Developing Countries in the World Economy: The Future in the past? Online and in Printed Copies

The WIDER Annual Lecture is a major event in the UNU-WIDER calendar, providing an opportunity for a distinguished speaker to present new insights and analysis on a core topic related to UNU-WIDER’s research programme on global development. Lecture twelve in the series was given at the Marina Congress Centre in Helsinki on 23 February 2009 by Deepak Nayyar, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Deepak Nayyar is well-known to UNU-WIDER and its international network of scholars and policymakers. He served as a very effective chairperson of our board from 2001 to 2008, and we are indebted for his committed service in guiding our institution. Deepak is also a dedicated teacher to his students and a leading scholar within the international development community, focussing intently on globalization, trade liberalization, and international migration. His writings range across the global tapestry widely weaving in regional histories and geopolitics. His breadth of scope is remarkable.

Today, we are in the midst of global economic turmoil and the countries and the lives of their citizens are caught up in the turbulent global interface of finance, trade, and geopolitics. This may be new to us as individuals but it is not new when we look back in time at the historical jostling of countries for position and power.

The premise of Deepak’s lecture is the evolution of the world economy, from the earliest trading days to the present day, and the fluctuating position of developing countries. The lecture focuses on the differences between developed and developing countries and the, sometimes painful, birth of historical and political processes that give further thrust to these differences. The lecture identifies a number of competing issues and interpretations for the reader to seriously consider, then goes on to address the question of whether the future of the developing world may actually lie in lessons learned, or to be learned, from what has already gone before.

UNU-WIDER would like to express its gratitude to Deepak Nayyar for contributing this thought provoking piece to our lecture series.

Now published online and in printed copies. Available upon request by email to:

WIDER Annual Lecture 12: Developing Countries in the World Economy: The Future in the Past? February (2009)

Annual lecture 12 Deepak Nayyar.pdf

Annual lecture 12 poster Deepak Nayyar.pdf