Imperialism and the Diffusion of Development'
I am acutely conscious of the great honour that has been bestowed on me in asking me to deliver the Ansari Memorial Lecture this year at the Jamia Millia Islamia. It is an honour as much because of the person being commemorated as because of the list of distinguished speakers who have preceded me in commemorating him. Dr.Ansari was a remarkable figure of the National Movement, whose qualities of head and heart have been brought to light recently through the labours of Professor Mushirul Hasan of this university. These lectures instituted in his memory have, through the care of the organisers, been able to draw some of the finest minds and have deserevedly become an important event in the academic calendar of Delhi. I recall attending one Ansari Memorial lecture, delivered by Professor Irfan Habib and presided over by Professor Nurul Hasan, which was a source of great pleasure and profit for me.
The topic I have chosen today has to do with a basic divide in development economics. On the one side are those who argue that the fetters on the development of the third world come from its integration into the world capitalist system. This does not mean that the internal structures of these economies play no role in arresting their development, but these structures, even though inherited from the past, are so enmeshed into their links with world capitalism, i.e. the internal and external constraints upon their development are so inextricably dialectically related, that distinguishing between them is pointless. Underpinning this totality, shaping this overall dialectic, however, is their link with world capitalism which is the decisive
* Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
**Ansari Memorial Lecture, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Social Scientist, Vol. 29, Nos. 3 - 4, March - April 2001