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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How ‘classy’ is the African middle class?

By HENNING MELBER

The middle classes in the global South gained growing attention since the turn of the century mainly through their rapid ascendancy in the Asian emerging economies. One of the side effects of the economic growth during these ‘fat years’, which also benefitted the resource rich economies on the African continent, was a rapid relative increase of monetary income for a growing number of households. Many of these in the lower segments of society crossed the defined poverty levels of US$ 1.25 a day. The ominous term ‘middle class’ was part of the effort, to quantify this trend and at the same time to classify it.  Continue reading “How ‘classy’ is the African middle class?”

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 new middle class in the global South

Event type: 2-day workshop
Date: 21 and 22 September 2015
Place: Wiser, Wits University (South Africa)
Convernors: Maxim Bolt (Wits), Deborah James (LSE), Sarah Nuttall (Wits), George St. Clare (LSE)

Continue reading “The new middle class in the global South”