Piret Tõnurist

Title: Small States, Innovation Systems and Globalization

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Rainer Kattel

Opponent: Dr. Tarmo Kalvet, Senior Research Fellow

Defense: 12 June 2009

Abstract: The thesis gives a synthetic overview of the challenges globalization poses for small states and their development. The frameworks developed by evolutionary economics, in particular the ‘narrow’ and ‘broad’ concepts of national innovation systems, are used to describe the effects ‘smallness’ has on economic development under the conditions of globalization (increasing openness of economies, internationalization of technology and geographic dispersion). The thesis reaches the conclusion that ‘smallness’ has important implications for the economic performance of a state, but on the whole these effects intensify the influence of geography (core-periphery relationships), developmental level and technological and industrial specialization. Thus, ‘size’ is a dynamic concept that can be better understood through the concept of ‘national innovation systems’.

Keywords: Small States, National Innovation Systems, ‘Narrow’ and ‘Broad’ Innovation Systems, Linear Model of Innovation, Globalization, Economic Geography.