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Neoliberal industrialization, the rural periphery, and uneven development in India

Neoliberal industrialization, the rural periphery, and uneven development in India

slum next to a modern office building

Principal Investigator: Raju Das.

Funding: SSHRC Insight Grant.

Term: 2016-2022.

Geographically uneven development (GUD) is an enduring problem worldwide. Its urgency is more apparent in the context of the recent phase of industrialization occurring in the South since the onset of the neoliberal form of capitalism. This industrialization, which takes different forms, including transplantation of large-scale industry into rural areas, creating newly industrialized cities, is occurring in many parts of India, in which state’s earlier role in promoting equality between areas (and groups/classes) is relatively diminished since 1991. This new context raises a specific question: how does this pattern of industrialization cause uneven development between newly created urban areas and rural areas, and within the rural periphery? This multi-year project involves much theoretical work, to guide the empirical component of the project. It intends to produce a thoroughgoing, rigorous critique of some of the existing views on uneven development and to provide an alternative framework to understand it.

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