ABSTRACT

This chapter gives an overview of the book’s contributions, structure, and relevance. The book takes a political economy perspective and neo-Schumpeterian approach to innovation and focuses on the political economy of technological modernisation in Russia. More specifically, it looks at how Russia – a country with a very state-dominant market economy and authoritarian political system – has been trying to ignite technological innovation since the end of the Second World War. The focus of the book, however, is on Russia’s technological modernisation programme that began in the first decade of the 21st century with the aim of diversifying the economy to provide for long-term growth based not solely on natural resources. The first decade of the 21st century marks a qualitatively different approach to policy making in Russia, one that strongly emphasises technological innovation as a source of economic diversification and growth. Supporting innovation is part of a broader programme of economic modernisation. In this book, the focus, therefore, is particularly on state support for innovation infrastructure (publicly funded organisations devoted to creating and diffusing innovations in Russian industry, science and technology parks, science towns, clusters, special economic zones, etc.)