Gifting and the capable state in times of crisis

SOURCE: African Arguments
OUTPUT TYPE: Newspaper article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2020
TITLE AUTHOR(S): L.Bank
KEYWORDS: GIFT ECONOMY, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS, SERVICE DELIVERY
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Web link: https://africanarguments.org/2020/05/25/gifting-and-the-capable-state-in-times-of-crisis/
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11501
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15381

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

In the dying days of the Roman Empire, wealthy politicians, senators and patrons developed a set of strategies, implemented through the state, to placate the increasing unruly, marginalised and impoverished urban poor. It was not a programme intended to build a nation so much as one intended to save a state from terminal decline. The government offered people access to cheap grain (bread), and theatrical gladiatorial events (circuses) to keep their minds off the social and economic decay that surrounded them.