About the College >> Jason Hickel

Jason Hickel

Jason Hickel

Jason Hickel

Dr Jason Hickel specializes in development, finance, democracy, violence, and global political economy. His most recent book, "The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions" (Penguin 2017) explores why the income gap between North and South has grown so dramatically since the 1980s. The book argues that the global economy has been organized, from the onset of colonialism to the modern trade system, in a way that benefits a handful of rich nations at the expense of most of the rest of the world.

Jason's ethnographic research focuses on politics in South Africa. His first book "Democracy as Death: The Moral Order of Anti-Liberal Politics in South Africa" (University of California Press, 2015) looks at why many migrant workers from rural Zululand regard certain liberal elements of democracy as morally repulsive and socially destructive. It argues that this trend can only be understood with reference to popular conceptions of collective well-being and healing that hinge on the hierarchical order of domestic space in rural areas.

Jason's present ethnographic work looks at how the South African Reserve Bank manages monetary through public communication that masks the political and distributional entailments of changes in the value of money. The research also explores growing political conflict between the ANC government and an emergent left movement over interest rates and foreign capital flows - a conflict that hinges on competing conceptions of democracy and sovereignty.

In addition to his academic research, Jason writes regularly for The Guardian and Al Jazeera, and contributes to a number of other online outlets. He sits on the board of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) and is a founding member of /The Rules.

Jason is convening the MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics. In the past he has taught courses on development, labour, globalization, economics, and Africa. He has received five teaching awards for his work in the classroom, and in 2013 won the ASA/HEA National Award for Excellence in Teaching Anthropology.