Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Setting
Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang
Chapter 1: Innovation System Research and Developing Countries
Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Jan Vang, K.J. Joseph and Cristina Chaminade 1.1 Introduction This Handbook gives an overview of the current state of the art for research that links innovation system analysis to economic development. Normally you would expect a handbook to offer primarily academic readers an overview of a mature field of research. This Handbook is different from this standard in two respects. It presents a rather young interdisciplinary research field – the origins of research on innovation systems go back to the early 1980s (Freeman, 1982; Lundvall, 1985; Freeman, 1987) although it links to a somewhat older sub-discipline in economics: development economics. As we shall see, since it took off in the 1940s (Rosenstein-Rodan, 1943), development economics has been through several dramatic changes and yet cannot be characterized as a ‘mature’ field. Therefore this book does not constitute a coherent body of well-established concepts on the basis of which one can easily move ahead. Rather it gives the reader an understanding of the diversity of an emerging research field while at the same time pointing to alternative research agendas that may be pursued by future generations of scholars. Second, the Handbook is not a purely academic exercise. It is difficult to study economic development without reflecting upon policy. All scholars contributing to this book have an extra motivation that they see their research as being input for policy action aiming at promoting development in those parts of the world where a large proportion of the population live in poverty. Therefore...
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