Most debates around the industrialisation possibilities for developing countries kick off on the impact of globalisation. Increasing globalisation (in the sense of trade liberalisation and opening up of markets) is either deemed to be beneficial to developing country economies or detrimental to them. Usually the impact of globalisation is discussed in terms of the integration of developing country markets into those of the industrialised centres of the global economy – i.e. North America, European Union, and Japan. Consequently the discussion hinges around the question of who benefits from opening up developing country markets to these Triad economies (and vice versa).
However there are two problems with the way these discussions are framed. Firstly, they tend to assume a dichotomous world of 'north' (meaning industrialised) versus 'south' (meaning developing). But this ignores the globalising impact of other rapidly industrialising economies in the South – principally China (including its supply chain hinterland in South East Asia) and India, both of which we term the Asian Drivers – on the rest of the developing world (Kaplinsky 2005). Secondly, the discussion operates on the assumption that the impacts of globalisation are either positive or negative. In other words, there is an implicit assumption of a uni-dimensional world with uni-dimensional impacts.
Physical and mailing address
Leslie Social Science Building
12 University Avenue
University of Cape Town