Monday, 23 March 2015

Ghost Cities of China: Wade Shepard, Owen Hatherley and Paul French

An evening to celebrate the publication of Wade Shepard's Ghost Cities of China: The story of cities without people in the world's most populated country

Featuring everything from sports stadiums to shopping malls, hundreds of new cities in China stand empty, with hundreds more set to be built by 2030.

Between now and then, the country's urban population will leap to over one billion, as the central government kicks its urbanization initiative into overdrive. In the process, traditional social structures are being torn apart, and a rootless, semi-displaced, consumption orientated culture rapidly taking their place.

Ghost Cities of China is an enthralling dialogue driven, on-location search for an understanding of China's new cities and the reasons why many currently stand empty.

April 20, 7pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, W1J 9HD

Wade Shepard will be in conversation with Owen Hatherley, author of A Guide to The New Ruins of Great Britain and Paul French, author of North Korea: State of Paranoia and Midnight in Peking.

This event is free but RSVP is essential: piccadilly@waterstones.com | 020 7851 2400

                                  
Praise for Ghost Cities of China

'In Ghost Cities of China, Wade Shepard guides us on a comprehensive - yet still often intimate - tour of cities "that are just being born."  Through in-depth engagement with the country's vast urbanization efforts, Shepard exposes both the myths and realities of China's ghost cities; haunted spaces, which are not dead and abandoned, but rather have yet to come to life.' - Anna Greenspan, author of Shanghai Future: Modernity Remade

'In his exploration of East Asian cities that are literally disposable, Wade Shepard provides an intriguing overview to a phenomenon that combines two of this century's biggest narratives -- global urbanization, and the unprecedented growth of China.' - Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn't Go There

'Wade Shepard cuts through the sensational coverage of China's infrastructure boom to deliver an eye-opening piece of reportage on the topic. A well-reported and fascinating primer on China's ghost cities.'
Rob Schmitz, China Correspondent for Marketplace


Thursday, 19 March 2015

The People vs the Racket: Matt Kennard, Owen Jones, Ellie Mae O'Hagan, MC Potent Whisper and Amelia Abraham


An evening to celebrate the launch of Matt Kennard's The Racket: A rogue reporter vs the masters of the universe

While working at the Financial Times, investigative journalist Matt Kennard uncovered a scam - a deception and rip-off of immense proportions.

From slanging matches with Henry Kissinger to coffee with the man who captured Che Guevara, Kennard’s unbridled access over four years to the crème de la crème of the global elite left him with only one conclusion. The world as we know it is run by a squad of cigar-smoking men with big guns, big cash and a reach much too close to home.

But, through encounters with high-profile opponents of the racket, such as Thom Yorke, Damon Albarn, Gael García Bernal and others, Kennard shows that human decency remains. Now it’s time for the world’s citizens to also uncover the racket.

April 16, 7pm, Waterstone's Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5EJ

Matt Kennard will be in discussion with Owen Jones, Ellie Mae O'Hagan and MC Potent Whisper, with Amelia Abraham from VICE moderating. 

There will also be art installations, music and spoken word poetry.

Join the New War of Independence!

This event is free but RSVP is essential: trafalgarsq@waterstones.com | 020 7839 4411

Praise for The Racket:

"A crucial exposé of the powerful, of injustice, and of the war against the poor. It should inspire all of us to fight back." - Owen Jones, author of Chavs and The Establishment

"In this important book, Kennard explores the direct impacts of militarized, globalized American capitalism on some of the most battered parts of our world. With devastating precision and a formidable sense of urgency, he reports on corporate shock doctors in Haiti, imperialist drug warriors in Honduras, pillaging coal and mining giants in southern Africa and Appalachia -- and so much more. Most importantly, he never loses sight of the growing numbers of resistors holding on to their creativity and self-determination in the face of these forces." - Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

"Matt Kennard threw away a cushy career with an establishment newspaper just to let you in on a secret: you don't get the story, you get the cover-up. From Honduras to Haiti to Washington to London, Kennard lets us in on the details of buried truth." - Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

When Workers Organize...

Workers from New Era Windows, Chicago

When workers organize themselves, occupy their workplace, and begin working under their own control, their action is often met with astonishment that such a thing could happen. People around the world were electrified, for example, when in 2001 Argentine workers took over two hundred factories, a hotel, and many other enterprises and began running them themselves. Yet “such things” have happened over and over again in different times and places. Now An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy rescues this important aspect of worker history and action from the memory hole and makes available a wealth of historical understanding about it.

If the world of work under capitalism is largely a realm of unfreedom, workers taking over the companies that employ them and running them under self-management is emblematic of the emancipation of labor. Yet the relation between such workplace “recuperation” as it is now known and broader social change raises a host of issues. What, for example, is the relation between the control of a single workplace by its particular employees and control by society over the economy as a whole? How can a recuperated enterprise acquire the supplies it needs to produce and pay its workers without becoming captive to the dictates of lenders and the market? What are the similarities and differences between recuperated workplaces and more traditional worker cooperatives? Between recuperated workplaces and the worker councils and assemblies that have repeatedly sprung up in many countries in times of crisis? There is a long but little-known tradition of reflection on such questions, and this book recounts those reflections as well as the actions themselves.

Since the wave of recuperations in Argentina in 2001, such experiments have been going on around the world, and this book brings the story right down to the present with accounts of recuperated workplaces from Italy to Brazil to Chicago. Many of these have been closely connected to the wave of “occupy,” “indignados,” and “anti-austerity” movements that spread around the world in response to the global Great Recession. The book brings out some of the important new characteristics that are emerging in these new recuperations. For example, they often use the facilities they acquire to produce useful goods and services, but to produce different products and for different end-users – in many cases for the local community or for the popular movement. They often modify products and production processes with an eye to ecological protection and the needs of the local economy. And they often use popular assemblies and network forms of organization in an effort to coordinate on a larger scale without establishing new markets or hierarchies.

These new approaches make clear that the possibilities opened by such worker takeovers, far from being just history, are a matter of living experiment and reflection. There is every reason to believe that workers will continue to turn to “such things” in the future as they have from time to time in the past. When they do, they will find in An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy treasure trove that will be invaluable for making their action a truly effective contribution to the liberation of workers – and society.

Jeremy Brecher

[A note on this text: this piece of writing was intended as the foreword to "An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy". This was unfortunately missing from the book due to a production error.]

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The 1% Taking the Cake



 


"The growing gap between the 1% and the rest of us is perhaps one of the biggest political challenges faced by humanity."


The growing gap between the 1% and the rest of us is perhaps one of the biggest political challenges faced by humanity. To think about it in allegorical terms, imagine for a second that you were invited to a birthday party. Instead of buying a cake, your host asks you to bring a share of the ingredients to make one. When you arrive you see that there are 99 people at the party including your host. They are all adults. Everyone has brought more or less an equal share of the ingredients according to their means and are put to work in collective fashion making and decorating a large cake that will be served at the party.  People have different skill sets, but no one is overwhelming or noticeably superior to any other. However, when it comes time to serve the cake, the host immediately takes 48% of the cake. Another 9 people approach the cake and take 38% of it, leaving the remaining 90 guests with just 14% of the cake. Perhaps not surprisingly the majority are shocked to witness the disparity between guests but there is no open revolt, just quiet whispers about the inequality in the fact of what seemed to be a shared project. The remaining 90 guests divide the remaining cake, albeit also in uneven slices, with those at the bottom receiving a few crumbs. 

Although you did get a tiny sliver of cake, you decide to decline all future invitations of your host.  However, a few years pass and you receive another invitation.  You decide to forgive and forget and arrive at the party under the same terms as before.  When the cake is served, it is even more unevenly divided than it was a few years ago.  Now your host takes 50% of the cake, another 9 guests 40% of the cake and leave the remaining 90 with 10% of the cake.  You have a feeling that barring some sort of discussion about this trend, it is unlikely to change. 

"One of the key obstacles to change that must be overcome is how this accumulation of wealth is justified."


This scenario is a bit like what’s happening in the world of wealth (and income) - a small minority increasingly owns more of society’s income generating assets.  This is what a number of studies on high net worth individuals have revealed over the last few years, including the recent report by Oxfam, Wealth: Having it all and wanting more.    It is also the subject of my recent book, The 1% and the Rest of Us.  Oxfam’s study proposes some initiatives to reverse this trend and all of them are worth serious study and vigorous debate.  But one of the key obstacles to change that must be overcome is how this accumulation of wealth is justified.  

Originally, this was the purview of political economists who did not separate power from the ‘economy’, a sphere which really only entered the minds of the neoclassicals in the late 1800s and came into its own thanks to the World Wars of the early 20th century.  Early on, many answers were provided, but they were largely unconvincing and contradictory and certainly not grounded in any provable observations.  Today, there are both popular and academic explanations for this gross division of wealth.  

Let’s start with the academic justification that only students of mainstream economics will likely be familiar with.  Mainstream economists argue that ‘capital’ is a productive entity and therefore that the owners of capital (they usually mean machines, equipment and to some extent technology) deserve to make profit.  But how much profit should they get?  According to the theory, they should receive an amount of profit equal to their contribution to production.  The problem is that this theory doesn’t square with the actual practices of capitalists and modern finance.  Real capitalists are conditioned (by taking courses in finance, not economics) to think of capital as a future flow of income discounted into a present value and adjusted by some factor of risk.  Readers who watch Dragons Den in Canada and the UK and Shark Tank in the United States will be familiar with this process when potential entrepreneurs have to value their companies – particularly when they are pre-revenue!  This idea that capitalists are forward-looking, ultimately means that mainstream economics cannot explain the distribution of income in any scientific or convincing way.  For those who are interested, the technical details and a more elaborate explanation can be found in my book.  

The popular justification (mainly trumpeted by the rich themselves and their fans in the corporate media) goes something like this: some individuals are so radically different in brain power, skill and talent that they are truly extraordinary and therefore entitled to higher rates of compensation. These higher rates of income will eventually lead to ever greater wealth as these people come to own more income-generating assets.  I call this the superman theory of wealth or the idea that superhuman individuals are the source of all wealth.  In some versions, there is room for luck, ‘hard work’ and the tech-revolution, but in general the popular explanation more or less says that evolution somehow worked quicker for some humans – mainly old white men from the United States – than the rest of humanity.  

"The popular explanation more or less says that evolution somehow worked quicker for some humans... the problem with this argument is that it is utter nonsense."


The problem with this argument is that it is utter nonsense and in no way scientifically valid.  Take for example, the tech-god (really a marketer) Steve Jobs. When he died, Apple shares were worth US$422 in October of 2011. But rather than plummet in value after his death, shares actually appreciated to a high of US$691.28 in September 2012.  Today, Apple is the world’s largest company by market capitalization.  This is not to suggest that Jobs did not contribute to – and perhaps significantly – to Apple (but Google Bill Burr Night of Too Many Stars).  But if the superman theory of wealth were true, the death of this ‘genius’ should have sent the share prices tumbling.  Yet we witness the reverse – rising confidence and capitalization of the company.  This suggests that (at least from the superman theory’s perspective) maybe Steve Jobs was actually an impediment to capitalization?   Either way, this is just one example to illustrate that any theory of wealth based on individualism is scientifically false.  There are plenty more examples explored in The 1% and the Rest of Us. So if individuals do matter, but do not generate wealth themselves, what explanation might be more convincing?

"Like language and knowledge, [wealth] is socially generated but appropriated by the few."


A more plausible thesis about the generation of wealth is that, like language and knowledge, it is socially generated but appropriated by the few.  How does this happen? The answer is obviously complex and political power, corruption and a history of colonial ruthlessness are certainly a big part of the story.  But this appropriation can primarily take place because of the legally sanctified institution of private ownership.  Ownership allows a small minority to exclude the majority from gaining any significant income-generating assets let alone sharing society’s resources in a more equitable fashion.  Two other factors are of note: 1) how we create money in our societies and who has access to credit and on what terms and 2) the fossil fuel revolution which provided pockets of humanity with the capacity to do more work.  But for an elaboration on these two points, and how they are understood from the perspective of capital as power, you’ll hopefully read my book. 

In the meantime, attacking the mistaken justifications for the mass inequality of wealth is a crucial political task, if only for the reason that in the coming years, the 1% will take more cake.   




Graphics taken from The 1% and the Rest of Us:




 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Problem with Humanitarian Intervention

Releasing this week is the late Lisa Smirl's Spaces of Aid: How Cars, Compounds and Hotels Shape Humanitarianism. To mark the release of the book, Lisa's friend Dr. Stephen Hopgood, Professor of International Relations and co-Director of the Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice (CCRJ) at SOAS, has written a piece on Lisa and her research.





"What does it look like to do good by wielding power while denying the very reality of that power?"



Having written an anthropology of human rights workers, Lisa Smirl’s interest in the sociology of humanitarianism inevitably struck a deep chord with me. We were both fascinated by the ways in which these modern, compassionate, moral social practices were embedded in material and symbolic space and culture, and in how unequal relations of power manifested in the institutions of rule characteristic of global secular humanism. What does it look like to do good by wielding power while denying the very reality of that power? How do humanitarians – good people doing good things – practice the denial essential to hide from themselves the injustices and privileges that inhabit such a space of unequal social relations? It was one of the profound connections Lisa made to see this confrontation between hubris and poverty in New Orleans post Katrina just as much as in the devastation in Aceh after the tsunami. The Global South includes the poor in the North, humanitarian action a palliative, an alibi, a temporary splint on a wound whose origins lie in structural relations of power that are always right outside our door. 

"Humanitarian action is a palliative, an alibi, a temporary splint on a wound whose origins lie in structural relations of power that are always right outside our door."


Spaces of Aid is intent on moving us from structural inequality to the borderlands between structure and agency where material and symbolic culture is constructed. Humanitarians do not work for Goldman or the Pentagon. They see their moral choices as directly opposed to these technologies of instrumental power that profit from human misery. And they comfort themselves by believing that through their efforts they can change the world.

"Lisa had been an aid worker and knew the score."


But Lisa had been an aid worker and knew the score. She was not letting humanitarians off that easily. In Spaces of Aid, she insists on saying: There is power here too and thus responsibility. The difference between an aid worker with a 4x4, an IPhone, a per diem and a passport and the refugees she tries to help remains unbridged. If anything it has widened. The micro culture of compassionate power, of the impact of practices of rule, goes right down to the grassroots with Goffman and Foucault. Humanitarians might give themselves a free pass but Lisa would not. She wanted to unveil the material culture that embodies cosmopolitan myths. 



Lisa brought an informed, savvy, critical but never cynical eye to the way in which people like her, like us, try to make a difference in the lives of others. Through the ubiquity of the landrover she exposes colonial echoes in current aid practice in Africa.  She draws disturbing links between safari culture and its wealthy consumers as they observe the exotic from the safety of the same land rovers that once enabled aid workers to watch the starving and dispossessed, humans and animals alike subject to the gaze that lies at the heart of centuries of Western power. Of course now humanitarians drive air-conditioned 4x4s with excellent stereo systems.

 

Identifying these acute tensions did not stem Lisa’s desire to help others. She remained one of the most enthusiastic and helpful people one could meet. But she did insist that we know and own our own social power, that we confront squarely the deals we make, the influence we carry. She wanted us to be honest with ourselves about the reality of attempts to do something for the poor from the vantage point of surplus. Her demand was for humility, self-awareness, and an appropriate respect for the other who only stands before us in dire need because of ill-luck and active oppression not moral dessert.



Lisa and I worked together for many years teaching diplomacy at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS. She was an inspiring teacher and a brilliant organizer. It was always a source of redemptive joy to work with her. She was serious but not self-important, as properly sceptical about the mildly ridiculous breed Bourdieu called ‘homo academicus’ as she was about aid workers.

"Spaces of Aid is a wonderful testament to Lisa's work." 


Spaces of Aid is a wonderful testament to Lisa’s work. Many people have made it happen, particularly Tarak Barkawi and Anna Stavrianakis, and all involved deserve recognition not only for bringing Lisa’s work into the public realm as an act of commemoration but more importantly for making available to future scholars one of the foundational works of the sociology of humanitarianism.


One of the last things I sent Lisa before she died was a picture of a sculpture of a crumpled land rover, part of an installation project in the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza outside the UN’s headquarters in New York. It was a fitting venue given Hammarskjöld’s awareness of the symbolic and spiritual power of humanitarian compassion, and of the politics to which it gives rise. I, for one, will never see a land rover again without thinking immediately of Lisa.

- Dr. Stephen Hopgood, Professor of International Relations and co-Director of the Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice (CCRJ) at SOAS, has written a piece on Lisa and her research.

Spaces of Aid: How Cars, Compounds and Hotels Shape Humanitarianism is available from 12th March.  Launch details below:
 



Tuesday, 3 March 2015

V for Varoufakis: the Greek Finance Minister in his Own Words



"The next dose was the next loan tranche. We don't want the next dose. We don't care about the next loan tranche when our debt is unsustainable. We want to get rid of the addiction." So said Yanis Varoufakis, following last week's controversial deal to extend Greece's bailout loan. Speaking to CNN in this interview, Varoufakis vows to use the bought time to make moves in relieving the serious issues of poverty affecting the Greek people. The renegotiated deal means the Syriza government can now reconfigure the austerity strategy imposed on Greece - so long as the net repayments remain the same. For a government elected on the promise of rejecting such Troika demands, the political effect has surely been controversial and damaging. Last week Varoufakis took to a number of platforms to explain his political and economic background, shedding light on possible reasons for this turnaround.

Writing for the
Guardian's Long Read section, the Greek Finance Minister and author of The Global Minotaur explained the development and roots of his political and economic outlook:

Karl Marx was responsible for framing my perspective of the world we live in, from my childhood to this day. This is not something that I often volunteer to talk about in “polite society” because the very mention of the M-word switches audiences off. But I never deny it either. After a few years of addressing audiences with whom I do not share an ideology, a need has crept up on me to talk about Marx’s imprint on my thinking. To explain why, while an unapologetic Marxist, I think it is important to resist him passionately in a variety of ways. To be, in other words, erratic in one’s Marxism.

It wasn't just Marx, of course. The "erratic Marxist" learn much from "Thatcher's neo-liberal trap", and is steadfast in his desire not to fall into it, or the idea that old-fashioned socialist demands can repudiate Thatcherite politics. So a new radical position is needed; economically fluent, forward-thinking and optimistic. Nonetheless, Marx remains a lodestone of any critique of capitalism, he says:

At a time when neoliberals have ensnared the majority in their theoretical tentacles, incessantly regurgitating the ideology of enhancing labour productivity in an effort to enhance competitiveness with a view to creating growth etc, Marx’s analysis offers a powerful antidote. Capital can never win in its struggle to turn labour into an infinitely elastic, mechanised input, without destroying itself. That is what neither the neoliberals nor the Keynesians will ever grasp.

It's not just his background in Marxist economics that Varoufakis has been espousing recently. It's also his background in Game Theory. It seems this, as much as theoretical economic models, that is pertinent to last week's negotiations.
Writing in the New York Times, Varoufakis says "my game-theory background convinced me that it would be pure folly to think of the current deliberations between Greece and our partners as a bargaining game to be won or lost via bluffs and tactical subterfuge."

The trouble with game theory, as I used to tell my students, is that it takes for granted the players’ motives. In poker or blackjack this assumption is unproblematic. But in the current deliberations between our European partners and Greece’s new government, the whole point is to forge new motives. To fashion a fresh mind-set that transcends national divides, dissolves the creditor-debtor distinction in favor of a pan-European perspective, and places the common European good above petty politics, dogma that proves toxic if universalized, and an us-versus-them mind-set.

His flight from Game Theory, he claims, is not based upon a radical political strategy. Instead, he is motivated by a Kantian desire to "escape the empire of expediency by doing what is right." How does that square with what many have perceived to be a reneging on the promises Syriza made to the Greek people to reject austerity by taking a tough, no-nonsense approach to the Troika? Writing for
Channel 4 News, Paul Mason suggests that angry Syriza voters may be appeased by a new tax regime against Greece's oligarch class, or the disbanding of the hated DELTA riot squad, notorious for their violence and neo-fascist sympathies. However, according to Mason, there could also be a long-term upshot regarding the symbolic terms of the (potential) Grexit:

The shock in Syriza’s upper echelons, symbolised by the expression on Alexis Tsipras’ face as he addressed the nation on Saturday, was real. It was the shock of realisation that, Germany was stronger than Italy and France combined, and that there really is no space inside the euro for a radical left government.

Since this realisation, many ordinary Greeks, and some previously pro-euro politicians and advisers,  have come to the conclusion that Syriza should prepare Greece for a “controlled exit”. Instead of “we were kicked out”, it would be sold as “we escaped” – and I think however positively today’s deal is spun, the push for Grexit will grow stronger as constraints become obvious.


To learn more of Varoufakis' political and economic outlook, download Zed Books FREE Varoufakis ebook,
Europe After the Minotaur, featuring selected extracts from The Global Minotaur.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

*WIN* a copy of new Zed book 'Clothing Poverty'


Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-Hand Clothes

 
To celebrate the release of Andrew Brooks' Clothing Poverty on 12th February, we are giving away a free copy.  All you have to do is 'Like' and 'Share' this post on Facebook.


We will also be officially launching the book at the beginning of March with a talk from author Andrew Brooks followed by a Q&A and a drinks (yes, drinks) reception.  Here are the details:


 


Are Public Services still Public?


How public are your services? This great little animated video from Municipal Services Project (MSP)




David A. McDonald is co-director of the MSP. In his recent book Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South McDonald examines the growing trend towards corporatization - both those strategies that otherwise further neoliberal ideas, but also equity-focused attempts at providing the vitals of life in the Global South. To learn more on this growing model of service provision, check out Rethinking Corporatization.

Friday, 6 February 2015

February Highlights from Zed Books


Varoufakis rattles the Minotaur's Cage!

The Troika has been shaken by Syriza's stunning election victory in Greece. Promising a backlash against EU fiscal policy, Alexis Tspiras' young leftist party looks to shake up the status quo of the austerity regime punishing Europe.

At the centre of the political storm sits Yanis Varoufakis, the erstwhile economics professor newly appointed as the Finance Minister of the new Greek coalition government. Varoufakis has already described austerity as a form of "fiscal waterboarding", and promised that Syriza will "destroy the Greek oligarchy system". Varoufakis outlined what he sees as the cause of the financial crisis - and his plans for pulling Greece out of it - in his powerful book The Global Minotaur.


In recognition of this sea-change in European politics, Zed Books have released a special free e-book containing key extracts from The Global MinotaurEurope After the Minotaur outlines his economic and political thinking and how he believes Europe can move beyond cuts and austerity.

Varoufakis shows how today’s crisis in Europe is one inevitable symptom of a global ‘system’ which is now as unsustainable as it is imbalanced. With powerful clarity and conviction, he lays out the options available to us for reintroducing reason into a highly irrational global economic order.This is a unique insight into the thinking of a key figure in the Syriza government, who is set to become a hugely influential figure in European politics.

To download your free copy of Europe After the Minotaurjust follow this link. 


More on Greece and the European Crisis


If you're interested in reading more on the European financial crisis, the following titles are fantastic guides, offering a different perspective to the mainstream economics that shapes much of our media coverage.

Europe on the Brink: Debt Crisis and Dissent in the European Periphery Tony Phillips




Europe is suffering from a bipolar economic disorder. Financial journalists divide the continent into two groups of nations - centre and periphery - not by geography but by credit rating. Europe on the Brink is a critical investigation of the root causes of this sovereign debt crisis, and the often misguided policy choices made to resolve it.

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, together with two other finance experts, compares debt contagion in Europe with regional financial crises elsewhere, while Roberto Lavagna, former economics minister in Argentina, provides a poignant comparative analysis with his own country’s experience. Crucially and uniquely, Portuguese, Greek and Irish economists provide hard-hitting case studies from the perspective of the periphery.

This much-needed book offers a heterodox economic perspective on the causes, symptoms and solutions of the biggest economic issue currently facing Europe.

Paperback / £18.99 / $29.95 / 9781783602131




The Great Eurozone Disaster: From Crisis to Global New Deal
Heikki Patomäki
The last couple of years have seen the eurozone lurch from crisis to calamity. With Greece, Portugal and Ireland already driven to the brink of economic catastrophe, and the threat that a number of other EU countries are soon to follow, the consequences for the global economy are potentially dire. In The Great Eurozone Disaster, Heikki Patomäki dissects the current crisis, revealing its origins lie in the instability that has driven the process of financialisation since the early 1970s. Furthermore, the public debt crises in the European deficit countries have been aggravated rather than alleviated by the responses of the Commission and leaders of the surplus countries, especially Germany.

Providing a captivating narrative about how Europe ended up in its present predicament, Patomäki presents a radical new vision for 'global economic democracy' as the only viable way out of the current crisis.

Paperback / £12.99 / $19.95 /9781780324784



New Titles from Zed Books



South Sudan: A Slow Liberation

Edward Thomas

After a long liberation struggle, South Sudan won its independence in 2011. Two years later, the world's youngest state erupted into new torment, with civil war pitting ethnic communities against each other. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, Edward Thomas provides a multi-layered examination of what is happening in the country today.

Paperback / £18.99 / £27.95 / 9781783604043
 

Asia-Africa Development Divergence: A Question of Intent

David Henley

Why have Southeast Asian countries been so successful in reducing levels of absolute poverty, whilst in African countries like Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, despite recent economic growth, most people are still almost as poor as they were half a century ago? Henley's convincing comparative study suggests the explanation lies with a lack of serious intent from national leaders.

Paperback / £21.99 / $32.95 / 9781783602773
Nice jeans, where did they come from? You don't know? In Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothesauthor Andrew Brooks stitches together the rich story of the worlds of high-fashion and international clothes recycling. Following a pair of jeans across their lifetime, Brooks reveals how fast fashion and international charities are embroiled in commodity change and political system that perpetuate poverty, from Mozambican markets and Nigerian Smugglers to London's vintage fashion scene and Vivienne Westwood's high-end fashion house.

Paperback / £14.99 / $21.95 / 9781783600670