The Genesis of Innovation

The Genesis of Innovation

Systemic Linkages Between Knowledge and the Market

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Blandine Laperche, Dimitri Uzunidis and G. N. von Tunzelmann

The genesis and diffusion of innovation depends upon the density of the cognitive and market relationships among individuals, organisations and institutions at both the micro- and macro-economic level. By addressing the nature of these relationships, which include cooperation, competition and power, this book presents an important and progressive enquiry into the economic and social origins of innovation.

Chapter 5: The Relationship between Military and Commercial Technologies: An Empirical and Analytical Perspective

Claude Serfati

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation

Extract

Claude Serfati 1. INTRODUCTION ‘War is necessary for technological progress’. While this kind of claim is quite popular and often translated into academic language, it offers very little, if any help. Certainly, ever since the dawn of humanity, war has been part of social life, and for that reason it has also been a component and a driver of technological advance. This observation is still quite insufficient, nonetheless, because the huge economic, social and environmental cost – what economists narrowly call ‘opportunity costs’ – have to be taken into account. Beyond that, more than such a cliché is needed if we are to adopt an institutionalist-based analysis and provide an historical account of the (changing) relations between military and commercial technologies. This chapter addresses some issues related to military and commercial technology relations. It is structured as follows. Section 1 puts the debate in its historical context, and underlines that discourses on these relations have changed over the last six decades, going from ‘spin-off’ to ‘spin-in’, then to ‘dual-technologies’. In the mid-1990s, it was generally thought that generalising dual-use technologies would bring to an end the story of the relations between military and commercial technologies. The Internet case is then presented, which in the course of a history spanning four decades, provides evidence of a more complex relation between military and commercial than the usual claim that ‘the Internet was invented by the military’. Sections 2 and 3 address how the new security agenda adopted by the European Union...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information