingly influenced by the ethical choices of Western consumers and activists who want to see a socially and environmentally sustainable trade regime in place. These desires have culminated in the formation of an elaborate system of rules, which govern the physical and social conditions of food production and circulation, reflected in transnational ethical regimes such as fair trade. Fair trade operates through certifying producer communities with sustainable production methods and socially just production relationships. By examining interdisciplinary academic engagements with fair trade, we argue that fair trade certification is a transnational bio-political regime; although, it holds the potential for reflecting global counterpolitics. By reviewing the literature on the emergence and history of fair trade certification, agro-food chains, case studies on certified producer communities and the certification process, this article shows that fair trade certification is a new governing mechanism to discipline farmers and producers in the Global South by drawing them into globalized market relationships. However, recent studies suggest that fair trade also leaves open the potential for creative iterations of the fair trade idea in producer communities to give voice to their situated struggles for justice. Thus, fair trade constitutes a contested moral terrain that mediates between the visions of justice harbored by producers and activists in the Global South and reflexive practices of the Western consumers. To map these critical developments around fair trade and fair trade certification, close ethnographic attention to the material and symbolic life of certification is vital.

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Anna Scolobig, Luigi Pellizzoni, and Chiara Bianchizza

regard, the way in which relevant trade-offs are acknowledged and dealt with as well as the local policy context are crucial. It must be stressed from the outset that our study has an exploratory character, which entails limits in terms of robustness of

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“A Land of Limitless Possibilities”

British Commerce and Trade in Siberia in the Early Twentieth Century

Janet Hartley

This article looks at the prospects and the reality of British commercial activity in Siberia in the early twentieth century, before the outbreak of World War I, and is based on contemporary comments by travelers, businessmen, and commercial agents. Contemporaries agreed that the dynamic Siberian economy opened up opportunities for British exports and trade. British firms, however, lagged behind commercial rivals, in particular in Germany, and the United States. The article explores the reasons for this and also looks at the subjects of the British Empire who went to Siberia and the conditions under which they worked. The article demonstrates the vibrancy of Siberian economic development in this period and the active participation of Western powers in this process.

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“Tobacco! Tobacco!”

Exporting New Habits to Siberia and Russian America

Matthew P. Romaniello

developing market, but it was legally imported into Russia’s Asian possessions, becoming a part of Siberia’s trade with Bukhara, India, Iran, and China. 4 In the eighteenth century, Russia’s reliance on tobacco as a product with indigenous appeal in Siberia

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Ka-Kin Cheuk

]. In mid December 2011, a Yemeni and his Indian business partner, who co-owned a trading company in Yiwu, disappeared in the middle of the night, defaulting on a debt of US$1.58 million owed to fifteen Chinese suppliers ( Hindustan Times 2012b

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Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

The Social Worlds of Wheat

Jessica Barnes

that many individuals around the world have an intimate connection with in their day-to-day lives, and global, the focus of an international commodity trade. Indeed more wheat is traded on international markets than any other grain ( FAS 2015 ). Yet

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V. A. Skubnevskii and lu. M. Goncharov

This article traces developments in Siberian trade and manufacturing in the period between the emancipation of the serfs and the early 1900s. Particular emphasis is placed on the evolving nature and role of the guild merchants. Attention is devoted to social change among the merchants, including education and their significance in local government and philanthropy.

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The World Trade Center and Global Crisis

Some Critical Perspectives

Bruce Kapferer, Marshall Sahlins, Keith Hart, Jonathan Friedman, Allen Feldman, Michael Humphrey, Ibrahim Aoude, Michael Rowlands, John Gledhill, and Leif Manger

The World Trade Center disaster is an event of such significance that it exhausts interpretation. This is not because of the enormity of the event itself. Numerous humanly caused destructed of just the last hundred years dwarf it in scale, and the attention now addressed to it may over the next year appear disproportionate. But events are never significant in the imagination of human beings independently of the way they are socially constructed into significance in the context of the social, political and cultural forces that somehow are articulated through a particular event, and thrown into relief by its occurrence. Undoubtedly, much of the significance that attaches to the World Trade Center catastrophe relates to the character of the conflict it defines, and the several paradoxes the event gathers up in its prism: of the strong against the weak, the powerful as victims, the cycle of revenge, the generalization of suffering, the vulnerability of technological potency, and so on.

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Trading places

Post-socialist container markets and the city

Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaja

This article discusses a vast, new and semi-legal marketplace of shipping containers on the outskirts of Odessa, Ukraine. It is suggested that such markets, which have sprung up at several places in post-socialist space where routes intersect, have certain features in common with mediaeval trade fairs. However, today's markets have their own specificities in relation to state and legal regimes, migration, and the cities to which they are semi-attached. The article analyzes the Seventh Kilometer Market (Sed'moi) near Odessa as a particular socio-mythical space. It affords it own kind of protection and opportunities to traders, but these structures may be unstable in a changing economic climate.