O Riain, Sean
Dominance and Change in the Global Computer Industry:
Military, Bureaucratic, and Network State Developmentalisms.
Studies in Comparative International Development, 41 (1).
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. firmsâ dominance over their European counterparts in the 1950s and 1960s was underpinned by a system of âmilitary developmentalismâ where military
agencies funded research, provided a market and developed infrastructure, but also demanded high quality products. The âAsian TigersââTaiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Koreaâin 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 âbureaucratic developmentalism,â 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 ânetwork developmentalismâ 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.
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