Poverty and development


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Peanuts, bagged and ready for transport, are stacked in pyramids at Kano, Northern Region, Nigeria, 1955. Photo by Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Essay/
Global history
After slavery

Abolition in Africa brought longed-for freedoms, but also political turmoil, economic collapse and rising enslavement

Toby Green

Field workers harvest cantaloupes on the outskirts of Maricopa County near Aguila, Arizona, on 29 July 2020. Photo by Ed Kashi/Vii/Headpress

Essay/
Work
The tyranny of work

Jobs have become, for so many, a relentless, unsatisfying toil. Why then does the work ethic still hold so much sway?

Jamie McCallum

Community block party in the rain. Baltimore, 2018. Photo by Peter van Agtmael/Magnum

Essay/
Race and ethnicity
Sociology’s race problem

Urban ethnographers do more harm than good in speaking for Black communities. They see only suffering, not diversity or joy

Robyn Autry

Residents line up for cow beans provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ease an ongoing food crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency. Mainok village, Western Borno State, Nigeria, 11 February 2017. Photo by Ashley Gilbertson/VII/Headpress

Essay/
Poverty and development
The billionaire curse

Philanthropy is vital – but its mechanisms are as intricate and troubling as the baroque structures of high finance

Katharyne Mitchell

Carvings thought to depict Terra Mater (Mother Earth) decorate the Ara Pacis Augustae, built in honour of the military successes and political reforms of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty

Essay/
History
How the poor became blessed

Greco-Roman gods had no interest in the poor nor was organised charity a religious duty. How was Christianity different?

Pieter van der Horst

Graduating students of the City College of New York cheer during the commencement ceremony in the Harlem section of Manhattan, New York on 3 June 2016. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Essay/
Education
Engines of democracy

Society will be much improved by loosening the stranglehold of top universities on the education of elites. But how?

Jennifer M Morton

UN forces patrolling the streets of Port au Prince in Haiti after a devastating earthquake, 22 January 2010. Photo by Jerome Sessini/Magnum

Essay/
Poverty and development
After the storm

Few things tell us more about the nature of state sovereignty, and the threats to it, than the politics of disaster relief

Saptarishi Bandopadhyay

Homeless Gustave, 75, sits in front of the tent where he lives near the Boulevard Périphérique in Paris. Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Anthropology
At home with the homeless

Is a home made of bricks and mortar or hopes and dreams? Dispatches from among the rough sleepers on the streets of Paris

Johannes Lenhard

US non-profit GiveDirectly provided universal basic income to several villages in the Kisume area of Kenya. The headmaster of this school used his to buy new furniture and books. Photo by Thomas Dworzak/Magnum

Essay/
Poverty and development
What really helps the poor?

It’s difficult to test whether poverty relief actually works. Do randomised controlled trials provide a scientific measure?

Stephanie Wykstra

Clinic run by nuns in the village of Kati, near Bamako, Mali, in 1994. Photo by Abbas/Magnum

Essay/
Poverty and development
What good is religion?

International development has focused on material goods, but religion has an important role to play in human flourishing

Manini Sheker

A Dalit woman carrying water in Orissa, India. Mikkel Ostergaard/Panops

Essay/
Human rights and justice
Caste lives on, and on

Indian society deludes itself that caste discrimination is a thing of the past, yet it suffuses the nation, top to bottom

Prayaag Akbar