Michael Goldman

Associate Professor, University of Minnesota

Social Justice and Prosperity in a World City? Rethinking the ‘Flat World’ Thesis in Bangalore, India

Michael Goldman PosterThursday, October 2, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Topical Background
Bangalore, India has skyrocketed to prosperity in the global economy as a result of success and innovation in research and development (R&D).

The Indian city has been equated to the ‘Silicon Valley’ of California because of its surge in high-tech development. Numerous multinational Informational Technology (IT) firms are flocking to the region in an effort to outsource their IT services and generate products at a cheaper cost.

The Bangalore model is export-based and thrives on off-shore development directed at the United States firms and consumer markets. While it has created jobs and generated income to a certain extent, some argue that the Bangalore development model has not benefited the majority of the local population.

Has this prosperity led to equity in Bangalore, which was once the prototype of the global south? Are the bold new changes occurring in Bangalore, India improving the living conditions of the majority? Or has this development model simply exacerbated socio-economic divides in the city? Is the ‘Bangalore model’ — solving ‘megacity’ problems with ‘world-city’ solutions – helping to create sustainable and equitable cities in the global South?

About the Speaker

Prof. Michael Goldman is a professor of sociology and global studies at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. His latest book, based on a decade-long ethnography of the World Bank, is titled Imperial Nature: The World Bank and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalization.

Professor Goldman has been the recipient of numerous awards including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Research and Writing Fellowship, Yale University Agrarian Studies Fellowship, Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellowship at UC Berkeley, Fulbright Fellowship, American Institute for Indian Studies Fellowship, and the McKnight Presidential Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. His current research, titled “Bangalore: The Making of a World City,” focuses on the transformations occurring in major cities in the global South, with an emphasis on Bangalore, India.

Related Links
Thomas Friedman’s article on the world is flat: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/03/magazine/03DOMINANCE.html
Michael Goldman’s differing perspective: http://www2.cla.umn.edu/reach/default.php?entry=122045