Wednesday 20 October 17:00 - 18:30

Lecture Theatre 1, Bush House, King's College London
30 Aldwych

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Book launch for Vendors’ Capitalism: a political economy of public markets


Part of the Department of International Development's 'Interrogating Development' seminar series

Mexico City's public markets were integral to the country's economic development, bolstering the expansion of capitalism from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. These publicly owned and operated markets supplied households with everyday necessities and generated revenue for local authorities. At the same time, they were embedded in a wider network of economic and social relations that gave market vendors an influence far beyond the running of their stalls. As they fed the city’s population, these vendors fought to protect their own livelihoods, shaping the public sphere and broadening the scope of popular politics.

Vendors' Capitalism argues for the centrality of Mexico City's public markets to the political economy of the city from the restoration of the Republic in 1867 to the heyday of the Mexican miracle and the PRI in the 1960s. Each day vendors interacted with customers, suppliers, government officials, and politicians, and the multiple conflicts that arose repeatedly tested the institutional capacity of the state. Through a close reading of the archives and an analysis of vendors' intersecting economic and political lives, Ingrid Bleynat explores the dynamics, as well as the limits, of capitalist development in Mexico.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception. All attendees are welcome.

About the speakers


Robyn Klingler-Vidra, King's College London


Aurora Gómez Galvarriato is a Professor of History at El Colegio de México and former General Director of the Mexican National Archive. Her research specialises in the history of industrialization, with a focus on the evolution of business, workers’ organizations, living standards, and the participation of women in the labor force. Her work seeks to understand how globalization and capitalism have transformed the lives of workers and their families, as well as the agency of workers and their communities in shaping these processes.

Diego Sánchez-Ancochea is a Professor of Political Economy of Development and Head of the Department of International Development at Oxford Univertsity. He specialises in the political economy of Latin America with a particular focus on Central America. His research interests centre on the determinants of income inequality and the role of social policy in reducing it. His most recent book, The Costs of Inequality: Lessons and Warnings for the Rest of the World (Bloomsbury, 2020), was selected as one of the best books in Economics in 2020 by the Financial Times.

Facundo Alvaredo is a Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics, and Co-Director of both the World Inequality Database and World Inequality Lab. He is also affiliated to the International Inequalities Institute at LSE, the Dept. of Social Policy and Intervention at Oxford University, and Instituto Interdisciplinario de Economía Política at the University of Buenos Aires. His research focuses on income and wealth inequality, economic history, the history of economic doctrines.

Signing up does not guarantee a spot. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.


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