deindustrialization

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deindustrialization

the process in which a previously industrialized or industrializing economy, or society, or region, reverts partly or wholly to a preindustrialized form. This process may occur as the outcome of international economic competition (see DEPENDENCY THEORY, also IMPERIALISM).

To some degree, the process may also occur within developed societies (e.g. the recent regional decline of manufacturing industries such as textiles or shipbuilding in parts of Western Europe). Nor is it simply a recent phenomenon. Rather, it can be seen as a ‘normal’ aspect of the workings of capitalism on an international stage at all phases of its development. According to WALLERSTEIN (1974), societies as different as Poland and India are examples of economies which underwent periods of deindustrialization in the course of the development of the world economy.

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