Small Nations, High Ambitions: Economic Nationalism and Venture Capital in Quebec and Scotland

By X. Hubert Rioux

© 2020

Given the importance that entrepreneurship and start-up businesses in technology-intensive sectors like life sciences, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, financial technologies, software and others have come to assume in economic development, the access of entrepreneurs to appropriate levels of finance has become a major focus of policymakers in recent decades. Yet, this prominence has led to a variety of policy models across countries and even within countries, as different levels of government have adapted to new challenges by refining or transforming pre-existing institutions and crafting new policy tools. Small Nations, High Ambitions investigates the roots of such policy diversity at the “subnational” level, offering in-depth accounts of the evolution of Quebec’s and Scotland’s policy strategies in the entrepreneurial finance sector and venture capital more specifically.     

As compared to other regions and provinces in the United Kingdom and Canada, Quebec and Scottish venture capital ecosystems rely on a high degree of state intervention, either direct (through public investment funds) or indirect (through government-backed, hybrid, or tax-advantaged funds). These two regions can thus be described as “sponsor states,” heavily involved in the strategic backing of innovative businesses. Whereas most of the literature on venture capital has focused on economic variables to explain variations in policy models, this book seeks to explain policy divergence in Quebec and Scotland through political and ideological lenses. Its main argument is that the development of venture capital ecosystems in these regions was underpinned by Québécois and Scottish nationalisms, which induced preferences for policy asymmetry and state intervention.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 296 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 1.2in x 9.2in
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SKU# SP005710

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2020

    From: $48.75

    Regular Price: $65.00

    ISBN 9781487505820
  • PUBLISHED FEB 2020

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    Regular Price: $65.00

Quick Overview

This book offers an in-depth account of the evolution of Quebec’s and Scotland’s policy strategies in the entrepreneurial finance sector and venture capital more specifically.

Small Nations, High Ambitions: Economic Nationalism and Venture Capital in Quebec and Scotland

By X. Hubert Rioux

© 2020

Given the importance that entrepreneurship and start-up businesses in technology-intensive sectors like life sciences, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, financial technologies, software and others have come to assume in economic development, the access of entrepreneurs to appropriate levels of finance has become a major focus of policymakers in recent decades. Yet, this prominence has led to a variety of policy models across countries and even within countries, as different levels of government have adapted to new challenges by refining or transforming pre-existing institutions and crafting new policy tools. Small Nations, High Ambitions investigates the roots of such policy diversity at the “subnational” level, offering in-depth accounts of the evolution of Quebec’s and Scotland’s policy strategies in the entrepreneurial finance sector and venture capital more specifically.     

As compared to other regions and provinces in the United Kingdom and Canada, Quebec and Scottish venture capital ecosystems rely on a high degree of state intervention, either direct (through public investment funds) or indirect (through government-backed, hybrid, or tax-advantaged funds). These two regions can thus be described as “sponsor states,” heavily involved in the strategic backing of innovative businesses. Whereas most of the literature on venture capital has focused on economic variables to explain variations in policy models, this book seeks to explain policy divergence in Quebec and Scotland through political and ideological lenses. Its main argument is that the development of venture capital ecosystems in these regions was underpinned by Québécois and Scottish nationalisms, which induced preferences for policy asymmetry and state intervention.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 296 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 1.2in x 9.2in
  • Reviews

    "Small Nations, High Ambitions takes a comparative view of the under-studied phenomenon of economic nationalism. The increased visibility of this subject in the contemporary era makes this work especially timely and impressive."


    André Lecours, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa

    "Small Nations, High Ambitions makes a distinctive contribution to the literature, offering a novel perspective on regional economic development and venture capital in regions which lack private sector investment."


    Colin Mason, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

    "This is a truly innovative work, linking nationalism to political economy. In a meticulous and detailed study of Scotland and Quebec, it shows how nations without sovereign statehood can sustain maintain distinct strategies for sustaining entrepreneurship and capital investment. It will be of interest equally to scholars of nationalism and of regional economic development."


    Michael Keating, The School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen, Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change

    "What do nationalism and venture capital have to do with one another? Drawing on detailed research in Quebec and Scotland, Rioux provides a fascinating analysis of a very important, yet understudied, subject in the politics of today’s world economy: the growing importance of financial nationalism."


    Eric Helleiner, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo
  • Author Information

    At the time of writing, X. Hubert Rioux was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019) at the École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP).
  • Table of contents

    Graphs, Tables, and Figures
    Acronyms and Abbreviations
    Introduction: Hidden Developmental States

    1. Minority Nationalism and Economic Policymaking

    Minority Nationalism and Policy Asymmetry
    Comparative Political Economy
    Economic Nationalism
    Scope and Case Selection
    Methodology
    Outline of the Book

    2. Explaining Public Involvement in Venture Capital: Theoretical and Historical Overviews

    Explaining Public Sector Involvement in Venture Capital
    The Evolution of Public Sector Involvement in Quebec, 1960s–1990s
    The Evolution of Public Sector Involvement in Scotland, 1960s–1990s

    3. Quebec, 1990–2003

    The Bourassa II and Johnson Administrations (1989–1994)
    The Parizeau and Bouchard Governments (1994–1998)
    The Bouchard and Landry Governments (1998–2003)
    Concluding Remarks

    4. Scotland, 1990–2003

    Strategic Policymaking in Pre-Devolution Scotland (1990–1997)
    The “Statecraft Phase” (1997–2003)
    Concluding Remarks

    5. Quebec, 2003–2018

    The First Charest Administration (2003–2007)
    The Second and Third Charest Administrations (2007–2012)
    The Marois (2012–2014) and Couillard (2014–2018) Governments
    Concluding Remarks

    6. Scotland, 2003–2018

    The Second SLP-SLD Administration (2003–2007)
    The First SNP Government (2007–2011)
    The Second and Third SNP Governments (2011–2018)
    Concluding Remarks

    7. Discussion and Conclusions

    General Overview
    Evaluation of Findings
    Final Remarks: Contributions and Avenues for Further Research

    Bibliography
    Appendix: List of Interviews

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