The concept of geopolitics is not often associated with the term knowledge-based economy. Yet, it has become quintessential to argue that we are currently living in an era marked by the prominence of knowledge in all societal, economic and cultural developments, as well as pronouncements about the knowledge-intensive form of capitalism as an important subtext for inter-state relations and inter-spatial competition. In this presentation, I seek to geopoliticize the purportedly geoeconomic present, particularly as it unfolds in the strategies of knowledge-intensive capitalism and associated societal developments. I do that by first introducing the concept of knowledge-based economization which refers both to the material processes of knowledge-intensive capitalism (including subject formation), and to the processes whereby this form of capitalism is constructed discursively through imageries and objectifying social practices. Second, I proceed to claim that the phenomenon of knowledge-based economization includes significant geopolitical dimensions. I lay a foundation for comprehending the geopolitics of knowledge-based economization through three constitutive dimensions: geopolitical discourses, the production of geopolitical objects in calculative practices, and geopolitical subjects. Finally, I demonstrate that the process of knowledge-based economization has shifted qualitatively since the early 1990s. It first emerged in the form of late-Keynesian technopolization, and was produced in the strategies of the “entrepreneurial state”. Since the late 1990s, knowledge-based economization has manifested itself in all sorts of imaginaries and practices that are predicated on the idea of “smartness”. After the global recession in 2008, knowledge-based economization has again proceeded through new forms. Its latest phase has become increasingly salient in the constitutive imaginaries of the so-called start-up economy. In this context, capitalist societies are witnessing an expansion in the processes of entrepreneurialization and urbanization of the nation-state.
- Higher education
- Knowledge-based economy
- Knowledge-intensive capitalism
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Bachmann, V., & Moisio, S. (2022). Reclaiming the knowledge society from “urban economization”: thinking with the Frankfurt School. Geographische Zeitschrift 109, https://doi.org/10.25162/gz-2022-0001
Bell, D. (1973). The coming of post-industrial society. Basic Books.
Ҫalişkan, K., & Callon, M. (2009). Economization, part 1: shifting attention from the economy towards processes of economization. Economy and Society 38, 369–398. https://doi.org/10.1080/03085140903020580
Crouch, C., & Le Galès, P. (2012). Cities as national champions? Journal of European Public Policy, 19, 405–419.
Dale Davidson, J., & Rees-Mogg, W. (1999). Sovereign individual. Simon & Schuster.
Drucker, P. (1969). The age of discontinuity: Guidelines to our changing society. Harper Row.
Dunning, J. H. (2000). Regions, globalization, and the knowledge economy. In J. H. Dunning (Ed.), Regions, globalization, and the knowledge-based economy (pp. 7–41). Oxford University Press.
Fraser, N. (2019). The old is dying and the new cannot be born. Verso.
Freeman, C. (1995). “The National System of Innovation” in historical perspective. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 19, 5–24.
Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the prison notebooks. Lawrence & Wishart.
Hardt, M., & Negri, A. (2000). Empire. Harvard University Press.
Harvey, D. (1978). The urban process under capitalism: A framework for analysis. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2, 101–131.
Harvey, D. (2001). Spaces of Capital. Towards a Critical Geography. University of Edinburgh Press.
Jessop, B. (2005). Cultural political economy, the knowledge-based economy, and the state. In A. Barry & D. Slater (Eds.), The technological economy (pp. 144–165). Routledge.
Jonas, A. E. G., & Moisio, S. (2018). City regionalism as geopolitical processes: A new framework for analysis. Progress in Human Geography, 42(3), 350–370.
Jones, M. (1997). Spatial selectivity of the state? The regulationist enigma and local struggles over economic governance. Environment and Planning A, 29, 831–864.
List, F. ( 1991). The national system of political economy. A.M. Kelly.
Moisio, S. (2008). From enmity to rivalry? Notes on national identity politics in competition states. Scottish Geographical Journal, 124(1), 78–95.
Moisio, S. (2018a). Geopolitics of the knowledge-based economy. Routledge.
Moisio, S. (2018b). Urbanizing the nation-state: Notes on the geopolitical growth of cities and city-regions. Urban Geography, 39(9), 1421–1425.
Moisio, S. (2019). Re-thinking geoeconomics: Towards a political geography of economic geographies. Geography Compass, 13(10), e12466.
Moisio, S., & Rossi, U. (2020). The start-up state: Governing urbanised capitalism. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 52(3), 532–552.
Moisio, S., Jonas, A. E. G., Koch, N., Lizotte, C., & Luukkonen, J. (2020). Changing geographies of the state: Themes, challenges and futures. In S. Moisio, N. Koch, A. E. G. Jonas, C. Lizotte, & J. Luukkonen (Eds.), Handbook on the changing geographies of the state: New spaces of geopolitics (pp. 1–28). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Ong, A. (2006). Neoliberalism as exception. Mutations in citizenship and sovereignty. Duke University Press.
Peters, M. A. (2009). Introduction: Knowledge goods, the primacy of ideas, and the economics of abundance. In M. A. Peters, P. Marginson, & P. Murphy (Eds.), Creativity and the global knowledge economy (pp. 1–22). Peter Lang.
Peters, M. A. (2010). Three forms of the knowledge economy: Learning, creativity and openness. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(1), 67–88.
Polanyi, K. (1982). The economy as instituted process. In M. Granovetter & R. Swedberg (Eds.), The sociology of economic life (pp. 29–51). Westview.
Porter, M. (1990). The competitive advantage of nations. Free Press, Macmillan.
Rifkin, J. (2013). The third industrial revolution. Palgrave Macmillan.
Romer, P. (1986). Increasing returns and long-run growth. Journal of Political Economy, 94(5), 1002–1037.
Sassen, S. (2010). A savege sorting of winners and losers: Contemporary versions of primitive accumulation. Globalizations, 7, 23–50.
Scott, A. J. (1991). The aerospace-electronics industrial complex of Southern California. The formative years 1940–1960. Research Policy, 20(5), 439–456.
Scott, A. J. (2017). The constitution of the city. Palgrave Macmillan.
Sellar, C., Jones, M., Wang, J., Gaffney, C., Kuus, M., Painter, J., Adams, P. C., & Moisio, S. (2020). Reading Sami Moisio’s geopolitics of the knowledge-based economy. Political Geography, 80, 102216.
Storper, M., & Harrison, B. (1991). Flexibility, hierarchy and regional development: The changing structure of industrial production systems and their forms of governance in the 1990s. Research Policy, 203(5), 407–422.
Sum, N.-L., & Jessop, B. (2013). Towards a cultural political economy. Putting culture in its place in political economy. Edward Elgar.
The World Bank. (1991). World development report. Oxford University Press.
Thrift, N. (2005). Knowing capitalism. Sage.
Zuboff, S. (2019). The age of surveillance capitalism. Public Affairs.
Zukin, S. (2020). Seeing like a city: How tech became urban. Theory and Society, in press.
Editors and Affiliations
© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Moisio, S. (2022). In What Sense a Geopolitical Knowledge-Based Economy?. In: Parreira do Amaral, M., Thompson, C. (eds) Geopolitical Transformations in Higher Education. Educational Governance Research, vol 17. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-94415-5_2
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-94414-8
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-94415-5