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Poverty and Ideology: Historic Pathways

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Julia McClure is a global historian specialising in poverty, charity, and inequality in the Spanish Empire. A senior lecturer in late medieval and early modern global history at the University of Glasgow, she is the founder of the Poverty Research Network, and involved in numerous interdisciplinary projects on global inequality. She is the author of The Franciscan Invention of the New World (2016), and is currently working on a monograph provisionally entitled Empire of Poverty: The Moral Economy of the Spanish Empire. In the following, McClure tells her fascinating story of how she became interested in global inequality. It is a story which takes us back to the Franciscans, the Spanish Empire and global history, and moves forward to her present-day involvements in contemporary poverty research and the lives of Indigenous communities.

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  1. 1.

    Julia McClure, The Franciscan Invention of the New World (Basingtoke: Palgrave, 2016); Julia McClure, “The Globalization of Franciscan Poverty,” Journal of World History, 30, no. 3 (2019): 335–362.

  2. 2. (visited 19 December, 2021).

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    Anna Chadwick, Javier Solana, Eleonora Lozano Rodriguez, Andrés Palacios eds, in Markets, Constitutions, and Inequality (Routledge, 2022).

  4. 4.

    Gurminder K. Bhambra and Julia McClure eds, Imperial Inequalities: The Politics of Economic Governance across European Empires (Manchester University Press, expected 2022).

  5. 5. (visited 19th December 2021).

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  7. 7.

    The idea of corporate constitutionalism comes from Will Pettigrew, “The Public Rivalry between Regulated and Joint Stock Corporations and the Development of Seventeenth-Century Corporate Constitutions,” Historical Research, 90, no. 248 (2017): 341–362. For my discussion on the relationship between the public and the private in the colonial process see Julia McClure, ‘Conquest by contract: property rights and the commercial logic of imperialism in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Southern Mexico)’, Bulletin of Latin American Studies (2022), and Julia McClure ´Taxation, welfare, and the inequalities of the Spanish imperial state´, in Bhambra and McClure eds, Imperial Inequalities: The Politics of Economic Governance across European Empires (Manchester University Press, 2022).  

  8. 8.

    Julia McClure, ‘Scarcity and Risk in the Tropics’, History Workshop Online (2022),

  9. 9.

    see Julia McClure, ‘The intellectual foundations of imperial concepts of inequality’, Journal of Global Intellectual History (2022).

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Correspondence to Julia McClure .

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McClure, J. (2023). Poverty and Ideology: Historic Pathways. In: Christiansen, C.O., Machado-Guichon, M.L., Mercader, S., Hunt, O.B., Jha, P. (eds) Talking About Global Inequality. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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