Theories of unequal exchange ? what is their use value?
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Rethinking European Uneven Development: COVID-19 and Beyond
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Value and added value are created everywhere in the world. Profits, on the other hand, are realized by few and predominantly in the countries of the center and not in those of the (semi-)periphery, where they were produced or, in the case of raw materials, extracted. Theories of unequal exchange try to clarify which structures and mechanisms are responsible for this. They ask where which goods are produced under which conditions and who benefits from them, in short, how global wealth is produced and distributed. In my presentation, I elaborate the central assumptions, differences and inconsistencies of concepts of unequal exchange as they have been theorized by selected schools of development thinking. At the end, I evaluate the relevance of the unequal exchange paradigm in explaining global inequalities. I argue for bringing the concept down from the abstract heights of labour theory of value and make suggestions how to empirically ground different forms of unequal exchange in contemporary global capitalism.