Accepted Paper:

The New International Geography of Deindustrialization  


Seth Schindler (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

This paper proposes the emergence of a New International Geography of Deindustrialization, and offers a typology to better understand its different manifestations in cities in developing countries.

Paper long abstract:

Recent scholarship has demonstrated that developing countries have experienced rapid deindustrialization. Deindustrialization is associated with urban and regional decline in the OECD, and scholars have focused on its impacts on communities, workers and local industry. However, in the global South it is typically problematized at the national scale and scholars focus on narrow industrial sectors. In this paper I argue that there is an urgent need to attend to the new international geography of deindustrialization, its manifestation in cities in the global South and impacts on people and local SMEs. I begin by reviewing political economy scholarship on deindustrialization from development studies, most of which seeks to quantify it and identify its causes. Most notably, Dani Rodrik argues that deindustrialization in developing countries is 'premature,' because in comparison to deindustrialization in the OECD it has taken place before increases in the productivity of the service sector and wages. I argue that in order to understand why cities are experiencing 'premature deindustrialization,' it must be understood in the context of unbundled and global value chains, but scholars must also account for the impact of deindustrialization within cities. I propose a typology that captures the range of ways in which deindustrialization manifests in Southern cities, and I conclude by proposing an agenda for future research on the new international geography of deindustrialization.

Panel K03
Deindustrialisation in the Global South: inequality, work and urban transformation (Paper)