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'If I Receive It, It Is a Gift; If I Demand It, Then It Is a Bribe'

On the Local Meaning of Economic Transactions in Post-Soviet Ukraine

Abel Polese

Challenging the main reports of corruption in Ukraine, this article proposes that most of the 'economic transactions' that are reported as bribe taking have a deeper meaning and can be analysed within the framework of gift exchange proposed by Marcel Mauss. This paper thus focuses on the three alleged most 'corrupted' places in Ukraine: a university, a hospital and a police control post, in order to develop a detailed analysis of the meanings behind these transactions. Furthermore, it examines the particular role that social actors take within these arrangements. Finally, I propose the recognition of a grey zone between corruptions as evident in the ethnographic examples analysed in the course of this paper.

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‘Love Merchandized’

Money in Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Manfred Pfister

Abstract

Although analysing Shakespeare’s sonnets in the context of ‘Shakespeare and money’ is not an obvious choice, I believe that Karl Marx’s ‘The Power of Money’ in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts are as relevant to the sonnets as they are to plays such as Timon of Athens. My reading of them will foreground their dialogue with terms and developments in early modern banking and focus on metaphors of economic transaction that run through the whole cycle; indeed, a third of them figure love, its wealth and truth, use and abuse, in terms of investment in order to project an alternative economy beyond the self-alienating world of banking/financial gain. This imbrication of the erotic with the economic comprises also the writing of love sonnets, a competitive game-like economic transaction. Soneteering is a way of ‘merchandizing love’ that inevitably casts a capitalist shadow across the supposedly most sincere expression of love.

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Anwar Tlili and Susan Wright

The UK government's 2004 law, aiming to make universities contribute to Britain's success in the global knowledge economy, creates an explicit market in higher education. Students are presumed to occupy the status of consumer in an economic transaction with universities. The law gives students a right to information and an audit function so that their choices as 'intelligent consumers' will 'drive change' in universities. Interviews in two contrasting universities explore students' responses to this discourse and reveal their different aspirations and concepts of education. Yet they share doubts that regimes of audit and notions of accountability to consumers will not make their voices really 'count'.

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Beyond Binaries, Borders, and Boundaries

Mapping the City in John Rechy's City of Night

Eir-Anne Edgar

the “sexfantasy” of scores and earn money. Though he has sexual encounters with both men and women that involve no economic transaction, these moments are few in the text. Rechy's hustler and the novel's economy of desire present a more complex

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“To take a wyf”

Marriage, Status, and Moral Conduct in “The Merchant’s Tale”

Natalie Hanna

myghte lyven in moore felicitee … if it youre wille be, / That for to been a wedded man.” 40 Here the wedded man refers to one who marries as more of an economic transaction than out of love, intending the union as a means of guaranteeing Walter

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Richard H. Robbins

( Figure 3 ). Figure 1 US Monetary Interest Paid in Billions (1969–2015) Source : FRBSTL and OMB (2018) As national economies are presently constituted, every economic transaction—whether the purchase of a commodity, a rent or mortgage payment, a meal at a