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Department of Social Anthropology


14th Annual Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern Lecture (16th May 2024)

Capitalism, imperialism, and the struggle for development in the 21st century. Professor Jason Hickel (ICTA-UAB)Capitalism, imperialism, and the struggle for development in the 21st century. Professor Jason Hickel (ICTA-UAB)

This talk demonstrates how dynamics of capital accumulation and unequal exchange in the world-system continue to actively prevent development in the global South and subject billions of people to needless deprivation. Development in the 21st century requires clear strategies and movements for achieving economic sovereignty, delinking from the imperial core, and implementing ecosocialist policy.


Dr. Jason Hickel is an economic anthropologist, author, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  He is Professor at the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics, and Chair Professor of Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo. He is Associate Editor of the journal World Development, and serves on the Climate and Macroeconomics Roundtable of the US National Academy of Sciences, the advisory board of the Green New Deal for Europe, the Rodney Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice, and the Lancet Commission on Sustainable Health.


Jason's research focuses on global political economy, inequality, and ecological economics, which are the subjects of his two most recent books: The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions (Penguin, 2017), and Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World (Penguin, 2020), which was listed by the Financial Times and New Scientist as a book of the year.

Jason's ethnographic work focuses on colonialism, anti-colonial struggles and the labour movement in South Africa, which is the subject of his first book, Democracy as Death: The Moral Order of Anti-Liberal Politics in South Africa (University of California Press, 2015).  He is co-editor of two additional ethnographic volumes: Ekhaya: The Politics of Home in KwaZulu-Natal (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2014) and Hierarchy and Value: Comparative Perspectives on Moral Order (Berghahn, 2018).


About the Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern Lecture

The Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern Annual Lecture was established in 2011 to celebrate the many-facetted achievements of Dame Marilyn Strathern FBA, who was William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology from 1993 to 2008, and Mistress of Girton College (1998-2009), and whose writings have been profoundly and widely influential in anthropology and on cognate disciplines. Her many awards and distinctions include the Huxley Memorial Medal, bestowed by the Royal Anthropological Institute for lifetime achievement at the highest level. Marilyn Strathern has also given many years of devoted service to the Cambridge Social Anthropology Department, and this lecture is a mark of the affection as well as the esteem in which she is held in the Department.

The Strathern Lecture is organised annually by the student-led Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society (CUSAS), which is supported by the Department.

The venue is to be confirmed but will be a central Cambridge college.

Thursday, 16 May, 2024 - 17:00 to 18:30
Event location: