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The emergence of the global debt society

Governmentality and profit extraction through fabricated abundance and imposed scarcity in Peru and Spain

Ismael Vaccaro, Eric Hirsch, and Irene Sabaté

This article is about debt and its effects on the indebted people and communities that are subject to it. The unprecedented global growth of the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries was sustained, at a national but also a

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Richard H. Robbins

“Before there was money, there was debt. Before there was an American republic, there was America’s national debt. Over the last three decades, the neoliberal reordering of political economy produced a ‘debtor nation,’ a ‘republic of debtors,’ and

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Debt, Peonage and Dependency in the kafalah System

Hadrami Migratory Experience in Kuwait

Abdullah M. Alajmi

Studies of immigrants in Kuwait focus on structural aspects overlooking sociohistorical elements and meso-level relationships that develop through migration. This ethnography shows that the immigrant's perspective and the history of the relationship between the receiving society and the immigrant community are both essential for establishing broader and thicker analyses of reality. It argues that because Hadramis and Kuwaiti sponsors were historically linked in personal exchanges originating in the Kuwaiti domestic realm, the meaning and practices of sponsorship comprise a unique migratory and work experience. Normally the immigrant–sponsor relationship is conveyed in terms of pseudokinship, yet references to moral debts and dependency reveal forms of exploitation and dominance. Hadrami–Kuwaiti relationships do not produce significant economic outcomes for the sponsor. Rather, Hadramis are symbolically valued within local hierarchies. This symbolic value has sustained a solid Hadrami presence in Kuwait and secured an income for retiring immigrants at home.

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Empowering or impoverishing through credit

Small-scale producers and the Plan Chontalpa in Tabasco, Mexico

Gisela Lanzas and Matthew Whittle

learned that the proximate factor leading to most land sales was debt: farmers had taken loans they were unable to repay. Heavily indebted farmers often lack the ability to continue to invest in production, so the land becomes unproductive and is sold to

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“Your debts are our problem”

The politicization of debt in Azerbaijan

Tristam Barrett

was over the nonpayment of a dollar-denominated bank debt. The debtor had lost his job and absconded, so the court ordered the guarantor to repay the loan. Unable to repay it, he was found to be in contempt and threatened with imprisonment. He was now

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The Debts of War

Bifurcated Veterans’ Mobilization and Political Order in Post-settlement El Salvador

Ralph Sprenkels

politics thus allowed for a platform on which to stage war contributions as historical debts owed by both party and state. Veterans at the top and at the bottom of the party hierarchy played distinct roles. As leaders drew on historical networks for

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Repaying the Debts of the Dead

Kinship, Microfinance, and Mortuary Practice on the Paraguayan Frontier

Caroline E. Schuster

finished my long-term fieldwork with a regional branch office of the NGO in the Paraguayan border city of Ciudad del Este. The policy came about because so many microcredit groups found it impossible to deal with the increased debt load that was followed

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Women and children together and apart

Finding the time for social reproduction theory

Jan Newberry and Rachel Rosen

through the quickened tempo of debt servicing for the achievement of social reproduction. Back to social reproductive theory again Capital's fundamental contradiction between its drive for immediate profit and the need to regenerate labor power has been

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Grave Matters and the Good Life

On a Finite Economy in Bosnia

Larisa Jasarevic

This article outlines how the good life and a decent death in contemporary Bosnia are underwritten and undermined by informal forms of debt. Such debts finance pursuit of a pleasurable life in a post-conflict, post-socialist economy but inspire daily anxieties, not least about dying indebted. The article runs through household budgeting, everyday splurges, bodily discomforts, ordinary death and a funeral marketplace, suggesting a 'finite economy' of vernacular practice incited and limited by an habitual fixation on existential finitude.

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German Debts

Entangled Histories of the Greek–German Relationship and Their Varied Effects

Klaus Neumann

front of a hostel for asylum seekers. 7 The government and public response to refugees was also an attempt to undo some of the damage to Germany’s reputation in July, when the Merkel government took a hardline approach to demands for debt relief during