Chapter 9: Placing IrelandÂês transition to a knowledge economy within a global context
9. Placing Ireland’s transition to a knowledge economy within a global context Mark C. White and Seamus Grimes INTRODUCTION This chapter explores the (Republic of) Ireland’s growing capacity for value creation and capture. Once associated with poverty and emigration, a period of rapid growth during the 1990s transformed Ireland, one of Europe’s more peripheral regions into one of its relatively more successful regions. Rather than serving as an example for dependent development, Ireland’s recent success leads other peripheral places to attempt to emulate its development policies (MacSharry and White, 2000). However the prominence of exogenous factors in the Irish development model stands in stark contrast to the emphasis traditionally assigned to endogenous factors (for example Porter, 1990). Within the regional development literature, the role of local and regional institutions in facilitating innovation and learning receives particular attention (for example Cooke and Morgan, 1998). While not discounting the importance of these issues, several researchers now approach the problem of regional development through more multi-scalar frameworks. As a result, they consider issues such as the roles played by Global Productions Networks (GPNs) or transnational networks of knowledge workers, and thereby account for a wider array of factors that inﬂuence a given locale’s capacity for value creation, enhancement and capture (Henderson et al., 2002). For peripheral regions with little endogenous capacity for generating knowledge, these latter conceptualizations therefore offer greater scope for understanding ways to exploit external sources of innovation. This chapter is organized as follows. The next section seeks to contextualize...
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