La panacea cinese? Una risposta al Sottosegretario Geraci

[Read the English version here]   Qualche settimana fa, il nuovo Sottosegretario allo Sviluppo Economico Michele Geraci ha pubblicato sul blog di Beppe Grillo ‘La Cina e il governo del cambiamento’, un articolo in cui espone la sua visione di una ‘più attenta politica estera ed economica rivolta alla Cina’ per ‘[aumentare] le probabilità di […]

Chinese Digital Ecosystems Go Abroad: Myanmar and the Diffusion of Chinese Smartphones

Myanmar’s recent economic opening has prompted a dramatic upsurge in access to mobile phone and Internet technologies. Lower-cost smartphones finding their way across the border from China often have limited Burmese language support and come with WeChat and other Chinese apps preinstalled. This situation is resulting in a localised form of China’s digital ecosystem with Burmese characteristics.

Rethinking the Cultural Politics of Globalisation: Where Do We Go from Here?

In the days following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) on 23 June 2016, the same questions appeared repeatedly in the newspaper headlines and media debates: ‘What now?’ ‘What do we do now?’ ‘Where do we go from here?’ These are the cries of people who suddenly find themselves in a confusing, uncertain […]

Bharat Bandh: Millions Challenge Modi’s Labour Agenda

A massive, nationwide strike—popularised as Bharat Bandh (literally ‘India closed’ in Hindi/Sanskrit)—caused major disruption to India’s economy on 2 September 2016. Some unions have claimed this was the largest general strike in history, with up to one hundred and fifty million workers involved and costs to business of around 2.7 billion US dollars. While these figures […]

Plastic China: Beyond Waste Imports

In the last two years, the issue of waste exports to China has attracted considerable media and public attention. As a result, awareness of the social and environmental impact of the global trade in recyclables has increased substantially, both within and outside of China. Among contributing factors was Plastic China (suliao wangguo, 2016), a documentary directed by […]

The Internet in China: A Conversation with Gianluigi Negro

For the past couple of decades, the Internet has been one of the most contentious arenas for public discourse in China, a site of confrontation between authorities eager to exert control and users attempting to re-appropriate discursive spaces. In his book The Internet in China: From Infrastructure to Nascent Civil Society (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), Gianluigi […]

Illicit Economies of the Internet: Click Farming in Indonesia and Beyond

Click farms are often considered either a form of fraudulent online marketing or as a type of exploitative digital labour based on an illegitimate business operation that produces ‘click spam’. There has, however, been limited research on how these entities operate, who the actors are, and how the market is organised. In an ethnographic spirit, this essay takes click farmers not as an aberration, but rather as a starting point for approaching the ‘like economy’.

Land Wars: A Conversation with Brian DeMare

The Maoist land reform campaigns were an integral element in the Chinese Communist Party’s rise and subsequent ability to maintain power. In Land Wars, Brian DeMare weaves together historical and narrative accounts, providing a detailed picture of how the land reforms shaped the lives of those involved, as well as communist rule in China. Nicholas […]

Domestic Archaeology

The Domestic Archaeology Project is the outcome of seven years of work, from 2009 to 2016. During this period, I undertook dozens of trips to the countryside—exploring the lives of those living in the rural hinterlands of the coast, inland areas, and the western provinces. In our contemporary era, characterised as it is by change […]

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