Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Setting
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Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang
Chapter 14: Epilogue: Which Way Now?
Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K.J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang There are many different paths to follow for future research on innovation systems and economic development. One important issue that we discussed in Chapter 13 is how research may interact with experimentation in the context of public policy (Rodrik, 2008). The fact that there is a lot of overlap and interaction between analysis of innovation systems at different levels of aggregation and that the field, while anchored in socio-economics, has been open for interdisciplinary collaboration is a major strength. It makes it more relevant than mainstream development economics where there is little feedback between micro and macro approaches and where disciplines outside economics are regarded with disdain. Several of the issues raised below will require interdisciplinary efforts. What is development? A first priority might be to give a clearer meaning to ‘development’ and to understand better how it relates to economic growth. Sen’s capability approach constitutes a kind of micro-foundation for a theory about development. We believe that it might be possible to develop a macro theory of development by combining Adam Smith’s economic perspective and the extension of the division of labour with George Herbert Mead’s interactionist perspective. According to Mead, ‘civilization’ grows out of extending who is defined as a ‘significant other’, and he refers to the spread of markets and religion as forces that extend communities from village, to region, to nation and so on. This may correspond to a transformation of social capital establishing more ‘generalized...
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