Demonetization: Critical Responses to India’s Cash(/less) Experiment

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetized 86 percent of the cash circulating in India. While citizens were allowed to deposit and exchange notes for a limited (and shifting) period of time, the fallout of the executive order included a large-scale cash crunch and an atmosphere of crisis throughout the nation. This Hot Spots series analyzes demonetization as a critical event that revealed and produced changing relations of citizenship and sovereignty. Contributors analyze the immediate aftermath of and the longer temporalities through which demonetization arose in order to consider the effects of executive decision-making, the meanings people draw from it, and local attempts to grapple with the transition from informal to formal finance. The series also critically comments on the relation of finance and banking to a political anthropology.

Posts in This Series

Introduction: Anthropology in the Age of Executive Orders

Crisis, Again: On Demonetization and Microfinance

Improvising Demonetization in a Kashmiri Bank

Demonetization and the Normalization of Agrarian Distress

Trading Notes

Cash Cultures: Risk, Hoarding, and the Futures of Indian Finance

Notes (Aplenty) from a Mumbai Election

(De)monetizing Health: Cash, Credit, and the Commoditization of Indian Healthcare

Amateur Indian Anthropology and a Trio of Dichotomies

New Economies of Inclusion and the Old Politics of Deception: How Demonetization Was Made Socially Acceptable

The Promise of Purity

Remonetization, or, Life in the Flash Queue

Demonetizing to Build the Demos

Give and Take, Part One: Demonetization’s Pragmatics and Politics

Give and Take, Part Two: Demonetization and the Pedigrees of Money

Demonetization and the Temporalities of Life