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

London: Penguin Random House, 2017


"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

"This book will radically change the way you understand the workings of the global economic system."  -- Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge

"The Divide is myth busting at its best."  -- Danny Dorling, University of Oxford


Democracy as Death: The Moral Order of Anti-Liberal Politics in South Africa

Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015


"This is political anthropology at its best, a brilliant meditation on politics and culture in South Africa today. Masterfully written and smartly argued, Democracy as Death will be required reading for scholars across the disciplines." — Charles Piot, author of Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa After the Cold War



Ekhaya: The Politics of Home in KwaZulu-Natal 

(co-edited with Meghan Healy)
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2014


This book examines the African home as a key site of struggle in the making of modern KwaZulu-Natal, a South African province that instantiates in extreme form many of the transformations that shaped the colonial world. Its essays explore major themes in African and global history, including the colonial manipulation of kinship and the exploitation of labour, modernist practices of social engineering and the changes wrought within intimate relationships by post-industrial decline.


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Hierarchy and Value: Comparative Perspectives on Moral Order

(Co-edited with Naomi Haynes)
Berghahn Books, 2018


"After a long time in the theoretical wilderness, hierarchy has moved back onto of the agenda of anthropological thought. This superb cross-regional collection is the most important stock-taking of this recent development. Sophisticated in conceptualization while also diverse in the views it presents of how and why hierarchy matters for contemporary anthropology, this will be a crucial book for the development of this area of study going forward." – Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge


Hierarchy, Value, and the Value of Hierarchy 

(co-edited with Naomi Haynes)
Social Analysis 60(4), 2016


Globalization promised to bring about a golden age of liberal individualism, breaking down hierarchies of kinship, caste, and gender around the world and freeing people to express their true, authentic agency. But in some places globalization has spurred the emergence of new forms of hierarchy—or the reemergence of old forms—as people try to reconstitute an imagined past of stable moral order. This is evident from the Islamic revival in the Middle East to visions of the 1950s family among conservatives in the United States. Why does this happen and how do we make sense of this phenomenon? Why do some communities see hierarchy as desireable? In this special issue, leading anthropologists draw on insightful ethnographic case studies from around the world to address these trends. Together, they develop a theory of hierarchy that treats it both as a relational form and a framework for organizing ideas about the social good.