Model Employers and Model Cities?: Bangalore's Public Sector and the Rise of the Neoliberal City


Bangalore is held up as a model for how cities, particularly in the global south, should develop in the globalized information age, in which entrepreneurs with new access to international capital fuel service-sector-driven development. Expanding market forces cultivate cities of skilled middle-class workers whose increased consumption generates broad developmental benefits. Now known as the ``Silicon Valley of India,'' Bangalore was previously the capital of India’s public sector enterprises (PSEs), which laid important groundwork for the city of today, including the IT sector. I show how, by providing access to homeownership along with high wages and benefits tied to secure employment, Bangalore’s PSEs created the foundation for the city today and its middle-class character. The skilled workforce that PSEs created helped the IT sector emerge in the city. By examining this erased history, we see the role of the state in development projects, and consider alternative models for urban change.

Urban Geography