The Handbook of Globalisation, Second Edition
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The Handbook of Globalisation, Second Edition

Edited by Jonathan Michie

With contributions from the leading commentators in the field and an over-arching introduction from the editor, the concerns of this updated and revised Handbook are two-fold. Firstly, to redefine the concept of globalisation and dispel the haze that surrounds it through a systematic and thorough examination of the debate. Secondly, to advance the frontiers of current critical thinking on the role and impact of globalisation, on the winners and losers in the process, and on the implications for society, the economy and governance.
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Chapter 5: Innovation and Globalisation: A Systems of Innovation Perspective

Jeremy Howells


Jeremy Howells 1 Introduction The systems of innovation approach has proved valuable in exploring the role of geographical scale and different scalar levels in relation to the innovation process and as a way of analysing wider socioeconomic processes and institutional arrangements in innovative activity that have been so often neglected in the past. From a nationally based starting point, in terms of national systems of innovation (NSI: see Freeman, 1987, 1988; Lundvall, 1988; Edquist, 1997a), the systems of innovation approach has been considerably extended as a conceptual construct. Thus, Chris Freeman (1987, 1) originally dened the systems of innovation concept (from a national perspective) as ‘the network of institutions in the public and private sectors whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify and diffuse new technologies’. The concept has widened and developed over time (see reviews by Lundvall, 1992b; Nelson, 1992; Nelson and Rosenberg, 1993; McKelvey, 1994; Freeman, 1995; Edquist, 1997b; Archibugi et al., 1999), but it is these institutional and infrastructural settings (which were initially reviewed at a national level) that frame the search, exploration and learning processes involved in innovation, that remain the foundations of the approach and its perspective (Lundvall, 1992b, 12; Galli and Teubal, 1997, 351–3) at whatever scale. Thus, in spatial terms the application and conceptualisation of the approach has moved in terms of its exploration and development as a concept, both ‘up’, to global systems of innovation (see, for example, Spencer, 2000; Carlsson, 2006), and ‘down’, both to regional systems of innovation (RSI;...

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