Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism

Journal of Scientometric Research,2021,10,2,279-282.
Published:October 2021
Type:Book Review
Author(s) affiliations:

Ashish Gosain

Centre for Studies in Science Policy,Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, INDIA. 


The book presents a proposition about the value chains as a form of economic drain, which is carefully constructed from the Marxian view of value added as essentially labour surplus. That seeks to reclaim the production function, tersely characterised as the interplay between capital and labour in the economics of technological change literature, as much as it seeks to liberate from it. The subjective narrative offered by the book explores how the division of labour appears as a form of social and economic exploitation of workers in low-wage countries by western multinationals. It posits the book in the lexicon of contemporary production relations i.e., foreign direct investment to emphasize the mobility of capital and the contingent compulsions of capital to reduce per-unit costs of labour and the increase of productivity. These two structural contingencies are used to characterise the essentialist formulation of imperialism i.e., one of generating surplus through the exploitation of resources in other countries to enhance their developmental goals. This to many others in the field of innovation systems is a matter of dynamic, evolution and path dependence and to many trade theorists, the explanation of the flawed nature of export-orientation of the economies of the south. As to why the productivity bias the book criticises is not relevant in our context, appears diffuse. Read more...


Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism