Technological Revolutions and the Role of the State in the Governance of Digital Technologies

Research output: Working paper/PreprintDiscussion paper


The view that the role of the state in the economy is constant over time clashes with reality. Usually, those who perceive the state’s economic role as static espouse a theoretical view that states should intervene as little as possible in markets, except to correct occasional “market failures” in order to allocate resources efficiently. From a historical perspective, this constant, hands-off governmental1 approach is apocryphal. What can be observed is a changing role of the state, which varies with the cyclical surges of technological change as well as of geopolitical (and ideological) inclinations. This essay discusses the former: how the role of the state changes along the life cycle of a technological revolution while also taking into account the latter.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentre for International Governance Innovation
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameGlobal Cooperation on Digital Governance and the Geoeconomics of New Technologies in a Multi-polar World

Bibliographical note

Presented at the Project for Peaceful Competition Conference on Global cooperation on digital governance and the geoeconomics of new technologies in a multi-polar world


  • digital technologies
  • technological revolutions
  • governance
  • role of the state
  • geopolitics


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