The Conflicted Superpower: America’s Collaboration with China and India in Global Innovation

Book Title The Conflicted Superpower
Author Name Andrew Kennedy
Publishing house Columbia University Press 
Country – city USA
Date of issue May 22, 2018
Number of pages 280

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This post is also available in: ar العربية (Arabic)


For decades, leadership in technological innovation has sustained U.S. power worldwide. Today, however, processes that undergird innovation increasingly transcend national borders. Cross-border flows of brainpower have reached unprecedented heights, while multinationals invest more and more in high-tech facilities abroad. In this new world, U.S. technological leadership increasingly involves collaboration with other countries. China and India have emerged as particularly prominent partners, most notably as suppliers of intellectual talent to the United States. In The Conflicted Superpower, Andrew Kennedy explores how the world’s most powerful country approaches its growing collaboration with these two rising powers.

Whereas China and India have embraced global innovation, policy in the United States is conflicted. Kennedy explains why, through in-depth case studies of U.S. policies toward skilled immigration, foreign students, and offshoring. These make clear that U.S. policy is more erratic than strategic, the outcome of domestic battles between competing interests. Pressing for openness is the “high-tech community”—the technology firms and research universities that embody U.S. technological leadership. Yet these pro-globalization forces can face resistance from a range of other interests, including labor and anti-immigration groups, and the nature of this resistance powerfully shapes just how open national policy is. Kennedy concludes by asking whether U.S. policies are accelerating or slowing American decline, and considering the prospects for U.S. policy making in years to come.

Andrew B. Kennedy is senior lecturer in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University.

This post is also available in: ar العربية (Arabic)

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