Dr. Samir Amin



The writer's book "A Critique of the Current Arab Discourse" was our readers' book club selection for June 2010. Visit our Readers Book Club main page. Find more information on our June 2010 book club selection: the book,the author and his work through our Readers Club Archives.
samir amin
Dr. Samir Amin is an Egypt-born political author who is best known for his Neo-Marxist writings in development theory and his promotion of the conscious self-reliance of developing countries, particular for the Arab world. He has dedicated a major part of his work on studying the relationships between developed and undeveloped countries. For him, the differences between state institutions of both northern and southern countries can be found in the very basis of capitalism and globalization. One of the most important concept of his work is the “theory of the disconnection”, in which Amin explains why the undeveloped countries should disconnect themselves from the capitalistic world system and abandon northern values, in order to allow both democracy and socialism to settle in the South.

He gained a Ph.D. degree in Political Economy in Paris (1957) as well as degrees from the Institut de Statistiques and from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques. He then returned home where he was attached to the Planning bodies of Nasser's regime. He left Egypt in 1960 to work with the Ministry of Planning of the newly independent Mali (1960-63) and following this commenced an academic career. He has held the position of full Professor in France since 1966 and was for ten years (1970-80) the director of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (in Dakar). Since 1980 he has been directing the African Office of the Third World Forum, an international non-governmental association for research and debate. He is currently the President of the World Forum for Alternatives.

He has written more than 30 books including Imperialism & Unequal Development, Specters of Capitalism: A Critique of Current Intellectual Fashions, Obsolescent Capitalism: Contemporary Politics and Global Disorder and The Liberal Virus. His memoirs were published in October of 2006. He publishes mainly in French and Arabic.

Publications by Samir Amin

* 1957, Les effets structurels de l’intégration internationale des économies précapitalistes. Une étude théorique du mécanisme qui a engendré les éonomies dites sous-développées (thesis)
* 1964, L’Egypte nassérienne
* 1965, Trois expériences africaines de développement: le Mali, la Guinée et le Ghana
* 1966, L’économie du Maghreb, 2 vols.
* 1967, Le développement du capitalisme en Côte d'Ivoire
* 1969, Le monde des affaires sénégalais
* 1969, The Class struggle in Africa
* 1970, Le Maghreb moderne (translation: The Magrheb in the Modern World)
* 1970, L’accumulation à l’échelle mondiale (translation: Accumulation on a world scale)
* 1970, with C. Coquery-Vidrovitch, Histoire économique du Congo 1880-1968
* 1971, L’Afrique de l’Ouest bloquée
* 1973, Le développement inégal (translation: Unequal development)
* 1973, L’échange inégal et la loi de la valeur
* 1973, Neocolonialism in West Africa
* 1973, 'Le developpement inegal. Essai sur les formations sociales du capitalisme peripherique' Paris: Editions de Minuit.
* 1973, L’échange inégal et la loi de la valeur
* 1974, with K. Vergopoulos): La question paysanne et le capitalisme
* 1975, with A. Faire, M. Hussein and G. Massiah): La crise de l‘impérialisme
* 1976, ‘Unequal Development: An Essay on the Social Formations of Peripheral Capitalism’ New York: Monthly Review Press.
* 1976, L’impérialisme et le développement inégal (translation: Imperialism and unequal development)
* 1976, La nation arabe (translation: The Arab Nation)
* 1977, La loi de la valeur et le matérialisme historique (translation: The law of value and historical materialism)
* 1979, Classe et nation dans l’histoire et la crise contemporaine (translation: Class and nation, historically and in the current crisis)
* 1980, L’économie arabe contemporaine (translation: The Arab economy today)
* 1981, L’avenir du Maoïsme (translation: The Future of Maoism)
* 1982, Irak et Syrie 1960 - 1980
* 1982, with G. Arrighi, A. G. Frank and I. Wallerstein): La crise, quelle crise? (translation: Crisis, what crisis?)
* 1984, 'Was kommt nach der Neuen Internationalen Wirtschaftsordnung? Die Zukunft der Weltwirtschaft' in 'Rote Markierungen International' (Fischer H. and Jankowitsch P. (Eds.)), pp. 89 – 110, Vienna: Europaverlag.
* 1984, Transforming the world-economy? : nine critical essays on the new international economic order.
* 1985, La déconnexion (translation: Delinking: towards a polycentric world)
* 1988, Impérialisme et sous-développement en Afrique (expanded edition of 1976)
* 1988, L’eurocentrisme (translation: Eurocentrism)
* 1988, with F. Yachir): La Méditerranée dans le système mondial
* 1989, La faillite du développement en Afrique et dans le tiers monde]
* 1990, Transforming the revolution: social movements and the world system
* 1990, Itinéraire intellectual; regards sur le demi-siecle 1945-90 (translation: Re-reading the post-war period: an Intellectual Itinerary)
* 1991, L’Empire du chaos (translation: Empire of chaos)
* 1991, Les enjeux stratégiques en Méditerranée
* 1991, with G. Arrighi, A. G. Frank et I. Wallerstein): Le grand tumulte
* 1992, 'Empire of Chaos' New York: Monthly Review Press.
* 1994, L’Ethnie à l’assaut des nations
* 1995, La gestion capitaliste de la crise
* 1996, Les défis de la mondialisation
* 1997, ‘Die Zukunft des Weltsystems. Herausforderungen der Globalisierung. Herausgegeben und aus dem Franzoesischen uebersetzt von Joachim Wilke’ Hamburg: VSA.
* 1997, Critique de l’air du temps
* 1999, "Judaism, Christianity and Islam: An Introductory Approach to their Real or Supposed Specificities by a Non-Theologian" in "Global capitalism, liberation theology, and the social sciences: An analysis of the contradictions of modernity at the turn of the millennium" (Andreas Mueller, Arno Tausch and Paul Zulehner (Eds.)), Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, Commack, New York
* 1999, Spectres of capitalism: a critique of current intellectual fashions
* 2000, L’hégémonisme des États-Unis et l’effacement du projet européen
* 2002, Mondialisation, comprehendre pour agir
* 2003, Obsolescent Capitalism
* 2004, The Liberal Virus: Permanent War and the Americanization of the World
* 2005, with Ali El Kenz, Europe and the Arab world; patterns and prospects for the new relationship
* 2006, Beyond US Hegemony: Assessing the Prospects for a Multipolar World
* 2008, with James Membrez, The World We Wish to See: Revolutionary Objectives in the Twenty-First Century
* 2009, 'Aid for Development' in 'Aid to Africa: Redeemer or Coloniser?' Oxford: Pambazuka Press