GCCs and Development: A Conceptual and Empirical Review

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As a framework for analyzing the organization of the global economy and its implications for local development, the GCC approach is of significant theoretical and empirical relevance to GCC as a methodology. Thus far, it has had an important effect in interdisciplinary studies and has enriched substantially policy discussions about competitiveness in global chains and local upgrading. However, I argue that the GCC literature would benefit from a dialogue with other approaches to development, including schools such as dependency theory. My critique of the GCC literature is developed through an analysis of the yarn– textile–garment GCC in Mexico, which underscores its lack of territorial endogeneity, since Mexico’s participation in this chain remains concentrated in processes of temporary imports to be exported. In spite of Mexico’s success in the post-NAFTA period, since 2000 Asian, especially Chinese, products have massively displaced its exports of apparel to the US market.