Innovazione, territori, istituzioni. Osservazioni sulla Cina - Innovation, Territories, Institutions. Observations on China


The article aims to show that both top-down and bottom-up perspectives are relevant to understanding innovative trends in Chinese capitalism. Top-down innovation concerns formal institutions and the institutional environment, while bottom-up innovation concerns society’s micro-activism in the economic sphere. Claiming that both types of innovation are to be found in China is not self-evident. In the public debate, an incomplete representation of the Chinese capitalism persists, as if it were a model following exclusively - or at least prevalently - the “low road”, thus exercising cost competition towards Western countries due to dirigiste choices. By contrast, it is a complex and strongly hybrid model. Coherently, the article will reconstruct how Chinese capitalism is forged by characteristic mixes of innovative and traditional elements, which offer hints for new research venues.