Cover of Beyond Technonationalism by Kathryn C. Ibata-Arens
Beyond Technonationalism
Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Asia
Kathryn C. Ibata-Arens

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April 2019
352 pages.
$70.00

Cloth ISBN: 9781503605473

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The biomedical industry, which encompasses biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, is among the fastest growing worldwide. While it has been an economic development target of many national governments, Asia is currently on track to reach the epicenter of this growth. What accounts for the rapid and sustained economic growth of biomedicals in Asia?

To answer this question, Kathryn Ibata-Arens presents a conceptual framework that considers how national governments have managed key factors, like innovative capacity, government policy, and firm level strategies. Taking China, India, Japan, and Singapore in turn, she compares each country's underlying competitive advantages. What emerges is an argument that countries which pursue networked technonationalism (NTN) effectively upgrade their capacity for innovation and encourage entrepreneurial activity in targeted industries. In contrast to countries that engage in classic technonationalism—like Japan's developmental state approach—networked technonalitionalists are globally minded to outside markets, while remaining nationalistic within the domestic economy.

By bringing together aggregate data at the global and national level with original fieldwork and drawing on rich cases, Ibata-Arens telegraphs implications for innovation policy and entrepreneurship strategy in Asia—and beyond.

About the author

Kathryn C. Ibata-Arens is Vincent de Paul Professor of Political Science and Director of the Global Asian Studies Program at DePaul University. She is the author of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Japan: Politics, Organizations, and High Technology Firms.

"Kathryn Ibata-Arens, who has excelled in her work on the development of technology in Japan, has here extended her research to consider the development of techno-nationalism in other Asian countries as well: China, Singapore, and India. She finds that these countries now pursue techno-nationalism by linking up with international developments to keep up with the latest technology in the United States and elsewhere. The book is a creative and original analysis of the changing nature of techno-nationalism."

—Ezra F. Vogel, Harvard University

"Ibata-Arens examines how tacit knowledge enables technology development and how business, academic, and kinship networks foster knowledge creation and transfer. The empirically rich cases treat "networked technonationalist" biotech strategies with Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Singaporean characteristics. Essential reading for industry analysts of global bio-pharma and political economists seeking an alternative to tropes of economic liberalism and statist mercantilism."

—Kenneth A. Oye, Professor of Political Science and Data, Systems, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"In Beyond Technonationalism, Ibata-Arens encourages us to look beyond the Asian developmental state model, noting how the model is increasingly unsuited for first-order innovation in the biomedical sector. She situates state policies and strategies in the technonationalist framework and argues that while all economies are technonationalist to some degree, in China, India, Singapore and Japan, the processes by which the innovation-driven state has emerged differ in important ways. Beyond Technonationalism is comparative analysis at its best. That it examines some of the world's most important economies makes it a timely and important read."

—Joseph Wong, Ralph and Roz Halbert Professor of Innovation Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

"Kathryn Ibata-Arens masterfully weaves a comparative story of how ambitious states in Asia are promoting their bio-tech industry by cleverly linking domestic efforts with global forces. Empirically rich and analytically insightful, she reveals by creatively eschewing liberalism and selectively using nationalism, states are both promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in their bio-medical industry and meeting social, health, and economic challenges as well."

—Anthony P. D'Costa, Eminent Scholar in Global Studies and Professor of Economics, University of Alabama, Huntsville