Professor of International Relations and International Development and Director of the Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex, UK, University of Sussex

Benjamin works on issues of global development, poverty and inequality, class dynamics of development, global value chains and development, and Latin America.

He is author of a numbe of books, the most recent being The Struggle for Development (Polity: 2017, forthcoming).

He joined the department of International Relations at Sussex in 2009 after teaching at the University of Southampton (2006-2008) and the LSE (2004-2006).

His publications include 'Workers, State and Development in Brazil: Powers of Labour, Chains of Value' (Manchester University Press: 2012), based upon field research in North East Brazil throughout the 2000s.

The book investigates how the Brazilian state, local public and private institutions and firms collaborated to implement a successful upgrading strategy within highly competitive global horticultural value chains, which resulted in North East Brazil becoming Brazil's main high-value grape exporting region. Within that context he investigated the extent to which workers benefitted from the region's rapid economic growth. The book details how the export boom has impacted on local level develoment, in particular on local labour standards, conditions of work and pay rates, gendering of work and women's participation in rural trade unions.

He is also author of 'The Global Development Crisis' (Polity: 2014) which addresses the central paradox of our times - the simultaneous presence of wealth on an unprecedented scale, and mass poverty. It explores this paradox through an interrogation of the work of some of the most important political economists of the last two centuries - Friedrich List, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Schumpeter, Alexander Gerschenkron, Karl Polanyi and Amartya Sen. In the book he advance's the concept of 'Labour-Centred Development' as a means of overcoming this paradox.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex