Empire and Technology; Information Technology Policy in Postwar Britain and France
This chapter explores the decline of the IT sectors in Britain and France, showing how the foundations and structure of the industry there experienced long-term inertia and contained fault-lines within it, but was also subject to short-term strategic mistakes which hastened its eventual relative demise. It is shown that the computer industry, certainly in its formative phase, was internally connected to the government — both in Britain and France. The chapter focuses on development in the 1960s when a sense of crisis pervaded both countries, and the fate of both economies was deemed to hinge on their ability to maintain or regain a position of global competitiveness in high-technology industry. The IT sector was singled out as the primary focus of this process.
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