The middle class in Africa: Comparative perspectives and lived experiences

By CLAIRE MERCER, DEBORAH JAMES and CHARLOTTE LEMANSKI

Event type: Conference
Date: 7-9- September 2016
Place: University of Cambridge (UK)
Convernors: Claire Mercer (LSE), Deborah James (LSE), Charlotte Lemanski (Cambridge)

Paradoxically, while in Europe and America the old middle class is declining, in the Global South its newer incarnation is on the rise. Interest in the ‘African middle classes’ as an identity-based group has exploded in recent years, becoming the contemporary buzz-topic for scholarly and public agendas. Continue reading “The middle class in Africa: Comparative perspectives and lived experiences”

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Transformations of Civic Society – International Graduate School Halle Tôkyô

Place: University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany; University of Tokyo
Project leader: Manfred Hettling (Halle-Wittenberg)

The International Graduate School examines the conditions under which structures of ‘civic society’ were established and transformed in Germany and Japan after the 18th and 19th century, respectively. The Graduate School does so by adapting a comparative and interdisciplinary approach. Continue reading “Transformations of Civic Society – International Graduate School Halle Tôkyô”

Why this blog? Reflections on hope and critique in a globalized world

By CHRISTOF DEJUNG

In times of political radicalization and destabilization, increasing economic inequality and attraction to authoritarian leaders across the globe, a blog on global middle classes seems to require justification. The focus on such a topic was, one could argue, either an expression of both liberal naivety and an obsession with global development according to the Western model or – worse – an indication of being attracted to a cozy fairytale according to which everyone was able to achieve an adequate standard of living if only trying hard enough. Continue reading “Why this blog? Reflections on hope and critique in a globalized world”

The global bourgeoisie: The rise of the middle classes in the age of empire

Event type: International conference
Date: 27-29 August 2015
Place: Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
Convernors: Christof Dejung (Cambridge/Konstanz), David Motadel (Cambridge/Edinburgh), Jürgen Osterhammel (Konstanz)

This conference provides a new approach to the emerging research field of global social history by examining the emergence of ‘middle classes’ and ‘bourgeois cultures’ across the globe in the long nineteenth century, as well as their encounters in imperial and non-imperial contexts. It is innovative for the following two reasons: First, it argues that the nineteenth century saw the establishment of social groups all over the world that shared many characteristics with the European bourgeoisie, and could therefore be described as ‘middle classes’. Second, the conference reveals that the making of the middle classes across the globe can only be explained by considering the rising transfer of ideas and goods between the Western and non-Western worlds. Continue reading “The global bourgeoisie: The rise of the middle classes in the age of empire”