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

Project Details


Senior Lecturer at the Global Development Institute Seth Schindler has been awarded an ESRC grant for a new research project looking at deindustrialisation in the South, the first large-scale multi-site comparative research project of its kind.

Deindustrialisation is associated with economic decline in the former industrial heartlands of the OECD, but economists have recently demonstrated that deindustrialisation has been more severe in the global South. However, deindustrialisation has gone largely unnoticed by urban scholars focused on cities in the Global South.

This project will address this gap by comparing the diverse manifestations of deindustrialisation and its impacts in three cities in the Global South. The research will focus on how deindustrialisation has impacted industry and labourers in cities and will chart the ways public officials, key stakeholders in civil society, firms and labourers have responded to deindustrialisation.

Economist Dani Rodrik, is a member of this project’s advisory board as well as Ron Martin, Ray Hudson, Gordon MacLeod, Kevin Ward, Simon Marvin and Martin Jones - some of Britain’s most renowned urban scholars. GDI’s managing director, Diana Mitlin will mentor Dr Schindler on the project.

The project will focus on Kanpur, India, which has suffered wholesale industrial decline; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where deindustrialisation has been accompanied by urban expansion and population growth; and Buenos Aires, Argentina, where deindustrialisation is highly concentrated in certain labour-intensive industries and associated neighbourhoods.

Dr Schindler has also been awarded a Newton Advanced Fellowship in collaboration with Mustafa Kemal Bayırbağ at the Middle East Technical University. The Fellowship will look at Turkey's urbanisation-led development strategy in Ankara.
Short titleR:HDD HDZ/S Schindler/11.09.17
Effective start/end date1/09/1828/02/22

Collaborative partners

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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