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Race, finance and inequality

Over twenty-five contributors from around the world have prepared short, accessible chapters that take a striking image as a starting point to explore how today’s global financial structures are haunted by the ghosts of empire. Anyone interested in knowing more about the legacies of racism, colonialism and imperialism, whether newcomer or specialists, will enjoy this unique collection of essays. The volume provides many rich examples to draw on, from the City of London to the Australian outback, from Angola’s railways to China’s ghost cities, from the depths of the ocean to the ethereal world of data. It also tells stories of resistance and contestation, from Maori banks to radical muralists, from subtle gestures to mass uprisings. With chapters on global commodities ranging from oil to clothing to the popular drink Milo, the authors in this collection take an interdisciplinary approach, melding political economy with cultural analysis, critical geography with historical acumen. This book is both a fascinating journey for readers and an invaluable tool for teachers in many fields seeking to awaken students’ curiosity about how the global capitalist economy emerged from and reproduces racialized inequalities.

Open Access (free)
Paul Robert Gilbert
Clea Bourne
Max Haiven
, and
Johnna Montgomerie

We live in a colonial global economy. Colonialism has always operated through the creation and maintenance of racial hierarchies and exclusions. Financial practices and financial institutions have been as intimately entangled with racial hierarchy, racism and white supremacy as have colonizing states and their bureaucracies. The chapters in this book all share a concern with the entanglement of race, empire and finance in the colonial present. Each and every chapter is organized around an image: a photograph, work of art, map, advert or diagram. For some, the central concern is the relationship between hostile borders, race, migration and personal indebtedness. For others, it is the relationship between extractive infrastructure and the transition from European to Chinese investment in Africa. Several chapters are concerned with the settler colonial settings of contemporary Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Some are historical, some personal and others based on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork. We have chosen to organize this book around a set of images to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and learning. We invite you to explore your own connections as you unpick and identify the manifold entangled legacies which make an appearance in this collection.

in The entangled legacies of empire