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FLEKS-Scandinavian Journal of Intercultural Theory and Practice;2(2)
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
This article reviews some of Tore Linné Eriksen’s works within development studies/development research. In a recent introduction to development studies from 2013, he presented development research as a cross-disciplinary social science approach that addresses the grand problems of mankind. Eriksen’s own research into these grand problems has concentrated on the causes of national and international inequality and poverty. In 1974 he supported the view of the “underdevelopment school”: “Underdevelopment” in Africa and Latin America was the outcome of the inclusion of those continents in a capitalist world economy dominated by Europe. Recent works by Eriksen on the origins of the “great divergence” between Western Europe and economically advanced non-European countries (2010) and on inequality and poverty in the current world (2012) are far more complex and empirically nuanced. Still, in a recent discussion of globalization and global capitalism (2013) he reverts to some of the earlier ”underdevelopment arguments” from 1974. The article concludes that there is a tension within Eriksen’s works on the role of capitalism in development and underdevelopment. In his programmatic writings, global capitalism is seen as the main cause of inequality and poverty. In his more empirically grounded works, global capitalism is viewed rather as an important part of the bigger picture of inequality and poverty
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