A Triple Helix of University–Industry–Government
Edited by Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz
Chapter 8: Multi-level Perspectives: A Comparative Analysis of National R & D Policies
8. Multi-level perspectives: a comparative analysis of national R&D policies Caroline Lanciano-Morandat and Eric Verdier In the era of globalization, the quality of science–industry relations is presented as a key source of industrial innovation and, more generally, of economic competitiveness. The supranational orientations of the European Union and the recommendations of the OECD converge to promote a ‘knowledge society’. These political references recycle the results of research in economics and in the sociology of innovation, and together inspire European states’ public R&D and innovation (RDI) policies. Yet these convergences between political action, international expertise and the social sciences do not mean that there is necessarily a ‘one best way’ of articulating science and industry. Shifts in public intervention have to compromise with institutions inherited from the past,1 and with the practices of firms and other private sector actors. This chapter develops an approach that integrates these different levels of analysis. The aim is to explain the specific national characteristics of policy-making in a context in which the references of that action tend to be standardized. In this respect, there is some convergence with the analysis in terms of ‘Varieties of Capitalism’ (Hall and Soskice, 2001), although our approach differs as regards the national coherence highlighted by the latter in a deterministic perspective: ‘In any national economy, firms will gravitate towards the mode of coordination for which there is institutional support’ (Hall and Soskice, 2001, p. 9). Our approach consists in explicitly taking into account the arrangements,...
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