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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter dissects the potential and limitations of South-North strategic sovereign wealth fund (SWF) investment as a tool for catalyzing technological upgrading in the developing world. After an overview of the problems posed by financialized, neoliberal globalization for conventional development policy tools, and how states are seeking to overcome these limitations through the use of strategic SWFs, there follows a model of the political-economic factors conditioning the ability of developing countries to use South-North strategic SWF investment to promote technology transfer in the reverse direction. This model describes the politics of SWF-led development in terms of not only the “double bottom line” of SWF-owning state political and financial interests, but also a second double-bottom line encompassing the political and financial interests of multiple host economy actors. A case study of Abu Dhabi shows how this has simultaneously enabled and constrained state attempts to use South-North strategic SWF-investment to accelerate domestic economic development.

Keywords: sovereign wealth funds, sovereign development funds, south-north investment, financialization, strategic alliances, industrial policy, technology transfer, Abu Dhabi

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