The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions

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Random House, May 4, 2017 - Social Science - 368 pages


'There's no understanding global inequality without understanding its history. In The Divide, Jason Hickel brilliantly lays it out, layer upon layer, until you are left reeling with the outrage of it all.' -
Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics

ˇ The richest eight people control more wealth than the poorest half of the world combined.
ˇ Today, 60 per cent of the world's population lives on less than $5 a day.
ˇ Though global real GDP has nearly tripled since 1980, 1.1 billion more people are now living in poverty.

For decades we have been told a story: that development is working, that poverty is a natural phenomenon and will be eradicated through aid by 2030. But just because it is a comforting tale doesn't make it true. Poor countries are poor because they are integrated into the global economic system on unequal terms, and aid only helps to hide this.

Drawing on pioneering research and years of first-hand experience, The Divide tracks the evolution of global inequality - from the expeditions of Christopher Columbus to the present day - offering revelatory answers to some of humanity's greatest problems. It is a provocative, urgent and ultimately uplifting account of how the world works, and how it can change for the better.


Selected pages


The Development Delusion
The End of Poverty Has Been Postponed
Where Did Poverty Come From? A Creation
From Colonialism to the Coup
Debt and the Economics of Planned Misery
Free Trade and the Rise of the Virtual Senate
Plunder in the 21st Century
From Charity to Justice
The Necessary Madness of Imagination

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About the author (2017)

Jason Hickel is an economic anthropologist, Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is originally from Eswatini (Swaziland) and spent a number of years with migrant workers in South Africa, writing about exploitation and political resistance in the wake of apartheid. He has authored three books, including most recently The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions. He writes regularly for the Guardian, Al Jazeera and Foreign Policy, serves as an advisor for the Green New Deal for Europe and sits on the Lancet Commission for Reparations and Redistributive Justice. He lives in London.