Local and Global Politics in Economic Development

Local and Global Politics in Economic Development

Colonialism, Regime change, Social Movement, Sovereinty Change, Revolution, War, and many political happenings impact how we do business. In particular, for small and medium sized businesses, the role of local and global politics is important also.  Since political happenings at both the local and global levels are not static, it is important to investigate the dynamic changes occurring in local or global politics that shape the development (progress, stagnant, or regress) of entrepreneurial ecosystems in any place, be it a city, a region, or a country.  Major political happenings include regime change (e.g., Iran), sovereignty change (e.g., Hong Kong), war (e.g., Lebanon), social movement (e.g., Arab Spring), new nation formation (e.g., Serbia), and many others.  While happening locally, these political changes are directly or indirectly impacted by external forces beyond a nation’s political decisions and control.  Research on economic development,  in particular entrepreneurial ecosystems, focuses mainly on the internal workings of a place within the boundaries of its institutions and its agents.  As we know, institutions, both formal and informal, are not static.  In fact, the primary antecedent relative to the dynamics of institutions and their changes are political happenings.  An example that supports our positioning is the recent re-birth of entrepreneurial activities in many Eastern European countries following the collapse of the Soviet Union where communism had politicized economic life. There is a need for researchers to expand their investigation beyond static institutions to find new concepts for explaining and understanding the influence of macro and dynamic political happenings at home and abroad in the formation of any entrepreneurial ecosystem.  
Below are some research questions worthy of investigation:
• Identify and examine the elements of local and global politics that directly and indirectly impacts an entrepreneurial ecosystem. For example, how does sovereign change impact public resource allocation that in turn affects entrepreneurs’ access to both tangible and intangible capital.
• Explain longitudinally how these elements and the interactions of these elements make specific contributions or become obstacles to an entrepreneurial ecosystem. For example, how does regime change impact the rule of law that directly or indirectly impacts agents’ capability to start, grow, or maintain a business?  
• Address the tensions between local and global politics and explain how such tensions enable/hinder entrepreneurial ecosystem development at both the institution and agent levels.
• Compare and contrast place-based entrepreneurial ecosystems that are subject to similar political happenings.  For example, how does the sovereignty ‘changing hands’ impact agents’ entrepreneurial spirits?  
• Chronicle the historical impact of political happenings on the workings of institutions within an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Specifically examine the resilience of institutions and their impact on entrepreneurial agents.  For example, what are some of the lasting impacts of colonialism on entrepreneurial ecosystems? 
Hwang H., Powell W.W. (2005) Institutions and Entrepreneurship. In: Alvarez S.A., Agarwal R., Sorenson O. (eds) Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research. International Handbook Series on Entrepreneurship, vol 2. Springer, Boston, MA
Mack, E., Mayer, H. (2016). The evolutionary dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Urban Studies, 53 (10). 2118-2133.
O’Connor A., Stam E., Sussan F., Audretsch D.B. (2018) Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: The Foundations of Place-based Renewal. In: O'Connor A., Stam E., Sussan F., Audretsch D. (eds) Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. International Studies in Entrepreneurship, vol 38. Springer 


James Ashton's picture James Ashton | March 21, 2018 9:28 am MST

Dr, Sussan,


This is an interesting read!  Especially how politics plays a role in any organization today.  How organizaitons can also create tensions within its own entity, as well as public government.  I may have to delve further to see how good or bad of an impact politics has on an organization.



Dr. James Ashton

Fiona Sussan's picture Fiona Sussan | March 28, 2018 1:13 pm MST

Dr. Ashton, 

Thank you for the comment. 

In our research, a team of us are looking at institutionalization or entrenched formal and informal institutions and the possible good/bad effects on an ecosystem - specifically within the context of an entrepreneurial ecosystem development.  We are looking at countries like Korea, Hong Kong, india, which are ex-colonies from the British Empire or Japan, and investigate the impact of colonial rule on entrepreneurial ecosystem development in these countries.

If you are interested, please join us, 



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