Dependency theory Economic Development Publications

New book chapter: Dependency in a world system of global value chains led by transnational corporations

I had the pleasure of contributing a chapter to this exciting book edited by Cristina Fróes de Borja Reis and Tatiana Berringer on South-North Dialogues on Democracy, Development and Sustainability. Each chapter consists of a dialogue between one scholar based in the global South and one in the global North. My conversation was with Cristina Reis on dependency, GVCs and TNCs.

Check out the book here.

Decolonizing Economics Dependency theory Imperialism Publications

Back to Dakar: Decolonizing international political economy through dependency theory (new article)

I published a new article in the Review of International Political Economy with my co-author Felipe Antunes de Oliveira. The abstract:

Whereas the field of International Political Economy (IPE) included a diversity of voices at its outset, histories of the field tend to marginalize certain contributions – particularly those from the Global South. The endeavor to decolonize IPE offers an opportunity to look back at IPE’s history, re-discover the marginalized voices, and imagine new possible futures. This article engages with contemporary calls to decolonize IPE and proposes an alternative route to do so by recovering dependency theory. We argue that dependency theory can be conceptualized as a peripheral IPE perspective that was committed to thinking from the Global South and to producing politically engaged scholarship just as the field was being formed. The article elaborates on the key tenets of dependency theory, contrasting it with mainstream IPE, and putting it in dialogue with decolonial approaches. To demonstrate the simultaneous non-Eurocentric, anti-colonial, and policy-oriented potential of dependency theory, we recover a foundational moment that disciplinary histories of IPE have forgotten: the 1972 Dakar conference, organized by Samir Amin, with the participation of leading Latin American and African dependency scholars.

Blog Critique of Mainstream Economics Decolonizing Economics Dependency theory Economic Development

What’s wrong with Development Studies and how can we change it? (blog)

I was recently on a plenary sponsored by the Development Studies Association (DSA) in Manchester with Kamna Patel, Sara Stevano and Indrajit Roy, where we were each asked to answer the above question. Along with the organizers, Pritish Behuria and Tom Goodfellow, we have now published the plenary discussion on the DSA blog:

Download the full set of conference responses.

Imperialism Interviews

“The need to centre imperialism” (new interview)

In the need book Talking About Global Inequality: Personal Experiences and Historical Perspectives, Christian Olaf Christiansen, Mélanie Lindbjerg Machado-Guichon, Sofía Mercader, Oliver Bugge Hunt, and Priyanka Jha interview a series of scholars from History, Sociology, Economics, Anthropology and Postcolonial Studies about global inequality. Here is the interview they did with me: The Need to Centre Imperialism.

Book review Dependency theory Economic Development Publications

The world that Latin America created. The United Nations economic commission for Latin America in the development era (new book review)

I really enjoyed reading & reviewing Margarita Fajardo’s The world that Latin America created with Felipe Antunes de Oliveira. We argue the book makes a major contribution by taking Latin American development debates seriously, but leaves key political questions unresolved. Read the full review here.

Critique of Mainstream Economics Dependency theory Economic Development Publications

A Modern Guide to Uneven Economic Development (new edited book)

Along with Erik Reinert, I’ve published A Modern Guide to Uneven Economic Development. In contrast to mainstream approaches to economics, this Guide addresses the complex reality of economic development as an inherently uneven process, exploring the ways of theorizing and empirically exploring the mechanisms with which the unevenness manifests itself. It covers a wide array of issues influencing wealth and poverty, technological innovation, ecology and sustainability, financialization, population, gender, and geography, considering the dynamics of cumulative causations created by the interplay between these factors.

Decolonizing Economics Publications Teaching

Standing in the way of rigor? Economics’ meeting with the decolonization agenda (new article)

I wrote a new article on decolonizing economics teaching with my collaborator Surbhi Kesar. It’s now open access in Review of International Political Economy, check it out: Standing in the way of rigor? Economics’ meeting with the decolonization agenda.

Here’s the abstract:

This article critically discusses the scope for decolonizing economics teaching. It scrutinizes what it would entail in terms of theory, methods, and pedagogy, and its implications for scholars grappling with issues related to economics teaching. Based on a survey of 498 respondents, it explores how economists across different types of departments (economics/heterodox/non-economics), geographical locations, and identities assess challenges to economics teaching, how they understand the relevance of calls for decolonization, and how they believe economics teaching should be reformed. Based on the survey findings, the article concludes that the field’s emphasis on advancing economics as an objective social science free from political contestations, based on narrow theoretical and methodological frameworks and a privileging of technical training associated with a limited understanding of rigor, likely stands in the way of the decolonization of economics. Indeed, key concepts of the decolonization agenda—centering structural power relations, critically examining the vantage point from which theorization takes place and unpacking the politics of knowledge production—stand in sharp contrast to the current priorities of the economics field as well as key strands of IPE. Finally, the article charts out the challenges that decolonizing economics teaching entails and identifies potential for change.

Africa Dependency theory Development Finance Imperialism Publications

Beyond financialisation: the longue durée of finance and production in the Global South (new article)

I’m very happy to finally have this open access article “Beyond financialisation: the longue durée of finance and production in the Global South” out in the Cambridge Journal of Economics (coauthored with Kai Koddebrock and Ndongo Samba Sylla). I summarize the article in this twitter thread.

Here is the article abstract:

One of the central premises of the literature on financialisation is that we have been living in a new era of capitalism, characterised by a historical shift in the finance-production nexus. Finance has expanded to a disproportionate economic size and, more importantly, has divorced from productive economic pursuits. In this paper, we explore these claims of ‘expansion’ and ‘divorce’ based on a longue durée analysis of the link between finance and production in Senegal and Ghana. As such, we de-centre the dominant approach to financialisation. Seen from the South, we argue that although there has been expansion of financial motives and practices the ‘divorce’ between the financial and the productive economy cannot be considered a new empirical phenomenon having occurred during the last decades and even less an epochal shift of the capitalist system. The tendency for finance to neglect the needs of the domestic productive sector has been the structural operation of finance in many parts of the Global South over the last 150 years. Therefore, one cannot put forward a theory of the evolution of finance under capitalism without taking these crucial historical insights into account.

The article is a part of a two-part Special Issue on ‘Financialisation in Developing and Emerging Economies: Manifestations, Drivers and Implications’ in CJE, edited by Carolina Alves, Bruno Bonizzi and Annina Kaltenbrunner. Read their introduction to the first part here.

Dependency theory Development Finance Economic Development Heterodox Economics Imperialism Publications

International financial subordination: a critical research agenda (new article)

I have a new article in the Review of International Political Economy with the fabulous co-author team of Ilias Alami, Carolina Alves, Bruno Bonizzi, Annina Kaltenbrunner, Kai Koddenbrock and Jeff Powell. The article (open access) outlines a research agenda for understanding international financial subordination by drawing on the heterodox traditions of dependency theory, Marxism, and Post-Keynesianism.

Economic Development Podcasts

New podcast series: Hierarchies of Development

I recently started a podcast, along with my co-host Basile Boulay! The Hierarchies of Development podcast offers long format interviews focusing on enduring global inequalities. Conversations focus on contemporary research projects by critical scholars from across the world that help us understand how and why structural hierarchies persist.

We have two episodes out so far:

Episode 1: Environmental hierarchies

In the first episode we speak to Tejal Kanitkar (National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore, India) and Leon Sealey-Huggins (University of Warwick, UK) about climate change and environmental hierarchies. Join us to learn more about the COP26, the racialised dimension of climate change, the issues around the concept of sustainability, and much more.

Episode 2: Labour hierarchies

In this second episode we speak to Rosa Abraham (Azim Premji University, India) and Lucia Pradella (King’s College, London, UK) about their respective work on the Indian labour market and the political economy of work in the Mediterranean region. Join us to reflect on some key contemporary issues surrounding work and migration, including the role of gender and imperialism.

Follow the podcast on your preffered platform to get information on the next few episodes (see here).

The podcast is supported by King’s College, London, the European Association for Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) and the Developing Economics blog, with special editing support from Jonas Bauhof.