Patrick Karl O'Brien

in The Oxford Handbook of World History

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199235810
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History



Industrialization refers to an economic transformation that is recent and different in scale and scope from the mere making of artifacts and has involved the rapid rise in the significance of manufacturing in relation to all other forms of production and work undertaken within national economies. This article discusses the many facets of industrialization: industrialization as a historical process; the present tendencies and future trends in global diffusion; inter-sectoral connections; international relations and the global context; and industrialization on a global scale over the very long run. In the twenty-first century success seems to require new and different political and social capabilities that are already shifting the concentrations of industrial activity away from Europe and North America and back to Asia.

Keywords: industry; economy; inter-sectoral connections; industrialization; globalization; Asia

Article.  9638 words. 

Subjects: History

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