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Professor of International Relations and International Development, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex

Benjamin researches and writes about global value chains, poverty and inequality, and global food systems.

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

At Sussex he teaches various courses on global development, including The Global Politics of Food.

Other publications include A Green New Deal for Agriculture (

His books 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.


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