DV451 Half Unit
Money in an Unequal World
This information is for the 2015/16 session.
Prof Nigel Dodd S277 and Prof John Hart
This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies and MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This is a single term course consisting of 10 x 3 hours workshops for up to 30 Masters students. The course will introduce students to approaches to money from sociology, anthropology, development studies, geography, political economy and cultural theory. The course extends an ongoing dialogue between the course organizers, an anthropologist and a sociologist, and will draw on major theoretical approaches and historical studies to examine how money operates – its social organization and governance, its production in global and local financial networks. As a measure and symbol of economic inequality, money is both a problem for development and potentially a major part of its solution. Students will therefore investigate how new and alternative forms may help us to rethink and re-organize money and mount a sustained challenge to prevailing economic systems. The lecture-seminars will cover the following topics:
Week One: Capital in the global distribution of wealth
Overview of course: the organization of money and global capitalism; the world’s monetary institutions; global, regional, national and local politics of money; world money, national currencies and the future of money.
Week Two: What is money and what do people do with it?
The social functions and meanings of money; special vs. general purpose monies; spheres of exchange; personal vs. impersonal money; earmarking; money and scales of value.
Week Three: The origins of money
Competing theories of the origins of money, barter vs. tribute; money and gift exchange; Simmel’s theory of money; the state theory of money.
Week Four: Money as credit/debt
The social, institutional and cultural connections between money, credit and debt; banks and the production of money; money and the ‘debt problem’; money as public debt.
Week Five: The rise and fall of national currencies
The geography and geopolitics of money; history and future of state currency; states, central banks and monetary governance; gold and international money; Bretton Woods and its aftermath; world money.
Week Six: The history and ethnography of finance
The concept of financialization; history of finance and the growth ofmanaged money; finance, securitization and new forms of money (CDOs, derivatives etc.).
Week Seven: Community and complementary currencies
History of monetary reform, ‘monetary utopianism’ and alternative currencies; theory and history of LETS, Time Banks, labour money, microcredit, etc.
Week Eight: Digital commerce, e-money and mobile money
The digitalization of money; virtual money; history of digital currency; mobile money (M-Pesa); the Bitcoin phenomenon.
Week Nine: The Euro
Globalization and the future of world money; history of European monetary integration and the present crisis; the rationale for currency union and the prospects for other regional unions.
Week Ten: Money in the making of world society
General review. Is a human economy possible? Is money a central means to such an economy or its antithesis?
30 hours of lectures in the MT.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.
Dodd, N (1994) The Sociology of Money (Polity)
Dodd, N. (2014) The Social Life of Money (Princeton University Press)
Graeber, D. (2011) Debt: The First 5000 Years (Melville House)
Hart, K. (2001) Money in an Unequal World (Texere, previously published as The Memory Bank, Profile, 2000, available at http://thememorybank.co.uk/book)
Hart, K. and V. Padayachee 2013 A history of South African capitalism in national and global perspective, Transformation 81/82, 55-85.
Hann, C. and K. Hart (2011) Economic Anthropology (Polity)
Ingham (2004) The Nature of Money (Polity)
Zelizer, V (1994) The Social Meaning of Money
Essay (100%, 5000 words) in January.
Department: International Development
Total students 2014/15: 32
Average class size 2014/15: 33
Controlled access 2014/15: Yes
Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (MT)
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills