A Comparative Analysis of Sociotechnical Constituencies in Europe and Latin America
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Roberto López-Martínez and Andrea Piccaluga
Alfonso Molina Academics and policymakers have long pursued the holy grail of industrial success for regions and countries. Successful regions have been avidly scrutinized in the search for models that could be replicated somewhere else. Developing countries in particular have tried a variety of approaches over the decades from import substitution, to export-oriented growth, common markets and, lately, open markets. The common strand in all cases is the desire to achieve strong industrial and technological capabilities as the key to economic growth and societal development. This goal and dream will remain central as humanity and societies enter the dawn of the third Christian millennium. Amongst the important schools of thought in the 1990s are those widely known as Industrial Clusters and National Systems of Innovation (NSI) (and its recent derivative Regional Systems of Innovation). These schools have identiﬁed the range of structural elements whose strengths or weaknesses seems to account for the successful competitive performance of industries. This has provided a focus for many studies and descriptions of regional conditions, commonly leading to prescriptions regarding industrial policies for regions or countries. Learning has been identiﬁed as fundamental to the process of change implied in the development of industrial strengths but, on the whole, the understanding of learning in this context is yet to make substantial advances. Part of the problem resides in the fact that Industrial Clusters/NSI studies tend to remain at the level of structural assessment, without much concern for the detailed process involved in the unfolding...