Honorary Degree Citation - Karl Gunnar Myrdal*

by J.W. O'Brien, May 1967

Mr. Chancellor; I have the pleasure to present to you Karl Gunnar Myrdal, distinguished economist, sociologist, and statesman.

Gunrar Myrdal is a man who has made a signal contribution to the events of our time in economics, in sociology, and in world affairs.

His studies of the American negro and his book An American Dilemma The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy rank as outstanding sociological analysis. This book has made a major contribution to the study of race and ethnic relations; it is one of two or three classics in the area. The impact on American society has also been large; the United States Supreme Court ruling that "separate but equal" school facilities were in fact not equal was influenced by his work.

As an economist he is known for his contributions to the study of the developing nations. He has put forth the thesis that in relative terms the gap between the developed and the less developed countries is widening, a trend that he considers very dangerous. He is a strong advocate of a policy of global responsibility for the welfare of the developing nations, and it has been his goal to apply the theory acquired in a modern advanced welfare state to their problems. His more recent book Beyond the Welfare State is acclaimed in academic circles.

He has been Minister of Trade and Commerce in his own country. For ten key years, from 1947 to 1957, he was Executive Secretary for the United Nations' Economic Commission for Europe. During the cold war, at a time when tension was at a high point between East and West, he managed, somehow, to keep contact with both sides, and to further the work of the United Nations.

Sir, I present to you, now, Gunnar Myrdal, an outstanding economist, on behalf of the University Council, and by authority of the Board of Governors, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased