Governments have recognized for decades the dynamic role played by microelectronics, computers, and telecommunications in the modern economy. Although Europe's deficiencies in these crucial sectors had long been acknowledged, it was not until the 1980s that European nations began collaborating to develop and promote high-tech industries. Their collaboration gives rise to many questions. Why, for example, did the joint efforts come at such a late date rather than in the 1960s or '70s? And how is it possible to work together in economically sensitive areas? These questions point to fundamental issues in the areas of international cooperation, international institutions, and technology policy.
Before the institution of the collaborative programs ESPRIT (European Strategic Programme for Research and Development in Information Technology), RACE (R & D in Advanced Communications-technologies in Europe), and EUREKA (European Research Coordination Agency) in the 1980s, each European country sought its own technological renaissance through protection of national firms behind walls of technical standards, procurement preferences, and research subsidies. This thorough, carefully researched work examines the breakdown of these walls. It will appeal to political scientists, economists, and scholars of technology and Western Europe interested in the political contours of the high-tech landscape. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1992.