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Olof Palme Lecture 2017: Presence and social obligation: an essay on the share
In a recent book, Professor Ferguson analyzed the figure of the share as a principle of distribution of social protection payments or “cash transfers” in the global South in general, and in southern Africa in particular. Noting that today’s existing schemes of distribution are (like all “social” schemes before them) limited by principles of nation-state membership, he concluded with the suggestion that it may be possible to detect new logics of social obligation emerging that work not according to a logic of citizenship and national membership, but according to a principle that I called “presence”. This paper is an attempt to elaborate this conception, and to develop a more complete account of how such an understanding of presence might provide a basis both for an expanded sense of social obligation and for more inclusionary forms of politics.
About the speaker
James Ferguson is the Susan S and William H Hindle Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Professor in the Department of Anthropology, at Stanford University.
- Professor James Ferguson (Stanford University)