The spatial embeddedness of regional development: FDI as social fields

Fløysand's research on the spatial embeddedness of regional development in areas marked by FDI rests on the concept of relational time-spaces or social fields that can be identified by examining the durability of relations between agents and the specific tasks that are solved by the associated practices. An FDI is hence situated in a system of fields, consisting of fields on different geographical scales. For example, some FDI are embedded in local social fields constituted by local specialized suppliers, and dependent on global fields of customers and non-specialized suppliers. Through a case study of the fish farming sector in Chile, this sub-project will map and analyze: The social fields the actors involved in a FDI take part in; the untraded assets and rules of conduct in these social fields; how the interplay in and between the social fields can explain the capabilities of innovation in the region; the relations between composition of social fields, capability of innovation and regional development.

Fløysand is at the Department of Geography, University of Bergen.

Jonathan Barton from Pontificia Universidad Católica, Santiago de Chile, is a collaborator for the research in the Chilean fish farming industry.

Professor Arnt Fløysand

Project manager

table II

Associate Professor Jonathan Barton

The political spaces of FDI-led development: FDI as discourse

Various authors have pointed out that the complex processes of globalization are bringing about general shifts in political practices. In particular, these processes are seen to have weakened traditional practices relating to class and redistribution, and strengthened practices relating to identity and recognition. Yet the more precise mechanisms by which globalization encourages general shifts in political practices are less clear. Taking foreign direct investment (FDI) and the discourses around it a point of departure, the project focuses on a particular process at the center of the restructuring brought about by globalization. This project analyzes how globalization, in particular FDI discourse, shapes spaces for political practice; how different political actors (unions, NGOs and social movements) make use of these spaces; and how globalization, in particular FDI discourse, creates challenges for the workplace-based politics of the labor movement. The PhD thesis has been completed.

Haarstad is at the Department of Geography, University of Bergen. See also department page.

Håvard Haarstad, PhD candidate

Petroleum related FDI, local conditions and poverty reduction
- the Macae region of Brazil

Most theorists state that resource-based FDI does not generate a positive development in the host countries or regions.  However, petroleum related FDI has generated economic growth in the Macaé region in Brazil, and there are indicators that the area has experienced a positive socio-economic development. The central questions of this research are as follows:  (i) In what way(s) is the positive development in Macaé linked to relationships between the local economy, local regulations governing foreign investors, and the companies performing inward petroleum related FDI?  (ii) To what degree is it possible to claim that the petroleum related FDI in Macaé has led to reduced poverty in this region?  (iii) Is the policy-making of the local government in Macaé directing growth generated by petroleum related FDI towards human development goals, such as poverty reduction?  Can the petroleum related FDI in Macaé be characterized as a tool for poverty reduction in this region?

Stabell is at the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle.

Mai Cecilie Stabell, PhD candidate


See also...

Students are listed here.

Contact information is listed on the Contact page.

[University of Bergen)

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