SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Demolishing Neoliberal Development Myths

Professor Jayati Ghosh, Professor Erik S. Reinert, Professor Rainer Kattel,

Date: 17 January 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 17 January 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Alumni Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Seminar

The editors of the Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development attempt to cover a huge canvas, in both time and geography, in order to illustrate processes of economic development from many different angles, with authors of the different chapters hailing from all continents. We believe that in order to merit the title Alternative Theories of Economic Development, this volume should aim at the kind of objectivity that is best achieved by observing a phenomenon from as many angles as possible. If the reader asks ‘alternative to what?’, the reply is that this book has collected alternatives to the neoclassical economic tradition that started with David Ricardo (1817) and his theory of comparative advantage. For centuries, economics was at its very core an art, a practice and a science devoted to ‘economic development’, albeit under a variety of labels: from an idealistic promotion of ‘public happiness’ to the nationalistic creation of wealth and greatness of nations and rulers, and the winning of wars. In some sense, until about a hundred years ago, most economists were ‘development economists’. As we launch the publication of the Handbook, we try to reflect on a variety of these approaches in the history of economic thought and in contemporary analysis.

Professor Jayati Ghosh is a distinguished development economist. She has written extensively on topics including international economics, employment, gender, finance and the Indian economy, authoring and co-editing several books and more than 120 scholarly articles. Described by the Guardian newspaper as one of the world’s leading economists, she has received awards from the ILO and UNDP for her research. She teaches at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India and is the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates (IDEAS), an international network of heterodox development economists.

Erik S. Reinert, a Norwegian citizen, is Professor of Technology Governance and Development Strategies at Tallinn University of Technology. His research area is the theory of uneven growth, i.e. the factors which – contrary to the predictions of standard economic theory – cause world economic development to be such an uneven process. Reinert is also chairman of The Other Canon Foundation in Norway. Reinert holds a BA from Hochschule St. Gallen, Switzerland, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University. He has published a large number of articles on economic issues, and his work has taken him to more than 60 countries. Reinert’s book How Rich Countries got Rich and why Poor Countries Stay Poor (Constable & Robinson, 2007) has been published, or is under translation into, about 20 languages. In 2008 he received the Myrdal Prize from the European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy, and in 2016 World Economics Association placed his book on the shortlist of 50 from which the 10 most important economics books over the last 100 years were to be selected by vote.

Professor Rainer Kattel holds the chair of Innovation Policy and Technology Governance at Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues. His research interests include also financial policy and financialization. His recent books include The Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development edited with Erik Reinert and Jayati Ghosh (Elgar, 2016) and Financial Regulations in the European Union edited with Jan Kregel and Mario Tonveronachi (Routledge, 2016). In 2013, he received Estonia's National Science Award for his work on innovation policy.


Organiser: Dr Feyzi Ismail and Professor Alfredo Saad Filho

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