Investigating the complex dynamics of FDI for power, regional development and poverty

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has become one of the dominant flows of resources to developing countries. This has led to a great deal of optimism around the possibilities that FDI can provide a potential for economic development. But as more and more researchers and development specialists are pointing out, this potential depends on how FDI interacts with the environment in which the investments take place. Or as we put it in this research project, the potential for development depends on its spatial embeddedness.

An FDI occurs when an enterprise from one country makes a significant investment in an enterprise in another country, with the intention of maintaining a lasting relationship with that enterprise. The investment can take many different forms and is much more complex than a simple economic transaction.

It is necessary to better understand the different forms that FDI takes, and how these forms influence and are influenced by the social, cultural and political contexts in the country or region where the FDI takes place. And this is what we mean by spatial embeddedness; the degree to which the FDI is integrated in local social, cultural and political phenomena. This is important in order to shed light on the dynamics of FDI in relation to power relations, regional development and poverty.

The research project was based at the Department of Geography at the University of Bergen and funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

NRC is currently funding (2010-2013) the project 'Negotiating New Political Spaces', following up some of the findings from the FDI-project. A website for the NNPS-project is under construction.


Project news:

This project has been completed. Final project report has been submitted to the NRC. Read it here.

Håvard Haarstad defended his PhD thesis 'Changing conditions for political practice: FDI discourse and political spaces for labor in Bolivia' in Bergen on September 18, 2009.

See the publications page.

[University of Bergen)

Foreign Direct Investment Research Group
Department of Geography, Fosswinckelsgate 6, N-5007 BERGEN
Telephone: 0047 55 58 30 68