A groundbreaking new examination of global inequality, and how to fix it
Jason Hickel is an economic anthropologist, Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is originally from Eswatini (Swaziland) and spent a number of years with migrant workers in South Africa, writing about exploitation and political resistance in the wake of apartheid. He has authored three books, including most recently The Divide- A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions. He writes regularly for the Guardian, Al Jazeera and Foreign Policy, serves as an advisor for the Green New Deal for Europe and sits on the Lancet Commission for Reparations and Redistributive Justice. He lives in London.
There’s no understanding global inequality without understanding
its history. In The Divide, Jason Hickel brilliantly lays it out,
layer upon layer, until you are left reeling with the outrage of it
*Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics*
In this iconoclastic book, Jason Hickel shakes up the prevailing paradigm of "development" at its root. He not only exposes the fatal flaws in the standard model of development but also shows how the "development aid" given to the poor countries in order to promote that erroneous model is vastly outweighed by the resource transferred to the rich countries through an unfair global economic system. Many of the proposals that Hickel makes for institutional reform and intellectual re-framing may sound "mad", as he himself acknowledges, but history has taught us that mad ideas have the habit of becoming respectable over time. This book will radically change the way in which you understand the workings of the global economic system and the challenges faced by poor countries trying to advance within it.
*Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge, author of 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User's Guide*
This is a book that if our world is to have any chance of meeting the challenges of the 21st century, people need to read. It challenges so much received wisdom via a well-argued, flowing prose that guides you through economic history, international trade, colonialism, politics and power, and the limits to growth debate. In setting out the reality of global inequality and its tangled roots, Hickel, matador-like, destroys the statistical pivots used by official agencies and unpicks their portrayal of an optimistic account of the state of global poverty and inequality.
With passion and panache, Jason Hickel tells a very different story of why poverty exists, what progress is, and who we are. The Divide is myth busting at its best. The West has controlled the rest through colonization, coups, trade and debt. Poor countries are made poor by this; but a dramatic change is coming.
*Danny Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%*
Hickel masterfully weaves together the most radical currents in political and economic thought to plot the course of global development… I appreciated his ability to translate such a disorienting amount of complex information into a clear, compelling narrative. Hickel is one of the few academics taking responsibilities as a public intellectual seriously, willing to ask difficult questions that challenge and inform our political discourse.