This article is part of ourEconomy’s ‘Decolonising the economy’ series.

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd have drawn attention to stark injustices and inequalities within the United States, but also globally, the inadequacy of mainstream economics for explaining structural inequalities is becoming increasingly obvious. My recent research demonstrates that a dependency theory research agenda is crucial for understanding contemporary global inequalities and for coming up with sustainable solutions.

Global imbalances are not new. Indeed, they have been well known for centuries and famously pointed out by the dependency theorists of the 1960s and 1970s. Although global production and finance have transformed since then, the core tenets of dependency theory remain relevant. Furthermore, important strands within dependency theory refer

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