, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 142–150 | Cite as

Triangulation or bipolarization: Which mode of cooperation towards stronger cohesion in Europe?

  • G. Colletis
  • K. Colletis-Wahl
  • B. Reverdy


This paper attempts to highlight some weaknesses of European integration by technology. It is argued that these weaknesses of integration arise out of misunderstanding of the relationships between economics and technology. Mainstream economics considers technology as being external to the sphere of economy. It is treated as an external stock of knowledge or information rather than the result of a process of interaction between the actors belonging to the sphere of economy. The theoretical status of technology influences the focus and process of economic development through technology. If technology is considered as being exogenous to the sphere of economics, the resulting stock of technology can be considered as transferable. If technology is considered as the result of an interaction of economic actors, so belonging to the economic sphere, its transfer becomes impossible because of its endogenous nature. In this last frame, technology concept transfer may become a danger for the development of less developed countries as well as for the cohesion of the European Community.

Two modes of cooperation between actors of different European countries have been identified: bipolarization, based on the relationship between two economic actors, can correspond to logics of creation or diffusion of knowledge or information. Triangulation is always based on the interrelation of at least three actors, from which at least two will have a relationship based on mutual creation of knowledge, know-how, production, etc.

Triangulation seems more oriented to creation of information or knowledge in European countries, while bipolarisation might present the risk of increased dependency, through strengthening the strongest partner of the cooperation.


Bipolarisation Triangulation Economic adjustment Technology creation Localized learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Colletis
    • 1
  • K. Colletis-Wahl
    • 2
  • B. Reverdy
    • 3
  1. 1.Université de GrenobleSaint Martin d'HeresFrance
  2. 2.ADIS, Université de Paris 11SceauxFrance
  3. 3.B Reverdy ConsultantsSaint Martin d'HèresFrance

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