1 June 2011: Iain Boal and Lyla Mehta on Concepts of Scarcity

VIDEO / PODCAST

Concepts of Scarcity is part of Scarcity Exchanges, a series of exchanges on and around the topic of scarcity, bringing together some of the leading thinkers in the field to expound on one of the most pressing, but often avoided, issues of the day.

Iain Boal is a social historian and co-founder of the Retort collective, an association of radical writers, artisans, and artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has taught at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz. He is presently Research Fellow of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. In his remarks, “Scarcity and the necessities of life”, Boal will review the Reverend Malthus’ definition of economics as “decision under scarcity”, and asks whether another economics, indeed another world, is possible.

Lyla Mehta is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and an Adjunct Professor at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She is a sociologist and her work focuses on the politics of scarcity, water and sanitation, gender, forced displacement and resistance, rights and access to resources and the politics of environment/ development and sustainability. Several of her publications have been concerned with scarcity including the recently edited work ‘The Limits to Scarcity: Contesting the Politics of Allocation’. Her talk is entitled ‘Taking the scare out of scarcity: Why ‘perfect storm’ narratives serve to keep the poor poor’.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011, 6.30 pm, University of Westminster, Marylebone Campus, Cayley Lecture Theatre, London