Jason Hickel


The much-hyped Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted by the UN summit starting this week in New York will not deliver the new economy that the world so desperately needs. Their creators want to reduce poverty and inequality without touching the wealth and power of the global 1%. They fail to understand a basic fact: Mass poverty is the product of extreme wealth accumulation and over-consumption by a few.


The richest 300 people on earth have more wealth than the poorest 3 billion – almost half the world’s population. This is in part a result of neo-liberal policies that have ensured massive transfer of resources from the global South to the North


Aids is a symptom of an unjust global order. Mass poverty leaves people with no option other than labour migration and transactional sex, which are the key drivers of HIV transmission in southern Africa


The 74,000 agricultural workers who plant, weed and harvest hundreds of thousands of acres of cane are mostly not unionised. They work in extremely dangerous conditions with very little by way of rights and protections. Until recently, they didn’t even enjoy a minimum wage.


Oil worth billions of dollars is set to start flowing in Uganda, but the existing framework fails to protect Uganda from being plundered by multinational corporations, Jason Hickel writes.


The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) masquerades as a boost for Africa's development, but the reality is that it's nothing less that a new scramble for Africa, writes Jason Hickel.

US Army

Jason Hickel attends a speech delivered by US ambassador to the AU Michael Battle and discovers a disturbing new rhetoric about Africa.


While Jeffrey Sachs has done well to highlight the roles of colonialism, the Cold War and the ‘ongoing political and economic plunder’ in creating Africa’s poverty, Jason Hickel argues that Sachs’ ‘Big Five’ solutions are rooted in the same system that he seeks to criticise: ‘The problem here is that Sachs calls on us to think within a paradigm of aid when we should be thinking within a paradigm of justice.’ Instead, then, Hickel proposes an alternative big five based on this ‘paradigm of jus...read more

J Harneis

Jason Hickel asks whether ‘environmental determinism’ – the theory that Africa’s development has been hindered as a result of ‘the environmental conditions that Africans inhabit’ – accurately explains Africa’s poverty. While he commends its attempt to stop blaming underdevelopment 'on the presumed genetic inferiority of black people’, he finds the theory and motives behind environmental determinism to be seriously lacking. Hickel asserts that environmental determinism is both ahistorical and ...read more

D Planet

While the achievement of universal ontological rights in South Africa has been a marvellous step forward, writes Jason Hickel, the paradigm of a rights-based revolution is seriously and fundamentally flawed, and cannot serve the ends that South Africa intends it to. Cautioning that the state can grant people discursively constituted rights with one hand and strip them of the conditions for sustainable life with the other without ever having to confront the contradiction, Hickel says it’s time...read more