Raphael Kaplinsky is Professor of International Development at the Open University. He has extensive research experience and is the author of numerous books, including a frequently-cited study of the international automobile sector (Driving Force: The Global Restructuring of Technology, Labor, and Investment in the Automobile and Components Industries,) and books on computer-integrated automation, computer aided design, the impact of microelectronics on employment, and appropriate technology. During the early 1990s he pioneered research on changing patterns of organisation in manufacturing in developing countries (Easternisation:The Spread of Japanese Management Techniques to Developing Countries); co-authored books on organisational change in leading European enterprises (Europe’s Next Step: Organisational Change, Innovation and Employment); on an Industrial Strategy for the new South Africa (Improving Manufacturing Performance: The Report of the Industrial Strategy Project); and on corporate restructuring in India (Corporate Restructuring: Crompton Greaves and the Challenge Of Globalisation). He has recently published a book on globalisation, utilising micro-, meso- and macro-data to examine the generalised consequence of upgrading in the global economy (Globalization, Poverty and Inequality). During the course of this research he has over the years worked with enterprises, government-departments and other organisations in Japan, the USA, Western and Eastern Europe, Central America, Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Central Asia.
Raphael Kaplinsky has considerable operational experience. He has participated in numerous UN and EU Missions, providing advice to a large range of countries, particularly on industrial and technology policies. He has led teams of advisers in Central America, Cyprus, South Africa and Kazakhstan and has participated as an adviser in a number of other countries. Between 1991 and 2003 he worked intensively with the South African government on Industrial Policy, and has been deeply involved in the development of industrial strategy in the post-Apartheid era. He has also provided advice on strategic focus and on manufacturing organisation to transnational firms, and to firms in the UK, Africa, Brazil, Central Asia, Central America and India. In the mid-1990s he worked with the European Commission on a programme of assistance to encourage organisational restructuring in European manufacturing and services. More recently, he coordinated economic support to the Brighton and Hove Economic Regeneration Council and advised the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on policies towards agricultural commodities.
Between 1998 and 2003 he was the research manager of an integrated and globally networked programme of research on Globalisation and Value Chains undertaken by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in cooperation with a range of global partners drawn from academia, the corporate sector, the multilateral agencies and civil-society. In 2005 he initiated a similar globally-networked research programme on the impact of dynamic Asian economies on the developing world (The Asian Drivers Programme), and has particular responsibility for the programme’s work on Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2008, together with colleagues in Africa, he has initiated a large programme on the way in which resource economies can Make the Most of Commodities.