Download the Global Encyclopaedia of Informality

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"This is a monumental achievement - an indispensable reference for anyone in the social sciences interested in informality."
Martin Holbraad, Professor of Social Anthropology, UCL, and editor-in-chief of Social Analysis
The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality
  • Download Volume 1: Part 1: Redistribution (substantive ambivalence) and Part 2: Solidarity (normative ambivalence)
  • Download Volume 2: Part 3: Market (functional ambivalence) and Part 4: Domination (motivational ambivalence)
  • Browse the table of contents and read the encyclopaedic entries online

About the book

The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality Volume 1 Cover.jpg The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality Volume 2 Cover.jpg

This unique collection invites you on a voyage of discovery, to explore society’s open secrets, unwritten rules and know-how practices. Broadly defined as ‘ways of getting things done’, these invisible yet powerful informal practices tend to escape articulation in official discourse. They include emotion-driven exchanges of gifts or favours and tributes for services, interest-driven know-how (from informal welfare to informal employment and entrepreneurship), identity-driven practices of solidarity, and power-driven forms of co-optation and control.

The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality contains over 200 entries. From March 2018 to April 2019 the Encyclopaedia travelled the world on a global book tour.

Short introduction to the project


About the FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity

The FRINGE Centre explores the roles that complexity, ambivalence and immeasurability play in social and cultural phenomena. A cross-disciplinary initiative bringing together scholars from the humanities and social sciences, FRINGE examines how seemingly opposed notions such as centrality and marginality, and clarity and ambiguity, can shift and converge when embedded in everyday practices. Our interest lies in the hidden complexity of all embedded practices, taken-for-granted and otherwise invisible subjects. Illuminating the 'fringe' thus puts the 'centre' in a new light.

The FRINGE Centre publishes the FRINGE series with UCL Press.