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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 networksGeography 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. In Routledge Handbook on Industry and Development. (pp. 116-134). Routledge.



Previous events

19 October 2017 - Henry Yeung (National University of Singapore) and Weidong Liu (Chinese Academy of Sciences) gave a masterclass on "The role of the state in East Asian development". The masterclass followed Henry's lecture for the geography@125 series on "Rethinking East Asia in the New Global Economy". 

12 July 2017 -Mark Dallas (Union College) gave a talk on "Unpacking power in global value chains", and also gave a masterclass for early career researchers. 

26-27 June 2017 - GDI hosted a workshop on "From international to global development". Read about the workshop here. Watch the workshop participants outlining the key trends they see in global development below.

8 May 2017 - Richard Kozul-Wright (Director, Globalization and Development Strategies Division, UNCTAD) visited GDI to give a talk on "Emerging economies and the end of hyper-globalization". He also conducted a masterclass for early career researchers.

14 October 2016 - The Rising Powers, Labour Standards and the Governance of Global Production Networks Project 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 "Global value chains, trade and development" and a masterclass on ‘Bridging the gap between academia and policy/ practice’.

4 - 6 June 2016 - Early career workshop on "Global production networks and social upgrading" (funded by the Global Development Institute and also the Brown International Advanced Research Institute. This workshop included a lecture by Dr Jennifer Bair (University of Colorado)

20 May 2016 - Professor Tim Bartley (Ohio State) gave a masterclass and lecture at the Global Development Institute

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

1.       Inequality/unfairness


Theme Convenors

Academic members

PhD Researcher Members

  • Edward Ademolu
  • Karishma Banga
  • Maria Bohada Rodriguez
  • Corinna Braun-Munzinger
  • Ritse Erumi
  • Laura Hirst
  • Luyao Huang
  • Heiner Janus
  • Aarti Krishnan
  • Natalie Langford
  • Yuna Lee
  • Daniele Malerba
  • Hao Peng
  • Luis Rivera Illingworth
  • Ryo Seo-Zindy