Summary: The food, fuel, and financial crises that started in 2008 reverberated throughout the global economy, causing job losses; poverty; and economic, financial, and political upheaval in countries all over the world. This book is not about the causes of these crises or the macroeconomic and financial sector issues surrounding their origin, spread, and impact; nor is it about how such crises may be prevented in the future. These are important questions, but they have been dealt with in a large number of books, articles, and even movies. Instead, this book is about the more neglected, mundane, and yet centrally important matter of how people lived through the globalized crises of 2008-11, how these people were affected, and what they did to cope. At the time of writing, in late 2011, global food prices had again spiked, and further waves of fiscal and financial shocks were under way, as world economic growth faltered and the euro area sovereign debt crisis mounted. The timing means this book offers vital insights into how people coped, and how they sometimes did not, at a time when such knowledge is most urgently needed. The theme of the book is likely to have an enduring significance, as it offers a unique glimpse into the experience of living through a new type of systemic shock wave that is globalized, highly contagious, and multifaceted. Systemic shocks of the complexity and scale witnessed from 2008 through 2011 are quite unprecedented in world history, but are predicted to be more frequent in the future (Held, Kaldor, and Quah 2010; Goldin and Vogel 2010). The purpose in writing this book is to make the bottom-up perspectives on globalized crises available to a larger audience. The research presents a unique and largely untold account of how people lived through the severe economic turmoil of recent years, how they were affected, and what they did to cope, lending a voice to affected communities themselves.
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