Industrial policy has regained global prominance as politicians worldwide seek economic solutions to the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. By adopting diverse and sometimes inconsistent industrial policy initiatives, countries attempt to balance the needs of industries with social and environmental concerns.
Starting from an assumption that well-designed industrial policies can improve economic performance, The Political Economy of Industrial Policy in the Twenty-First Century draws on economic theory and comparative political economy to explain patterns of industrial policymaking across late capitalist societies. The book also focuses on new challenges and opportunities for industrial policy and questions the sustainability of current policy practice.
Chapters are structured around case studies of diverse countries’ growth models, considering national capabilities, policy traditions, industrial structures and positions in global value chains, and political/welfare state regimes. Through a nuanced comparative assessment of states’ responses to specific economic challenges, Steve Coulter draws broad conclusions about the trajectories of industrial policy and highlights key technical and political drivers that policymakers must consider when addressing whether best practice should centre on general or nationally-specific approaches. By providing a contextualized understanding of industrial policy, the book provides expert foundational knowledge for creating more effective policy in the future.
As an in-depth analytical account of industrial policy formation in advanced capitalist nations, the book is a valuable resource for both policymakers and researchers in the social sciences.
Steve Coulter is Head of Communications and Publications at the European Trade Union Institute. He was previously a Visiting Fellow at the European Institute, London School of Economics and a Senior Economics Analyst for BBC News. He is the author of New Labour Policy, Industrial Relations and the Trade Unions (2014).