Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production

Edited by Kees van der Pijl

This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art overview of the changing world of global production. Chapters cover the geography of why and where jobs are moving in both manufacturing and services. The authors discuss topics relating to the human and natural basis on which production rests, from the consequences of exploitation and marginalization on body and mind, to sex work, biotechnology, and the prospects for ecological re-balancing. This Handbook will appeal to academics at all levels interested in political economy, international studies and politics, as well as trade unionists and NGO activists.
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Chapter 3: Innovation policies and the competition state: the case of nanotechnology

Joscha Wullweber


Technological development has always been the linchpin and the driver of human development in general, and of profit-driven, market-based economies in particular. For this reason, states give special attention to technology research and development (R & D) policies. However, the form of technology R & D policies has changed. (West) Germany, for example, started large-scale technological programmes like nuclear technology, aerospace technology, data processing technology and micro-technology at the end of the 1950s. At that time, technology R & D policies were mostly planned top-down. After the 1980s, however, technology R & D policies became increasingly understood as generic innovation policies to support the capacity of firms to compete internationally. Simultaneously, technology R & D policies were reoriented from large-scale technologies and top-down programmes (although these still exist) towards incentive-driven, flexible and bottom-up ones. These changes mirror the transition from Fordism to the post-Fordist era and the transformation of the nation-state towards a ‘competition state’.

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