Articles (peer reviewed)

Marx – Greatness without Illusions. Review of Gareth Stedman Jones, Karl Marx – Illusion and Greatness, Allen Lane, 2016

Two Souls of Thomas Piketty: A Review Article on his ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’. 

Published in Theory and Struggle, journal of the Marx Memorial Library, London, 2015, No. 116.

Marx and Schumpeter: A comparison of their Theories of Development

Review of Political Economy, vol. 21, no. 1, January 2009.

Both Marx and Schumpeter see the social process as evolutionary, driven by certain ‘internal necessities’, both see these ‘necessities’   in materialist terms (the  economic factor). This articles argues that Schumpeter insights into the role of the individual in social evolution can be incorporated into Marx’s materialist method without in any way compromising the latter’s   integrity of the latter. The gulf that divides their viewpoints relates to their very different theories of  social classes, and it is this them to see capitalist development in very  different terms. The differences are explained by their very different world-views.  

The concept of abstract labour in Adam Smith’s system of thought

Review of Political Economy, vol. 23, no. 1, January 2011

Adam Smith wrote in his Wealth of Nations: ‘The difference between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom and education…’  ‘Understandings ‘ of men ‘are necessarily formed’ by the kind of work they do, in other words, by the material conditions of their life. It is argued that this conception of labour is equivalent to Marx’s ‘abstract labour’ and that this idea fundamentally divides classical political economy  and Marxian economics from the orthodox, neoclassical theory which conceptualises ‘resources’ (including  labour) in terms of their given physical attributes. Smith’s conception of labour is essential for his claim that the individual while pursuing his self-interest also, at the  same time, promotes the general interest of society.  

Marx: From Hegel and Feuerbach to Adam Smith

Strathclyde Discussion Papers, no. 12-06

The focus of this paper is on Marx’s first encounter with classical political economy as he found it in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. The outcome of this encounter was presented in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. The paper argues that the twenty-six years old Marx found in Smith’s work all the elements he needed to synthesise his philosophical standpoint (developed through his critique of Hegel and Feuerbach) with political economy. 

‘Marx -From Hegel and Feuerbach to Adam Smith: A New Synthesis’
(This is a revised version of an earlier paper of the same title.)

International Critical Thought (a journal of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

volume 8, Number 2, June 2018. 


In The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (completed in August 1844), Marx takes two crucial steps in the formation of his worldview. The first relates to his rejection of all ‘old’ materialism, including Feuerbach’s, and the adoption of his own version, which he called ‘communist’, ‘practical’. This view was later presented definitively in the first thesis on Feuerbach (spring of 1845) and elaborated in The German Ideology (1845-46). The second step relates to Marx’s synthesising of the philosophical standpoint that he had developed up to this point (around the spring of 1844) with political economy. Up this point , he had spoken of alienation in largely philosophical terms; now it is rooted in the process of production. On both counts Adam Smith was an important influence. This claim provides the focus of this paper. To make this point successfully, the author has found it necessary to trace briefly the development of Marx’s philosophical standpoint up to the writing of the Manuscripts, and to distinguish between the two methodologically distinct aspects of Adam Smith’s thought: the one that Marx accepted and the other that he rejected.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the conference ‘Marx 1818-2018 – New Developments on Marx’s Thought and Writings’ held in Lyon, France, from September 27 to September 29, 2017. The Lyon Paper


‘Barriers’ to the Growth of Informal Sector Firms: A Case Study (with Khalid Aftab)

The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 25, no. 4, July 1989

On the basis of the empirical evidence from the  Punjab (Pakistan) tubewell industry, this paper argues that the barrier to the growth of informal sector firms lies in the social and economic background of the owner-managers of such enterprises. This factor limits their capacity to absorb and attract through the market skills and resources necessary for graduating into the  modern sector. They do have potential for growth, but only up to a point. 

The Emergence of a Small-Scale Engineering Sector: The case of Tubewell Production in the Pakistan Punjab (with Khalid Aftab)

The Journal of Development Studies, vol. 23, no. 1, October 1986

This paper seeks to explain the emergence of a substantial small-scale informal sector in an industry that was already dominated by two large, modern sector enterprises. The explanation given focuses on the phenomenon of vertical specialisation practised in the informal sector, and the evolution of the market in a way that favoured this sector. 

Foreign Aid, Domestic Savings and Economic Growth (Pakistan: 1960 to 1988) (With Naheed Z. Khan)

The Pakistan Development Review, vol. 32, no. 4, Winter 1993

This paper investigates the effect of foreign aid on domestic savings and economic growth. By and large the statistical analysis fails to provide conclusive evidence of a positive relationship between foreign aid, savings and economic growth.  

Choice of Technique and Technology Policy in Developing Countries in M. Huq (ed.) Building technological Capacity – Nepal, Bangladesh and India. University Press, Dhaka (2003)