Podcast of James Ferguson's Olof Palme Lecture now available

21 June, 2017

A podcast of this year's Olof Palme Lecture, 'Presence and social obligation: an essay on the share', delivered by Professor James Ferguson is now available.

In a recent book, Professor Ferguson analysed 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 might 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 he called 'presence'.

The lecture elaborated this conception with a view to developing 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.

The lecture took place on 8 June at the Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College.

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.

Listen to the lecture.