Globalization and Development Speakers Series

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Please join us for this special talk with Gerald A. McDermott from the University of Pennsylvania. His talk is entitled The Politics of Institutional Renovation and Economic Upgrading: Lessons from the Argentine Wine Industry.

Gerald A. McDermott is Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Political Science. He specializes in international business and political economy. McDermott received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at MIT. His research has mainly focused on the impact of industrial networks on the creation of economic governance institutions in post-communist countries. His current research analyzes the relationship between participatory forms of democratic and market governance and industrial restructuring in Latin America and East-Central Europe. This research includes analysis of the emergence of internationally competitive export networks as well as the construction of a unique data base on capabilities, networks and knowledge flows in such sectors as autoparts suppliers, wine, agricultural machinery, and fresh fruit exports, in Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

Through a comparative, longitudinal analysis of the wine industry in two Argentine provinces, this article examines how different political approaches to reform shape the ability of societies to build new institutions for economic upgrading. Upgrading in wine and grapes often demands the creation of skills and the coordination of experiments in processes, products, and functions across a wide variety of organizational forms and sub-regions. The article finds that inherited structural factors per se can not easily explain the different solutions to this challenge. In particular, although voluntary associationalism improves the needed social learning and collaboration, it is also self-limiting. A better explanation focuses on how governments confront the dual challenge of redefining the boundary between the public and private domains and of recombining the socio-economic ties among relevant firms and their respective business associations. A "depoliticization" approach emphasizes the imposition of arm


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