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The Politics of InnovationWhy Some Countries Are Better Than Others at Science and Technology$
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Mark Zachary Taylor

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190464127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190464127.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 June 2021

How Nations Succeed

How Nations Succeed

Networks, Clusters, and Standards

(p.140) 6 How Nations Succeed
The Politics of Innovation

Mark Zachary Taylor

Oxford University Press

Perhaps the best way to solve the puzzle of Cardwell’s Law is to look at recent cases of success and failure, then ask what successful governments do (or avoid doing) that the cases of failure do not. To this end, this chapter examines some recent S&T success stories (Israel and Taiwan) to see what characteristics they shared. It then compares them against a case of more moderate success (Ireland) and a case of relative failure (Mexico). Two surprises come out of this investigation. First, there is no single “best” institution or policy that the world’s policymakers need to converge upon to achieve national S&T competitiveness. Governments therefore have considerable freedom to customize national strategies for improving their nation’s innovation rate. Second, most national success stories involve the use of social networks to take shortcuts around markets for access to high-quality science labor, technical knowledge, and investment capital.

Keywords:   social networks, clusters, standards, software, computer, information technology, Israel, Taiwan, Ireland, Mexico, globalization

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