Professor of Anthropology Ted Powers publishes article in Focaal - Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ted PowersUniversity of Iowa Professor of Anthropology Ted Powers authored a peer-reviewed article titled, "Echoes of austerity: Policy, temporality, and public health in South Africa," that was featured in Focaal - Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (Issue #83, Spring 2019) . Powers was co-guest editor of the issue, and also co-authored its introduction, “The anthropology of austerity: An introduction.”

In the article, Powers examines how policy principals associated with austerity travel across time, space, and the levels of the state in South Africa, eventually manifesting in a public health policy that produced cuts to public health services. These cuts have impaired the livelihoods of South African poor and working-class people.

"Of particular concern is how interpersonal networks of state policy actors produced particular temporal dynamics by incorporating austerity into state health policy,” Powers said. “Studying the role of people and interpersonal networks within the state thus helps one to see why policy moves at certain times and not others.”

Powers joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2014. His research focuses on the dynamics of health, politics, and social inequality in post-apartheid South Africa.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.