Samir Amin was a prominent Egyptian-French Marxist thinker. His work on capitalism, colonialism and (under)development was one of the most important contributions to the discussion over the Third Worlds place in the World economy. As a critical Marxist thinker, he is also one of the founders of post-colonial thoughts.
Amin was born in Cairo in 1931. In 1947, he moved to Paris to study political science, statistics and economics. From his arrival he became very active politically. He joined the French Communist Party. Later on he became a member of the Maoist circles in Paris. His PhD dissertation title was “The origins of underdevelopment – capitalist accumulation on world scale”. In it he introduced his theoretical analysis on the relationship between capitalism, eurocentrism, development and under-development in the World economy. Since then, his perspective open a new historiographical approach to the relationship between the First and the Third World.
After finishing his degrees he moved back to Cairo where he worked as an economic advisor for the government. In 1960 he moved to Bamako, Mali, to work as an adviser to the Ministry of Planning. In 1963 he was offered a fellowship at the Institut Africain de Développement Économique et de Planification (IDEP). In 1980 he left IDEP and became the Director of the Third World Forum in Dakar.
Amin published more than 30 books on Capitalism and Marxism. Some of the most important titles are “Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment”, “The Liberal Virus” and “Imperialism and Unequal Development”, among others.