A World of Rust Belts?: Deindustrialisation and Its Impacts in Cities in the Global South

Duration: 09/18 – 02/22

There has been much discussion in Europe and the US over the last few decades on the impacts of globalisation on Western industry, with production increasingly outsourced elsewhere: indeed, this has formed a central element in right-wing populist movements across the global North. However, there has been less focus on the effects in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the ways that developing countries have also experienced deindustrialization.

A World of Rust Belts?: Deindustrialisation and its Impacts in Cities in the Global South seeks to draw out the unacknowledged complexities of these shifts within cities, with particular reference to the loss of manufacturing work in developing countries to East Asia. Through detailed comparative research in Argentina (Buenos Aires), India (Kanpur) and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), the research will explore the extent to which these urban centres have suffered ‘premature deindustrialisation’ as South-South trade has seen production relocated before the transition to service-led growth in these cities has taken place.

In addition to informing local policy makers the findings will also be disseminated within the UK to show how, contrary to populist narratives in Western countries, many developing countries have also experienced negative impacts through the relocation of global industrial production.

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Seth Schindler (Principal Investigator, Senior Lecturer in Urban Development and Transformation)
Ashok Kumar (Professor of Physical Planning)
J. Miguel Kanai (Urban Geographer)
Deusdedit Rwehumbiza (Senior Lecturer)

• Detailed fieldwork in case study cities in Argentina, India and Tanzania, focusing on urban planning, business strategies and social welfare.
• Collation of inputs from local stakeholders through interviews, surveys and workshops.
• Dissemination of findings through policy briefs and other methods, accompanied by exhibitions and other platforms in the UK to highlight negative impacts of deindustrialization in developing countries.