SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Development or Maldevelopment? Ontology, Deontology and other Perplexities: Models and Muddles from East Asia and the BRICS during the Latest Phase of Global Capitalist Crisis

Haider A. Khan (Univeristy of Denver)

Date: 14 October 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 14 October 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar

Has the capitalist world experienced development or maldevelopment? 

The epistemological, ethical and ontological issues raised by this question are difficult to answer and dangerous to sidestep. The main purpose of this lecture is to explore the possibilities of genuine development and liberation in the 21st century under unfolding global ecological, political and cultural crises. However, while the main thesis of this lecture argues for a radical rethinking of development and industrialization within an ecological political economy framework in the 21st century, there are still many relevant lessons---positive and negative--- from the post-WWII development and industrialization experiences, discourses and most importantly the failures of both capitalist and socialist theories and practices. Therefore the lecture also focuses in particular on the “successful” Asian economies and BRICS in order to draw a number of lessons. 

The lecture attempts to both avoid the danger of falling into overgeneralization and to emphasize the need for a radical change in both the global economic environment and country-specific development and industrialization strategies. This is highlighted by giving the outlines of an alternative strategy and the need for radical social and political movements for deepening democracy everywhere. In addition to the lessons drawn from past experience, new regional cooperation structures for industrialization and innovation and the critical need for ecological sustainability are emphasized, thus highlighting their centrality. The need for making globalization fair through a new reformed trade regime and a global financial architecture are also highlighted. 

However, none of these can be achieved under the current WCS. The need for mass nonviolent movements for a global post-capitalist society follows logically from these theses. For those interested in technical modelling with a radical social purpose, the muddles of the mainstream development models can be demonstrated via a “simple” model of a complex economy with multiple equilibria and complex dynamics. Through the use of some elegant fixed point theorems, and dynamic systems theory, the possibilities for the overall evolution of the economy towards development or maldevelopment---actual evolution is, of course, path and politics dependent--- can be derived. It is possible to implement the modelling strategy empirically by using a series of Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) based models over time. Thus the emerging global mass revolutionary movement will be able to create its own Counter-hegemonic Technical Experts who could work with fellow grassroots rank and file activists to help design a democratic ecologically sustainable post-capitalist global political economy.

Haider A. Khan
is currently the John Evans Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Economics at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. He has served as the chief international adviser to Arab Trade and Human Development in Cairo, a senior economic adviser to UNCTAD in Geneva, a consultant to IFPRI, UNDP, ILO, ADB, the World Bank as well as to various governments. He was a distinguished visiting fellow at the Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo and at WIDER, Helsinki. He has been a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Economics,  University of Tokyo, Hitotsubashi University, People’s University, Beijing and several US and European Universities. He has published more than fifteen books and over one hundred articles in professional journals and received many international awards.Prof. Khan is also an award-winning poet, translator and literary and art critic.

All Welcome, no need for booking.

Organiser: Dr Dae-oup Chang or Dr Paolo Novak

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