Global Development Theme 6 - Industrialisation and Urbanisation

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When a country moves from an economy dominated by farming to one dominated by manufacturing

  • Means a country can produce a wider range of higher value goods, for sale at home and abroad
  • Encourages the emergence of other businesses to meet the needs to factories 
  • Means eventually a country will be less dependent on manufactured imports
  • Requires workers who will be paid wages which gives the country money to stimulate demand in the economy
  • Workers also need to be educated which leads to social development
  • Leads to urbanisation
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Industrialisation: For and Against


  • Dependency Theorists argue that industrialisation is crucial for independent development by allowing developing countries to control the process of it, not the West
  • Modernisation Theory argues that industrialisation lead to the development of the West so developing countries should do it too. They also argue that aid is the way to kickstart industrialisation - helps to industrialise agriculture which allows the country to produce food more efficiently                                                                                                                                                                


  • World Systems Theory argues that countries only industrialise if it benefits the West and that it isn't in the interests of thew West for every country to be industrialised and to grow economically - the West needs the periphery to stay peripheral to provide the West with cheap materials 
  • After industrialisation, there will be massive unemployment in de-industrialised areas 
  • People Centred Development argues that countries don't need to be industrialised to be socially developed
  • Case studies of Bhutan and Anuta should that industrialisation is not the only path to development 
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Urbanisation - Arguments For

The movement of populations from rural areas to urbanised cities 


  • Modernisation Theory argues that cities promote positive economic and social development 
  • Cities boost economic growth by attracting industrial capitalists because there is a larger workforce
  • Cities encourage the emergence of a new entrepreneurial class who aspire to modern lifestyles 
  • Cities weaken the ties of individuals to families which overcomes the traditional values of collectivism and patriarchy
  • It's easier for governments to establish health and education in areas with dense populations 

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Urbanisation - Arguments Against


  • Enviornmental problems - litter from the increased number of people, increased pollution, natural spaces destroyed to make way for infrastructure 
  • Poverty and inequality - there are more people and less job vacancies which means that there are higher levels of unemployment and increased poverty
  • Higher crime rates - unemployment leads to crime out of boredom and frustration
  • Inadequate provision of basic social services 
  • Dependency Theorists see urbanisation as benefitting the wealthy - global cities are only available to the rich minority. The economy becomes centred around building up lavish cities for this minority instead of improving the lives of the majority in rural areas
  • Industrialisation leading to urbanisation is a myth - what really happens is that there are too few jobs for the people who move to the cities and these huge amounts of the unemployed come to form the urban underclass. This benefits TNCs because it allows them to keep wages low
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