In 1984 the director of the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER), newly established by the United Nations University (UNU) and based in Helsinki, invited scholars, of whom Professor Helleiner was one, to organize interesting research projects using WIDER’s funds and under its auspices. The following year, Helleiner, along with Lance Taylor and others, began to develop a research programme on international economic issues and helped organize a high level conference to flesh out its direction. The programme that emerged involved papers on 18 developing countries, the summary volume of which appeared in 1988.
By 1990, Professor Helleiner had assembled a number of developing country authors and empirically-oriented trade/development analysts to work out a research project on trade and industrialization policies. It produced two books which he edited and for which he wrote the introductions. The first, on trade and industrialization reconsidered, appeared as Trade policy and industrialization in turbulent times in 1994. Papers presented at the WIDER conferences on ‘trade and industrialization’ held in Ottawa in September 1991 and on ‘Trade and industrialization reconsidered’ held in Paris in August the same year formed the basis of this volume. Papers on Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe were not received in time for inclusion in it. A second, shorter volume, containing only five country studies but built on the work of the first, appeared in 1995 as Manufacturing for export in the developing world: problems and possibilities.
A second WIDER project, on new trade theories and industrialization in the developing countries, was begun in 1988 and published as Trade policy, industrialization and development: new perspectives in 1992.
The third project, on non-traditional exporting from Africa, focused on the following countries: Burkino Fasso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya., Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, with comparative studies on Chile and Costa Rica. Professor Helleiner worked closely with the African Economic Research Consortium’s (AERC) trade liberalization project and with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The project began in July 1996 and ran until late 1999. Papers were presented at a joint UNU/WIDER meeting in Kampala, Uganda, in June 1997 and they were subsequently reworked into chapters for the book, Non-traditional export promotion in Africa: experience and issues, which appeared in 2002. The series ends with a proposed project on the United Nations and the Breton Woods Institutions.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, notes, minutes of meetings, conference material, drafts of papers, reports and publications.