Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries
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Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries

Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Setting

Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang

This Handbook is the first attempt to adapt the IS approach to developing countries from a theoretical and empirical viewpoint. The Handbook brings eminent scholars in economics, innovation and development studies together with promising young researchers to review the literature and push theoretical boundaries. They critically review the IS approach and its adequacy for developing countries, discuss the relationship between IS and development, and address the question of how it should be adapted to the realities of developing nations.
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Chapter 14: Epilogue: Which Way Now?

Bengt-Ake Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang


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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