The concept “innovations” as a political instrument: from the linear innovation model to the knowledge triangle

The concept “innovations” as a political instrument:
from the linear innovation model to the knowledge triangle

Article received: 2023.02.08. Accepted: 2023.06.05

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.05.03

For citation:

Konnov V.I., Talagayeva D.A. The concept “innovations” as a political instrument: from the linear innovation model to the knowledge triangle. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 5. P. 29-44. (In Russ.). EDN: ICNSVF

The article was prepared with financial support from the Russian Science Foundation, project No. 18-78-10123.


The article considers the history of the political promotion of the concept of “innovation”. To study the changes that took place in the content of this term, two approaches are used – intellectual history in the version of the Cambridge School and international political economy. The first approach aims to establish the role of this concept in promoting the intellectual interests of scholars who developed the theory of innovation, the second – to determine the role of the concept in the context of the mutual influence of politics and economics in international relations. The study is carried out in three stages. The first is an examination of the background and an attempt to interpret the concept of “innovation” as it is used today. The second is a review of the evolution of this concept in the circulation of the OECD, which played a determining role in the creation of innovation policy as a special area of state regulation. This review allows us to observe how the promotion of the concept of “innovation” unfolded in the context of two tension lines: between the economic and scientific divisions of the organization and between economists of the Keynesian and neoliberal schools. An examination of OECD documents on science and innovation policy shows how the concept of “innovation” has expanded to reflect the OECD countries’ search for opportunities to achieve sustainable economic growth. Finally, the third stage of the study is to analyze the use of the concept of “innovation” in the theory of the knowledge triangle, which shows that since the 1990s the concept has served to advance the part of the university community closely linked by common interests to transnational corporations. In the political economy sense, the modern concept of “innovation” works in favor of a group of corporations that form the core of the knowledge economy and aim to expand the transnational economic field. The world’s leading universities may be considered as participants of this particular interest group. 

innovations, knowledge economy, knowledge triangle, intellectual history, international political economy.


Etzkowitz, H. (2002). MIT and the rise of entrepreneurial science. London: Routledge.

Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (1997). Universities and the global knowledge economy: a triple helix of university-industry-government relations. London: Pinter.

Haas, P. (1992). Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination. International Organization, 46(1), 1-35.

Kauppinen, I. (2013). Academic capitalism and the informational fraction of the transnational capitalist class. Globalisation, Society and Education, 11(1), 1-22.

Meissner, D., Gokhberg, L., Kuzminov, Ya., Cervantes, M., & Schwaag Serger, S. (Ed.). (2021). The knowledge triangle. Cham: Springer.

Oatley, T. (2018). International political economy. 6th Edition. London: Routledge.

Robinson, W. (2014). Global capitalism and the crisis of humanity. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Romer, P. (1990) Endogenous technological change. Journal of Political Economy, 98(5), 2, S71-S102.

Schmelzer, M. (2016). The hegemony of growth. The OECD and the making of the economic growth paradigm. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schumpeter, J. (1983). The theory of economic development. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Skinner, Q. (2002). Visions of politics. Vol. 1: Regarding method. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Slaughter, S., & Rhoades, L. (2009). Academic capitalism and the new economy. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.

Solow, R. (1957). Technical change and the aggregate production function. Review of Economics and Statistics, 39(3), 312-320.


Unger, M., & Polt, W. (2021). Knowledge triangle between research, education, and innovation: a conceptual discussion. In D. Meissner, L. Gokhberg, Ya. Kuzminov, M. Cervantes, & S. Schwaag Serger (Ed.), The Knowledge Triangle (pp. 33-61). Cham: Springer. 

Afontsev, S.A. (2010). Politicheskie rynki i ekonomicheskaya politika [Political markets and economic policy]. Moscow: KomKniga. (In Russ.)

Atnashev, T., & Velizhev, M. (Ed.). (2018). The Cambridge school: theory and practice of intellectual history. Moscow: New Literary Observer. (In Russ.)

Danilin, I.V. (2020). Innovative transformation of superplatforms. International Trends, 18(4), 127-142. (In Russ.)

Dushina, S.A., Kamneva, A.V., Kupriyanov, V.A., & Shipovalova, L.V. (2019). Scientific leadership in the context of academic capitalism (Russian perspective). Sociology of Science and Technology, 10(4), 50-76. (In Russ.)

Ivanov, V.V., Ivanova, N.I., Rosebum, I., & Heisbers, H. (Ed.). (2006). Natsional'nye innovatsionnye sistemy v Rossii i ES [National innovation systems in Russia and the EU]. Moscow: Center for Research on the Development of Science RAS. (In Russ.)

Ivanova, N.I. (Ed.). (2020). Innovatsionnaya konkurentsiya [Innovative competition]. Moscow: Ves’ mir. (In Russ.)

Kasatkin, P.I., & Silantieva, M.V. (2017). The anthropological aspect of global education models: problems and solutions. Polis. Political Studies, 6,137-149. (In Russ.)

Raynkhardt, R.O. (2016). Interdependence between the U.S. science funding and the numeral strength of the American scientific community. Nauchnyi dialog, 10, 261-273. (In Russ.)

Raynkhardt, R.O., & Yurevich, M.A. (2020). Science policy in light of Russian scientists’ cultural models. Sociology of Science and Technology, 2, 177-193. (In Russ.)


Zinovieva, E.S. (2022). Internet fragmentation and the formation of digital borders: an analysis from the standpoint of critical geography. Polis. Political Studies. No. 2. P. 8-21. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 5, 2023

See also:

Busygina I.M.,
The Destiny of Geographical Knowledge in Political Science and Education. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No1

Sokolov A.K.,
The Minimum Knowledge a Political Scientist Needs. – Polis. Political Studies. 1991. No3

The «Caspian» school of political science. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No6

Patrushev S.V.,
On the Addressees of Political Knowledge. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No5

Zamyatin D.N.,
Political Geographic Images and Geopolitical World Pictures.. – Polis. Political Studies. 1998. No6



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
2 2020

Koktysh K.E.
The Event of Liberty: the Experience of Deconstruction

 The article text 


   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991