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Global Development Institute

Political economy of globalisation

21st century globalisation and development

We live in an increasingly globalised and globally inter-connected world marked by a diverse array of private and public actors who shape the ways in people, labour, capital, products, knowledge, ideas, cultures and values flow around the world. Globalisation is a dynamic and contested process with uneven outcomes.

Our research seeks to inform prospects for a more socially-just form of globalisation. It probes the dynamic and changing forms of the global economy through the production networks which constitute global trade, and its local outcomes. We seek to understand the changing contours of this global economy, including through the greater prominence of rising power economies and increasing trade within the global South. We explore the uneven outcomes of globalisation. We study movements of people, from economic migrants to political refugees. We seek to assess whether historical injustices shape contemporary opportunities. 

Latest publications

Barrientos, S. (2016). Beyond Fairtrade: Why are chocolate companies pursuing social sustainability in cocoa sourcing? The Economics of Chocolate. M. Squicciarini and J. Swinnen. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 213-227.

Barrientos, S., et al. (2016). "New dynamics of upgrading in global value chains: Shifting terrain for suppliers and workers in the global south." Environment and Planning A 48(7): 1214-1219.

Barrientos, S., et al. (2016). "Shifting regional dynamics of global value chains: Implications for economic and social upgrading in African horticulture." Environment and Planning A 48(7): 1266-1283.

Bastia, T. (2016). "Migration and older people in Bolivia: between opportunities and new vulnerabilities." British Academy Review 27: 66-69.

Heeks, R. and S. Arun (2016). Assessing the development impact of social outsourcing of IT services,. Socially Responsible Outsourcing. B. Nicholson, R. Babin and M. C. Lacity. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan: 81-96.

Heeks, R. and C. Foster (2016). Nurturing user-producer interaction: inclusive innovation flows in a low-income mobile market. New Models of Inclusive Innovation for Development. R. Heeks, C. Foster and Y. Nugroho. London, Routledge: 47-63.

Heeks, R., et al. (2016). An institutional logics perspective on IT impact sourcing. European Conference on Information Systems, Istanbul.

Horner, R. (2017). Beyond facilitator? State roles in global value chains and global production networks. Geography Compass11(2). 

Horner, R. (2016). "A New Economic Geography of Trade and Development? Governing South–South Trade, Value Chains and Production Networks." Territory, Politics, Governance 4(4): 400-420.           

Horner, R. (2016). "Pharmaceuticals and the global South: a healthy challenge for development theory?" Geography Compass 10(9): 363-377.         

Hulme, D. (2016). The Millennium Development Goals’. The Oxford Companion to International Relations. C. Murphy. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Hulme, D. (2016). Should Rich Nations Help the Poor? Cambridge/New York, Polity Press.

Hulme, D. and Banks, N. (2016). New development alternatives or business as usual with a new face? The transformative potential of new actors and alliances in development. New Actors and Alliances in Development: 181-195.

Jacoby, T. (2016). "Global Fascism: Timing, Support and Strategy." Journal of Global History 11(3): 451-472.

Jacoby, T. (2016). "A Historical Perspective on the July 2016 Coup Attempt in Turkey." Insight Turkey 18(3).

Jacoby, T. (2016). "Theorizing Fascism: Cases, Comparison and Consensus." European History Quarterly 46(4): 702-706.

Kothari, U., & Arnall, A. (2017). Contestation over an island imaginary landscape: The management and maintenance of touristic natureEnvironment and Planning A.

Kothari, U. (2016). Commentary of Jonathan Crush (1995) Power of Development, Progress in Human Geography.           

Kothari, U. (2016). Trade, consumption and development alliances: The historical legacy of the empire marketing board poster campaign. New Actors and Alliances in Development: 43-64.

Kothari, U., et al. (2016). Frontiers of Development. U. Kothari, A. M. Fischer and G. Mohan. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

McGranahan, G. and D. Mitlin (2016). "Learning from Sustained Success: How Community-Driven Initiatives to Improve Urban Sanitation Can Meet the Challenges." World Development 87: 307-317.

Müller, T. R. (2017). Post-liberation Politics and Political Space in Eritrea: Interrogating Aspirations among Educated YouthJournal of Development Studies.

Müller, T. R. (2016). "Acts of citizenship as a politics of resistance? Reflections on realizing concrete rights within the Israeli asylum regime." Citizenship Studies 20(1): 50-66.

Nadvi, K., & Knorringa, P. (2016). Rising Power Clusters and the Challenges of Local and Global StandardsJournal of Business Ethics133, 55-72.

Nadvi, K., Weiss, J. (Ed.), & Tribe, M. (Ed.) (2016). What Role for Small Enterprises?: Industrial clusters, industrial policy and poverty reduction. InRoutledge Handbook on Industry and Development. (pp. 116-134). Routledge.


Previous events

14 October 2016 - The Rising Powers, Labour Standards and the Governance of Global Production Networks and Global Production Networks, Trade and Labour research group hosted a talk by Karamat Ali, executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (PILER).

20 June 2016 - Dr Hubert Escaith of the World Trade Organisation visited the GDI to give a talk on ‘Bridging the gap between academia and policy/ practice’.  

4 - 6 June 2016 - Early Career workshop hosted by the Global Production Networks and Social Upgrading research group. This workshop included a lecture by Dr Jennifer Bair.

20th May 2016 - Professor Tim Bartley gave a masterclass and lecture at the Global Development Institute masterclass

29th June - 1 July 2015 – The "Global production and local outcomes" conference was hosted by the Global Development Institute


Theme Convenors

  • Dr Rory Horner – Lecturer
  • Dr Jaco Renken - Lecturer, Information and Communication Technology for Development 

Academic members

PhD Researcher Members

  • Edward Ademolu
  • Corinna Braun-Munzinger
  • Aarti Krishnan
  • Natalie Langford
  • Yuna Lee
  • Ryo Seo-Zindy
  • Robert Smith