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reflects many factors. Among these we would draw attention to the long period of post-war economic growth across the globe, the
effective response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, the emergence of new right
politics in most Western states, the decline of communism in Europe, the critique of the bureaucratic power of states, and the seductiveness of the notion
of consumer choice.
Callon (1998) and Miller (2002) are among commentators who suggest
that powerful theories, especially from economics, have a tendency to create
the world which they purport to describe, reality
networks as well. The balance of skills needed and their requisite variety
is clearly evident in table 8.8.
Table 8.8 Entry barriers for different types of European software producer (average scores)
Financial Marketing and
Technological skill Image and Corporate
resources sales network environment and capabilities reputation culture
Software and services
System software and
tool expert systems) 3.50
twentieth century. That political dominance by parties, ideologies and policies
Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde
of New Right provenance coincided with increasing inequalities in income
within the nation states of the Western world, strikingly so in the USA and
Britain, should come as no surprise. Indeed, for Marshall (1950), it was precisely the tendencies of markets to generate material inequalities that called
forth welfare provision which might give each citizen sufficient resources to
participate fully in social life. Parallel inequalities conceived on a global
all-time high of $167 billion in 1996.60
Propelling this expansion was an aggressive search by global capital markets (which operate around the clock) for ever higher returns to capital.61
Large private capital ﬂows to emerging markets were driven in part by low
interest rates in Japan, Western Europe and the United States, along with
international investors’ imprudent search for high yields. Developed country
banks and ﬁnancial institutions, often trapped in slow-growing but highly
competitive home markets, scanned the globe for investment opportunities.