Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization, and Poverty in Africa

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William G. Moseley, Leslie C. Gray
Ohio University Press, Apr 1, 2008 - Social Science - 312 pages

The textile industry was one of the first manufacturing activities to become organized globally, as mechanized production in Europe used cotton from the various colonies. Africa, the least developed of the world’s major regions, is now increasingly engaged in the production of this crop for the global market, and debates about the pros and cons of this trend have intensified.

Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization, and Poverty in Africa illuminates the connections between Africa and the global economy. The editors offer a compelling set of linked studies that detail one aspect of the globalization process in Africa, the cotton commodity chain.

From global policy debates, to impacts on the natural environment, to the economic and social implications of this process, Hanging by a Thread explores cotton production in the postcolonial period from different disciplinary perspectives and in a range of national contexts. This approach makes the globalization process palpable by detailing how changes at the macroeconomic level play out on the ground in the world’s poorest region. Hanging by a Thread offers new insights on the region in a global context and provides a critical perspective on current and future development policy for Africa.

Contributors: Thomas J. Bassett, Jim Bingen, Duncan Boughton, Brian M. Dowd, Marnus Gouse, Leslie C. Gray, Dolores Koenig, Scott M. Lacy, William G. Moseley, Colin Poulton, Bhavani Shankar, Corinne Siaens, Colin Thirtle, David Tschirley, and Quentin Wodon.


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About the author (2008)

William G. Moseley is associate professor of geography at Macalester College. He is the author of Taking Sides: Clashing Views on African Issues and coeditor of The Introductory Reader in Human Geography: Contemporary Debates.

Leslie C. Gray is an associate professor of environmental studies at Santa Clara University. She has published articles on environment and development in journals such as World Development, Africa, African Studies Review, Development and Change, Geoforum, and Geographical Journal.

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