Seizing the Future
Deep structural transformations have occurred in economies and societies in the last 20 years, essentially as a result of globalisation. A debate on the usefulness of industrial policies started at the beginning of the new century, marking a sort of ‘return’ of industrial policies. The crisis has revealed how necessary this debate was, and is, for four major reasons. First, the crisis has revealed that markets do not self-regulate and that the state has a role in helping this regulation. Second, the crisis has revealed that long-term perspectives cannot be ignored. The crisis is, to a large extent, determined by the predominance of short-term views, despite what current behaviour may bring in the future. We have shown in this book that long-term perspectives, both in economic analyses and in policymaking, are essential in order for economic development to be sustainable, in the sense of having the capacity to self-generate resources for future growth and in the sense of guaranteeing social and environmental sustainability. Third, the crisis has revealed that a political economy framework is useful in order to understand the complexity of the economic system and of industrial development, and to define appropriate economic policies. Isolating economic phenomena from political and social characteristics and dynamics only leads to policy failures. For instance, a policy for economic development that does not take account of the fact that a certain part of the population may be excluded from markets due to their social status will not be effective in spurring development, or...
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