Frank, Andre Gunder 1929-
FRANK, Andre Gunder 1929-
PERSONAL: Born February 24, 1929, in Berlin, Germany; son of Lenhard and Elena (Pevsner) Frank; married Marta Fuentes Enberg (a librarian), December 21, 1962 (died, 1993); married second wife, Nancy Howell (divorced); children: Paulo Rene, Miguel Leonardo. Education: Swarthmore College, B.A. (with honors), 1950; University of Michigan, graduate study, 1951; University of Chicago, M.A., 1952, Ph.D., 1957; University of Paris, Doctorat d'Etat, 1978.
ADDRESSES: Home—One Longfellow Place, Apt. 3411, Boston, MA 02114. Office—World History Center, Northeastern University, 270 Holmes Hall, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Educator and economist. Iowa State University, Ames, instructor, 1956-57; Michigan State University, East Lansing, began as lecturer, became assistant professor, 1957-61; University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil, associate professor, 1963; UNESCO Latin American Center for Research in the Social Sciences, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, visiting research fellow, 1963-64; National Autonomous University of Mexico, Obregon, professor extraordinario, 1965; Sir George Williams University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, visiting professor, 1966-68; University of Chile, Santiago, professor, 1968-73, research professor, 1970-73; Max Planck Institute, visiting research associate and fellow of German Society for Peace and Conflict Research, 1974-78; University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, professor of development studies, 1978-83; University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, professor of development economics, 1981-94, director of Institute for Socio-Economic Studies of Developing Regions, 1981-94; University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, professor of sociology, 1996-98; Northeastern University, Boston, MA, senior fellow at World History Center, 2002—. Visiting professor to colleges and universities, including Catholic University of Louvain, 1971, Free University of Berlin, 1973, Boston University, 1979, New School for Social Research, 1981, Florida International University, 1999-2000, University of Miami, FL, 1999-2000, and University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 2001. Consultant, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, 1964; worked in field office for United Nations International Labour Organization, 1968.
MEMBER: International Studies Association, International Political Science Association, International Sociological Association, International Society of Comparative Study of Civilizations, World Futures Society, Prehistoric Society, World Association of International Relations (member of board of directors), World History Association, American Political Science Association, Political Economy of World Systems Section of the American Sociological Association, American Anthropological Association, Social Science History Association, New England Historical Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: Distinguished Scholar Selectee, International Studies Association, 1989; MacArthur Foundation grant, 1990; World Society Foundation grant, 1996-97; Political Economy of World Systems Section of American Sociological Association, Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, 1997, and Book Award, 2000, for ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age; First Book Prize, World History Association, 1999.
Hugo Blanco Must Not Die: An Address to a Meeting in Solidarity with the Imperilled Peruvian Leader and the Freedom Struggle in Latin America, R. McCarthy, 1967.
Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America: Historical Essays of Chile and Brazil, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1967, revised edition, 1969.
Latin America: Underdevelopment or Revolution, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1969.
Sociology of Development and Underdevelopment of Sociology, Zenit (Stockholm, Sweden), 1969.
La Sociologia subdesarrollante, Aportes, 1969.
Sociologia del desarrollo y subdesarrollo de la sociologia. El desarrollo del subdesarrollo, Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1971.
Lumpenbourgeoisie: Lumpendevelopment; Dependency, Class, and Politics in Latin America, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1972.
(With R. Puiggros and E. Laclau) America Latina: Feudalismo o capitalismo?, Oveja Negra (Bogota, Colombia), 1972.
(With D. Johnson and J. Cockcroft) Dependence and Underdevelopment: Latin America's Political Economy, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1972.
(With O. Caputo, R. Pizarro, and A. Quijano) Aspectos de la realidad Latinoamericana, Quimantu (Santiago, Chile), 1973.
Carta abierta en el aniversario del Golpe militar en Chile, edited by Alberto Corazon, [Madrid, Spain], 1974.
Raices del desarrollo y del subdesarrollo en el nuevo mundo, Universidad Central de Venezuela Facultad de Ciencias Economicas y Sociales (Caracas, Venezuela), 1974.
?Quien es el enemigo inmediato?: America Latina, subdesarrollo capitalista o revolucion socialista, Centro de Estudios Politicos, 1974.
On Capitalist Underdevelopment, Oxford University Press (Bombay, India), 1975.
Capitalismo y genocidio economico: Carta abierta a la escuela de cconomia de Chicago a proposito de su intervencion en Chile, Zero (Madrid, Spain), 1976.
La Inversion extranjera en el subdesarrollo latinoamericano, Causachun (Lima, Peru), 1976.
Economic Genocide in Chile, Spokesman Books (Nottingham, England), 1976.
(With S. Amin and H. Jaffe) Quale 1983/no esperar a 1984, Zero (Madrid, Spain), 1976.
Critica y anti-critica, Zero (Madrid, Spain), 1978, translation published as Critique and Anti-Critique, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1984.
World Accumulation, 1492-1789, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1978.
Dependent Accumulation and Underdevelopment, Macmillan (London, England), 1978, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1979.
(With S. Amin) Pa Vei Mot 1984, Gyldendal (Oslo, Norway), 1979.
Crisis: In the World Economy, Holmes & Meier (New York, NY), 1980.
Crisis: In the Third World, Holmes & Meier (New York, NY), 1981.
Reflections on the World Economic Crisis, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1981.
The European Challenge, Spokesman Books (Nottingham, England), 1983, published as The European Challenge: From Atlantic Alliance to Pan-European Entente for Peace and Jobs, foreword by Richard J. Barnet, L. Hill (Westport, CT), 1984.
El Desafio de la crisis, Nueva Sociedad (Caracas, Venezuela), 1988.
(Coauthor) Widerstand im Weltsystem, Promedia (Vienna, Austria), 1990.
The Underdevelopment of Development, Bethany Books (Santa Cruz, CA), 1991.
The Centrality of Central Asia, VU University Press (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1992.
(Editor and contributor, with Barry Gills) The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand?, Routledge (New York, NY), 1993.
ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1998.
Contributor to books, including The European Workers' Movement, Synthesis Publications, 1981; Dynamics of Global Crisis, Monthly Review Press, 1982; and Der Sozialismus an der Schwelle zum 21. Jahrhundert, Argument, 1985; contributor to professional journals and magazines. Member of editorial board, Review of International Political Economy, Third World Quarterly, Society and Nature, Dialectical Anthropology, Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives, Journal of Social Studies, Social Identities, Passages, and Inner Asia.
SIDELIGHTS: Historical economist Andre Gunder Frank has repeatedly challenged generally accepted ideas of how economies and societies evolve and interrelate. In an article for Social Justice, writers Pat Lauderdale, Ken Kyle, and Annamarie Oliverio explained that in much of Frank's work he argues that crises that occur in economies populated by marginalized societies are largely the result of the West's hoarding of resources and capitalism's attempts to standardize and homogenize cultures for the sake of efficiency. "For thirty years," noted the Social Justice writers, "he has objected to attempts to develop peoples, nations, states, or even nature under any particular homogeneous model—monolithic models tolerating no deviation, no diversity. His objections to the dynamics of dependency, marginalization, and the over-accumulation of capital by the core nations also exemplify his concern with injustice. Despite major backlashes in the past, Frank … continues to protest both legally and philosophically against the unjust distribution of benefits and burdens, including rights, responsibilities, … and needs."
In such books as Crisis: In the World Economy and World Accumulation, 1492-1789, Frank maintains that "Capital over-accumulation is identified as the source of numerous crises and reactions," noted the Social Justice contributors. "Efficiency has not led to equality, but rather to more inequality, to greater injustice." The economist views the economic development of North America, in particular, to have come at the cost of development in Latin America, as well as the economic disadvantage of indigenous Americans. Not only are these people at an economic disadvantage, but their cultural identities have also been suppressed. The reason: the concept of what "development" entails in a Western culture is diametrically opposed to what many indigenous people view as development. In his books Frank asserts that, in accordance with the Enlightenment ideology that inspired Rousseau, Locke, and Hobbes, with its imperative that civil societies must strive to counteract the chaos inherent in the "state of nature," homogenous societies bound by Locke's "social contract" became the ideal.
Part of the response to Frank's theories has not only been to stimulate debate among economists and sociologists but also to fuel the liberation theology movement prevalent in underdeveloped, predominately Catholic countries. Liberation theology is concerned with the inequities that exist between the economically elite and those who have been marginalized and denied such things as land ownership. In addition, Frank's work has impacted the field of archaeology and the understanding of the divergence by indigenous peoples of their use of the land following colonization by Western powers.
An important aspect of Frank's work is how it considers economies in terms of world systems, rather than simply how business and trade works within a state or group of states. In The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? and ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age, for example, the author challenges Eurocentric ideas of economic and technological development. In The World System, which Frank edited with Barry Gills, as well as writing many of the book's chapters, he posits that the development of a country or region cannot be fully understood without looking at the entire world system. In the case of the West, which benefitted from trade from Asian and Arabic regions of the world for centuries, the main reason for its prosperity beginning in the 1500s was the discovery of resources in the New World and the later decline of a dynamic economy in the East in the 1800s, due to a large population and consequentially cheap labor. The Europeans, in contrast, did not have as easy access to cheap labor, which spurred the creation of time- and labor-saving technologies, as Frank further explains in ReOrient. In ReOrient the author also speculates that the West's current dominance in the world is only a temporary phenomenon and that Asia will soon regain the ascendancy. Writing in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, David Ludden further summarized Frank's theses: "First, long economic cycles influencing the global economy (from ancient times) also affected modern change; the rise and fall of each world region derives significantly from its position within global cycles. Second, within the global economy, the rise of the West occurred as Europe 'climbed up on Asian shoulders' to take advantage of Asia's old strength."
"Frank's ReOrient has caused great waves of anxiety among social scientists because of his claim that this new perspective on the rise of the West invalidates all our theories of development," reported Christopher Chase-Dunn in the American Journal of Sociology. "The great contribution of the book, and its predecessor, The World System …, is that it forces us to focus on the significant economic and political/military continuities that have characterized the rise and fall of powerful regions for millennia." But while Chase-Dunn agreed with many of Frank's arguments, including the importance of China in the world economy and the belief that Europe was actually "a peripheral region" that with the exception of the period of the Roman Empire was less well developed than the East, the critic still held that the economist's "claim that the European rise to hegemony was a short-term and conjunctural outcome that had no implications for developmental logic is most probably mistaken." Nevertheless, despite such occasional objections, many critics have hailed Frank's fresh perspectives on the development of world civilizations and cultures. As Pacific Affairs contributor Marta Rohatynskyj concluded, "Frank calls for a restructuring of the social sciences on a non-Eurocentric basis. Here! Here! ReOrient challenges readers to reconsider the importance of Europe in world history and in doing so touches upon important contemporary questions about how and what we can know."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Journal of Sociology, January, 2000, Christopher Chase-Dunn, review of ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age, p. 1196.
Antiquity, September, 1995, Andrew Sherratt, review of The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand?, p. 633.
Foreign Affairs, fall, 1984, review of Critique and Anti-Critique: Essays on Dependence and Reformism, p. 191.
Journal of Interdisciplinary History, winter, 1999, David Ludden, review of ReOrient, p. 564.
Journal of World History, spring, 2000, Janet L. Abu-Lughod, review of ReOrient, p. 111.
Library Journal, November 1, 1980, M. Balachandran, review of Crisis: In the World Economy, p. 2323; March 1, 1981, M. Balachandran, review of Crisis: In the Third World, p. 564.
Nation, June 6, 1981, Wendy Cooper, review of Reflections on the World Economic Crisis, p. 707, and Crisis: In the Third World, p. 708.
Pacific Affairs, spring, 2000, Marta Rohatynskyj, review of ReOrient, p. 98.
Pacific Historical Review, August, 2000, Akira Iriye, review of ReOrient, p. 471.
Social Forces, September, 1991, Michael S. Kimmel, review of Transforming the Revolution: Social Movements and the World System, p. 253.
Social Justice, winter, 1994, Pat Lauderdale, Ken Kyle, and Annamarie Oliviero, "Millennia and Injustice from the View of Andre Gunder Frank," p. 5.*