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close this bookNew Technologies across the Atlantic: US Leadership or European Autonomy? (UNU, 1988, 170 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentPreface
View the document1 A 'Technological Fix' for the Crisis of US Hegemony?
close this folder2 Between decline and restoration
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View the document2.1 The framework for the analysis
View the document2.2 Changing regimes of accumulation
View the document2.3. Changing roles of the state
View the document2.4. The hypothesis: Technological strategies and US hegemony
close this folder3 Economic processes
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View the document3.1. Growth, employment and productivity in the US, Europe and Japan
View the document3.2 International trade and industrial competitiveness
View the document3.3 International corporate strategies
View the document3.4 The debate on the American decline
View the document3.5 The US military economy
View the document3.6 The US international economic strategies
close this folder4 Technological strategies
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View the document4.1. The dynamics of technological change
View the document4.2. The technological performances of the US, Europe and Japan
View the document4.3. The effects of military technology
View the document4.4. The technological strategies of corporations
View the document4.5 The case of semiconductors
View the document4.6. The case of telecommunications
View the document4.7. The international technological strategies of governments
View the document4.8 The case of US controls of technology transfer
View the document4.9. The case of the US Strategic Defence Initiative
close this folder5 The US strategy and the Alternatives for Europe
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View the document5.1 The American decline
View the document5.2 A strategy of 'Techological Star Wars'
View the document5.3. The contradictions of the US strategy
View the document5.4. The alternatives for Europe
View the documentBibliography


'Will technology eventually be our salvation? Quite possibly.' In this way, a special report of the American magazine Business Week (20 April 1987, p.66) tried to answer the disquieting question: 'Is the US going the way of Britain?.' The way, obviously, is that of economic and political decline.

With growing economic problems and falling competitiveness, the United States fears a loss of world leadership and is searching for remedies. To look at technology as a possible salvation is natural for a country that had built its international power on technological leadership and maintains an unshakable faith in the possibility of finding technological solutions to the most intractable economic and political problems.

At the same time, this question reveals the widespread concern for America's economic decline and its international consequences, while reasserting that 'salvation' (i.e. a renewed world leadership) is a promise made from the newest technology.

Behind an apparently innocent question, an amazingly complex set of issues emerges, ranging from the broad transformations in the world economy and politics to the concrete technological initiatives that may bring about a new US leadership. Economic processes, international relations and technological change are drawn together in a tangle of issues.

This, in fact, has been the web of problems raised by the restructuring of US - European relations in the 1980s. In a changing international division of labour and with new strains in the old world order, the transformations across the Atlantic have been shaped by new technological strategies, as well as by the traditional economic, strategic and military policies.