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Travelling multi‐level marketing schemes and whispers of fraud in Kenya

Jan Beek

While the transnational flows of goods, people and ideas have been increasing in the last decades, many people in Africa feel excluded from the possibilities that these connections bring. In Nairobi, some multi‐level marketing schemes are offering everyone the chance to partake in new forms of wealth creation, and hundreds of thousands of Kenyans have joined them. Such schemes have been travelling rapidly worldwide and seem to successfully circulate neoliberal rationalities and fantasies. Based on fieldwork in Kenya, the paper explores these multi‐level marketing schemes as travelling models, which need to be translated into local contexts. These schemes do not conform to conventional definitions of fraud but bring suspicions of it to the fore, doubts that haunt their glamorous marketing presentations. Such whispers imply the re‐emergence of notions of morality that are very much the opposite of the ideas that the schemes bring with them. Studying such schemes allows us to explore how actors convey, desperately want to partake in, and believe in capitalist rationalities and imaginaries. The suspicions of fraud also suggest a certain disillusionment with these rationalities, making apparent that they have become a matter of belief.

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Micromobility, Space, and Indigenous Housing Schemes in Australia after World War II

Katherine Ellinghaus and Sianan Healy

in twentieth-century Australia, housing schemes that targeted Indigenous communities were not just expressions of the project of assimilation (indeed, they failed to be assimilative) but were also about creating the particular “forced mobilities and

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'a scheme of echoes'

Trevor Joyce, Poetry and Publishing in Ireland in the 1960s

Marcella Edwards

For some time a consensus has existed in critical circles concerning developments in poetry and publishing in Ireland in the 1960s. This decade has been seen as a period of expansion in the volume of new writing, in the range of subject matter and in the formal properties of poetic writing, activities which represented an unprecedented change in poetic expression. This has been frequently claimed but seldom analysed. While history testifies to the beginning of a modernising process in Ireland in the 1960s in terms of industry, economics and social policy changes, contrary to the glib pronouncements that to date neatly package the poetic activities of this period, it was, in fact, a complex period of cultural adjustment involving many players whose thinking and whose written pronouncements often harboured antithetical perspectives. This is most obvious in the editorial policies and pronouncements within Irish poetry journals, which, contrary to the above impression, harboured traditionalist and often nationalist and or essentialist affinities.

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Dangerous speculation

The appeal of pyramid schemes in rural Siberia

Leonie Schiffauer

Following the demise of the Soviet Union, a wave of pyramid and Ponzi schemes swept over formerly socialist territory. Get-rich-quick schemes were proliferating in several newly capitalist countries such as Romania, Albania, and Russia. The

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Waiting for Dignity Housing

Slum Redevelopment, Cruel Governance and Unaccounted Time in Hyderabad

Indivar Jonnalagadda

In 2015, the government of the newly formed Telangana State announced an ambitious housing scheme that promised two-bedroom apartments (hereafter 2BHK 1 apartments) free of cost to all below-poverty-line (BPL) houseless families. This promise

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Negotiating the Nation in History

The Swedish State Approval Scheme for Textbooks and Teaching Aids from 1945 to 1983

Henrik Åström Elmersjö

concepts and to demonstrate the effects of the introduction of “new” discourses into the debate over education in general, and history education in particular. The Swedish Textbook Approval Scheme for Textbooks and Teaching Aids ( Statens läroboksnämnd and

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Becoming an Agricultural Growth Corridor

African Megaprojects at a Situated Scale

Serena Stein and Marc Kalina

, practices, and ecologies potentially affected by these schemes. That is, in contrast to the vast majority of academic studies that accept corridors as a given entity, grounded studies of AGCs must devise ways to interrogate their provisional becoming

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Freeing the ‘Aboriginal Individual’

Deconstructing ‘Development as Freedom’ in Remote Indigenous Australia

Hannah Bulloch and William Fogarty

’, ‘assimilation’, ‘self-determination’, and ‘practical reconciliation’, as well as schemes to ‘close the gap’. With perhaps the exception of the self-determination era (which struggled to actualize), each of these approaches represents part of an ongoing project

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Curious Utopias

Dreaming Big Again in the Twenty-first Century?

Ruth Prince and Tom Neumark

schemes of economic, political and societal transformation. These interventions explicitly invoke a ‘global’ and ‘universal’ scale and are driven partly by frustration at the petty ‘realism’ of recent decades, as well as the urgency generated by economic

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Capitalism, Kinship, and Fraud

The Case of Bernie Madoff

Sherry B. Ortner

the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. It involved the largest amount of money ever seen in such a scheme, went on longer than any other known scheme, and involved more victims over more of the globe than any scheme on record. In terms of sheer scale and