Samir Amin - Interviewed by Amady Aly Dieng


Samir Amin was born in Egypt in 1931 and received his higher training in Paris. He is one of the most influential neo-Marxist development theorists of the past three decades. He has produced seminal work on the relationship between imperialism, capitalism and globalization and has been a tireless advocate for an alternative socialist development. Among his more than twenty major works are Beyond US Hegemony? Assessing the Prospects for a Multipolar World (2006), Spectres of Capitalism (1998) and Imperialism and Unequal Development (1977). He is currently based in Dakar, Senegal and is President of the Third World Forum.



AAD:  Could you elaborate on your personal, intellectual and ideological trajectory and how it led you to adopt an intellectual position that capitalism represents a world system?

SA:      I am a political animal and I can’t separate my personal trajectory from my intellectual thought and my political actions and options. I explained in my memoirs, A Life Looking Forward (2007) how my attitudes and personal trajectories, intellectual thinking and political behaviour have all been combined. I have to say that early on, during adolescence, I took a triple

INTERVIEW DE SAMIR AMIN, Président du Forum du Tiers Monde

A. A. Dieng : Dès la soutenance de votre thèse en 1957 à Paris, vous avez
adopté une prise de position intellectuelle qui vous a amené à considérer le
capitalisme comme un système mondial. Pouvez-vous nous retracer votre
trajectoire personnelle, intellectuelle et politique ?

Samir Amin :

 Je suis un animal politique et je ne peux pas séparer ma
trajectoire personnelle de ma réflexion intellectuelle, et de mes
comportements et options politiques. J'ai rappelé dans mes mémoires qui ont
été publiés en anglais :  "A Life looking forward", comment se sont combinés
ces attitudes et trajectoires personnelles, la réflexion intellectuelle et
les comportements politiques.

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.