Linda Weiss

Linda Weiss gained her PhD from the London School of Economics. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and Professor Emeritus in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her specialism is the comparative and international politics of economic development, with a focus on state capacity and public-private sector relations. Since her earlier research on Europe and East Asia, she has turned her attention to the United States.

Her new book, America Inc.?: Innovation and Enterprise in the National Security State, is to be published in the spring with Cornell University Press. This six-year project focuses on the links between national security, breakthrough technology, and American anti-statism. Focusing on state-funded venture capital funds, new forms of technology procurement, commercialization of dual-use technologies, and innovation in robotics, nanotechnology and renewable energy, the study shows how a cluster of federal agencies born with national security missions have acted as the crucible for breakthrough innovations, a catalyst for entrepreneurship and the formation of new firms, and a collaborative network coordinator for private-sector initiatives. America Inc.? examines how this ‘national security state’ emerged and how it has evolved as an innovation engine in response to major geopolitical threats and domestic political constraints, from the Cold War period to the post-9/11 era. The book therefore takes issue with both the view that America excels in innovation and entrepreneurship because of freer markets and the opposing notion that it pursues industrial policy beneath the radar. By contrast,  America Inc? argues that the strategic rationale is of paramount importance and that without the national security imperative, there would be little to distinguish the US innovation experience from that of most other advanced economies.

Previous studies, some of which appear in Chinese, Korean, and other foreign language editions, include The Myth of the Powerless State (1998), Creating Capitalism (1988); States and Economic Development (1995); States in The Global Economy (2003); and the co-edited volume, Developmental Politics in Transition: The Neoliberal Era and Beyond (2012).