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Beyond Capitalism: A Southern Perspective

The Egyptian economist Samir Amin will be awarded the Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought 2009

(Berlin) This year’s Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought will be awarded to one of the most important and most influential intellectuals of the Third World, the Egyptian economist Prof. Dr. Samir Amin. He stands for the conscious self-reliance of developing countries, in particular of the Arab World, and calls for a new internationalism to not just overcome the crisis of capitalism, but to emerge from a capitalism in crisis. Samir Amin will receive the award personally on December 3, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

The financial collapse of September 2008, which triggered off what is known as ‘the crisis’, was expected by Samir Amin, albeit not in precise date, as a natural development and part of the crisis of late capitalism beginning as early as the 1970s.

Amin thinks globalized capitalism from the side of those victimized by it. He argues that the big contemporary crises, such as the energy crisis, food crisis, ecological crisis and climate change, are all part and parcel of the same fundamental problem, namely contemporary capitalist globalisation based on exploitation of resources. “The present crisis is therefore neither a financial crisis nor the summation of multiple systemic crises, but a crisis of the imperialist capitalism of the oligopolies.” The only way out of this dead end that Amin sees lies in a negotiated globalisation without hegemonies and the renewal of a creative Marxism.

The Ibn Rushd Fund, named after the philosopher Ibn Rushd/Averroes (1126-1198) supports freedom of speech and democracy in the Arab World by annually awarding the Ibn Rushd Prize. The prize’s focus shifts every year, and has so far been put on the fields of Journalism, Women’s Rights, Criticism, Politics, Philosophy, Literature, Reform of Islam, Human Rights, Film and Arab Enlightenment. In 2009, the eleventh prize will be awarded to “an Arab expert of economy who has tackled in his/her work the problems of economic development in the Arab World.” 

Samir Amin grew up in Egypt and studied economics in Paris. After a PhD in Economics in 1957 he worked as head of the research department at the Organisation of Economic Development in Cairo. In 1966 he qualified as a university lecturer for Economics and taught at various universities in France and Senegal. He was advisor to the Ministry of Planning in Bamako (Mali) and Director of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) for a period of ten years. Since 1980 he has been directing the African Office of the Third World Forum, an international non-governmental association for research and debate. He is currently the President of the World Forum for Alternatives.

Prof. Samir Amin will receive the award personally on December 3, 2009 at 6 p. m. in Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Franz-Mehring-Platz 1 in Berlin 10243 (U-Bahn 5, Station: Weberwiese or S-Bahn Ostbahnhof, Bus 240 or 347).

The German social scientist and peace studies expert Prof. Dieter Senghaas from the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) of Bremen University will present the laudatory speech.

A reception with tea and baqlawa will conclude the celebrations and leave room for personal discussion.

Biography of the prize winner                    

Photo of the prize winner                                         

Short biographies of members of the jury

Prize announcement

Who are we?

Ibn Rushd prizes                                                    

Ibn Rushd website     

Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

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