Development Seminar: Derek Hall

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Date(s) - 03/11/2017
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

AP 367


Neoliberalisms Commodifications

Abstract: The idea that the world is moving towards, or has already arrived at, a condition often referred to as “the commodification of everything” has become a staple of media, activist, and scholarly commentary in the early 21st century. Critical political economists have variously identified the commodification of everything as an empirical condition characteristic of mature capitalism, as a structural tendency inherent to capitalist social relations, and as an neoliberal ideological project. In this talk, I challenge the idea that universal commodification is a neoliberal goal in two ways: by inquiring into what the implications of the existence of markets for everything would be for market relations themselves, and by asking why it is that neoliberal states and international institutions criminalize and pathologize a wide range of markets that have flourished in some non-neoliberal societies. I focus in particular on possible markets in some of the most fundamental elements of human societies, including violence, power, and credentials, and draw on empirical evidence from early modern Europe and contemporary Eastern Asia.

Speaker: Derek Hall is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research interests include the political economy of food, agriculture, land and the environment in Eastern Asia, and the theory and history of capitalism. He is the author of Land (Polity, 2013) and, with Philip Hirsch and Tania Murray Li, of Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia (NUS Press and University of Hawai’i Press, 2011). In 2009-10 he was an S.V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Research Fellow at the University of California Berkeley.

Sponsored by the Development Seminar and the Centre for Ssouth East Asian Studies at the Asian Institute, University of Toronto.

All are welcome, however registration is required


This event is fully booked.