Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer
mir AMIN (born 1931) Samir was born in Cairo in 1931 and was educated at the Lycée Français there. 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. The main contributions of Samir Amin can be classiﬁed under four headings: (i) a critique of the theory and experiences of development; (ii) an alternative proposal for the analysis of the global system which he calls ‘really existing capitalism’; (iii) a re-reading of the history of social formations; and (iv) a reinterpretation of what he describes as ‘post capitalist’ societies. Amin’s critique of the theory of development goes back to his Ph.D. dissertation (1957) published later under the title Accumulation on a World Scale. Conventional theory presents a general view of the problem that...
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