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The Knowledge-Based Economy and the Global South

Authors
  • Chorev, Nitsan
  • Ball, Amanda C.
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Jul 29, 2022
Volume
48
Pages
171–191
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-080321-071214
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Research on knowledge-based economies and innovation tends to focus on the highest-ranked knowledge-advanced countries in the Global North and on high-growth countries in the Global South. In this article, we review the research on knowledge-based economies in the Global South and identify two important analytical shortcomings: the tendency to conflate upgrading with innovation and the tendency to focus on domestic factors. Moving beyond the familiar case studies, we explore the literature on pockets of knowledge-based industries in economies that are not dominantly knowledge-based. We then shift the focus from the private sector to explore the literature on state-led knowledge-based innovation, particularly welfare provisions and surveillance. We conclude by challenging the notion that innovation is simply the next step in industrial development and call for a more historically and geographically specific sociological approach to understanding innovation and knowledge-based industries, particularly in the Global South.

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