I recently published a new article in Community Development, along with Kai Koddenbrock and Ndongo Samba Sylla. In the article, Financial subordination and uneven financialisation in 21st century Africa, we ask how the global process of financialization has unfolded across the continent and what it means for relations of dependence. The empirical analysis of aggregate country data shows that financialization is, at best, an uneven and patchy process in the region, not a general structural shift in the way capital accumulation is organized.
I just published a new article in the Review of Political Economy, “Nobel Rebels in Disguise — Assessing the Rise and Rule of the Randomistas,” which assesses the theoretical and empirical foundations of the use of randomised control trials in Economics, and its impact on policy debates in development economics and in the aid industry.
Along with Kai Koddenbrock and Ndongo Samba Sylla, I recently published the pre-print Beyond Financialisation – The Need for a Longue Durée Understanding of Finance in Imperialism on OSF Preprints. This is part of an ongoing research project we are working on and we welcome any comments on the paper!
I wrote an article on how COVID-19 exposes weaknesses in the dominant Economics narrative, and how heterodox economics offer important alternatives, with Carolina Alves for the Review of Agrarian Studies. Here’s the abstract:
In this article, we argue that societies’ unpreparedness and inadequate responses to the Covid-19 pandemic expose weaknesses in the foundations of the dominant economic paradigm. We document how economics came to disembed itself from broader societal analysis and how this has influenced public policy in problematic ways, leading to privileging of efficiency over resilience. We then go a step further to consider the role of economic evidence in public policy more generally. Furthermore, we demonstrate how heterodox economics can enrich our understandings of our economies’ weaknesses and of how to build a more resilient and just economy. We conclude that we need an explanation of the crisis that is capable of seeing the economy as more than just markets and as embedded in society; one that is capable of linking the causes and consequences of the pandemic to our systems of production and distribution.
Read the full paper.
I recently published “Beyond the Stereotype: Restating the Relevance of the Dependency Research Programme” in Development and Change. Here is the abstract:
This article evaluates the relevance of dependency theory for understanding contemporary development challenges, especially in the light of changes in the global economy over the past 50 years. In order to do so, the article rectifies previous misunderstandings of the scholarship and offers a new definition of dependency theory as a research programme, rather than a singular theory. Four core tenets of this research programme are identified: a global historical approach; theorizing of the polarizing tendencies of global capitalism; a focus on structures of production; and a focus on the specific constraints faced by peripheral economies. While each of these elements can be found in many contemporary theories, what makes dependency theory unique — and a particularly strong research programme — is the combination of these elements. The article demonstrates how this approach provides a deep and broad understanding that is necessary to appreciate the persistence of uneven development with reference to two case studies, namely successful industrialization in South Korea, and how the fragmentation of global value chains has impacted industrialization in Indonesia. Finally, the article argues that approaching these kinds of cases through a dependency research programme can contribute to a fruitful renewal of development studies.
I wrote an essay for the World Development Symposium on Development and Poverty Alleviation. Here is the abstract:
This article situates the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in the history of thought on development, tracing how the focus, theory and methods have shifted in the field. The article evaluates theoretical and methodological critiques of the way randomized control trials (RCTs) are employed by the laureates, as well as attempts to overcome these challenges. In terms of theory, the article demonstrates what gets lost when experiments are guided by methodological individualism and assumptions of individual utility-maximizing behavior. In terms of methodology, the article unpacks the limits of RCTs related to their causal model, and their lack of attention to human agency and wider socio-economic context. Finally, the article discusses the experimental approach’s relevance for research and policy-making and cautions against any approach becoming a “gold standard,” due to the importance of pluralism for maintaining an open debate about development.
I had the honor of writing a legacy piece on Samir Amin for Development and Change this year. It will be a part of the 2020 Forum issue, but is already available for download.
I recently published the post Diversity and Excellence: Not A Zero Sum Game along with colleagues for the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s (INET) blog series “Diversity and Pluralism in Economics: Problems and Solutions”.