Social and Spatial Implications of Economic Policies
The southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has stood out in recent years due to its bold economic policies, and notably its strategies to develop high-tech industries and services. The state government’s aim has been to restructure the regional economy and facilitate its integration into global markets. The capital city of Hyderabad, the state’s largest urban area, has been the major laboratory for this policy experiment, and large investments in infrastructure have been made, primarily in its suburbs. Using the case of HITEC City, an industrial park dedicated to information technologies and related services situated within the special zone of Cyberabad, the primary aim of this article is to analyse the new policies and their consequences, with special attention to their social and spatial implications. Various types of conflicts, most of which involve the use of public resources and territory, are discussed. Secondly, the authors attempt to situate this case within broader trends, by examining recent literature on global city regions and on state territorialisation strategies, which engages with the processes taking place in metropolitan cities across the world as they attempt to meet the challenges thrown up by globalisation. This case offers a compelling illustration of re-scaling on the part of the regional state, through fitting out premium spaces and crafting conducive institutions, in an effort to adapt the local environment to the demands of international investors.