Insidious Capital. Frontlines of Value at the End of a Global Cycle

Don Kalb

Publication Year: January 2024

326 pages


Berghahn Books

🏷 Books

Don Kalb is the editor of a newly published book “Insidious Capital. Frontlines of Value at the End of a Global Cycle”.

With a team of anthropologists and geographers, Insidious Capital explores “value and values” in what may well be the last phase of capitalist globalization. In a global perspective of fast-transforming social spaces that move from East to West, the book explores the struggles around the exploitation and valuation of labor, environmental politics, expansion of the ground rent, new hierarchies, the contradictions of higher education, the offshoring of “immaterial” labor, the illiberal right, and the mobilizations against it. This is a book about the variegated frontlines of value within an uneven, but not random, geography of capitalist expansion.

The book is an open access and is available here.


To order a hard copy of this book, please visit Berghahn Books.


About the editor

Don Kalb is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, where he directed the ‘Frontlines of Value’ project. Currently he is Academic Director of GRIP, a research program on global social inequality of the University of Bergen with the International Science Council. He is Founding Editor of Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical AnthropologyFocaalblog, and the Dislocations series.



“Insidious Capital is a stunning work that takes us to the frontlines of global capitalism’s new regimes of value. With sharp-eyed ethnographies, its deep genius shows us that while capital’s singular form of value has gone global, it has insinuated itself into variable new local “hidden abodes” of commodification and dispossession, and has both shaped and usurped the specific cultural values that make life meaningful for the vast and vastly different populations it has “put to work” — and then often made redundant.” – Don Nonini, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


“This is a very interesting book that explores ‘the frontlines of value’ and globalization through several carefully constructed case studies from different parts of the world.” Lesley Gill, Vanderbilt University


“This is a shining example of the sensitive, nuanced, and path-breaking work going on in Marxist scholarship today, opening new pathways for theoretically informed ethnographic work on global capitalism, anywhere and everywhere. Insidious Capital is exactly the book we need right now.” – Christopher Krupa, University of Toronto