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Dominance and Change in the Global Computer Industry: Military, Bureaucratic, and Network State Developmentalisms

O Riain, Sean (2006) Dominance and Change in the Global Computer Industry: Military, Bureaucratic, and Network State Developmentalisms. Studies in Comparative International Development, 41 (1). pp. 76-98.

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Abstract

This article examines the conditions under which firms in different economies were able to emerge as significant actors in the global computer industry during different time periods. To achieve this, the article divides into three periods the history of the industry in terms of the three major policy regimes that have supported the dominant firms and regions. It argues that these policy regimes can be thought of as state developmentalisms that take significantly different forms across the history of the industry. U.S. firms’ dominance over their European counterparts in the 1950s and 1960s was underpinned by a system of “military developmentalism” where military agencies funded research, provided a market and developed infrastructure, but also demanded high quality products. The “Asian Tigers”—Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea—in the 1970s and 1980s were able to eclipse their Latin American and Indian rivals due in large part to the significant advantages offered by a highly effective system of “bureaucratic developmentalism,” where bureaucratic elites in key state agencies and leading business groups negotiated supports for export performance. The 1990s saw the emergence of a system of “network developmentalism” where countries such as Ireland and Israel were able to emerge as new nodes in the computer industry by careful economic and political negotiation of relations to the United States, reestablished at the center of the industry, and by more decentralized forms of provision of state support for high-tech development. Finally, the conditions under which new regimes can emerge are a consequence of the unanticipated global consequences of previous regimes. While state developmentalisms have been shaped by existing global regimes, they have promoted further and different rounds of industry globalization.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Global Information, Network state developmentalisms
Subjects: Social Sciences > Sociology
Item ID: 489
Depositing User: Prof. Sean O Riain
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2007
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in Comparative International Development
Publisher: Transaction Periodicals Consortium
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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