John Zysman

John Zysman's picture


Research Interests: 
Western Europe
Political Economy
State and Economy
Politics and Technology
A.B., Harvard University
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Personal Statement: 

Professor Zysman received his B.A at Harvard and his Ph.D. at MIT. He has written has extensively on European and Japanese policy and corporate strategy; his interests also include comparative politics, Western European politics, and political economy. Professor Zysman's publications include The Highest Stakes: The Economic Foundations of the Next Security System (Oxford University Press, 1992), Manufacturing Matters: The Myth of the Post-Industrial Economy (Basic Books, 1987), and Governments, Markets, and Growth: Finance and the Politics of Industrial Change (Cornell University Press, 1983).


How Revolutionary Was the Digital Revolution? National Responses, Market Transitions, and Global Technology
Edited by John Zysman and Abraham Newman 2006

How do high wage countries stay rich in a global digital economy? How Revolutionary was the Digital Revolution constructs a framework for analyzing the international digital era: one that examines the ability of political actors to innovate and experiment in spite of the constraints posed by digital technology.

"This wide–ranging volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the ongoing structural transformations and future challenges posed by information and communication technology (ICT) in Europe, the U.S., and Asia. The book provides extremely important insights into the political economy of the global digital era and helps us understand the interplay of technology, corporate strategy, and public policy. Understanding this interplay at all levels—corporate, national, and international—is the key to fully utilizing the potential of ICT and to enhance long–term economic growth."
Erkki Liikanen, Governor, Bank of Finland, Former Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society of the European Union

"This outstanding volume provokes reflection on the vast changes in the world economy caused by the digital revolution. The editors and the authors provide not only facts but creative ideas: fresh thoughts about how to understand the relationship among technology, corporate strategy, public policy, and the global marketplace. It differentiates among what is global and what remains distinctively national. This book should be read by everybody interested in important issues concerning employment, wealth, and power. It helps redefine the ‘conversation’ we are having about globalization."
Peter Gourevitch, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego

"This book looks at the digital revolution from a number of perspectives, providing an essential reflection on an important topic. Which aspects of corporate strategies, national institutions, and technology investments led to major successes, and which did not? The book addresses these questions by examining specific cases using multiple disciplinary approaches. It provides valuable insights into the future evolution of the economy, technology, and business strategy, not just recent history. Read it."
Stuart I. Feldman, Vice President, Computer Science, IBM Research

Manufacturing Matters: The Myth of the Post-Industrial Economy (1987)

Manufacturing matters—and today more so than ever before. Indeed, the widely held belief that we live in a "post-industrial" economy in which manufacturing has been displaced and somehow rendered obsolete by white-collar and service economy is a dangerous myth that is seriously undermining our ability to compete successfully in world markets. For, as the authors of this brilliantly argued and extensively documented book point out, in today’s sophisticated technological environments, high-tech services are inextricably linked to mastery and control of manufacturing. Lose manufacturing, and you will lose your competitive edge high-tech capabilities, as well as much else.

It is the central thesis of Manufacturing Matters that, unless there is a fundamental change in both corporate and public policies, that is precisely what is going to happen. The appearance on a mass scale of new micro-electronic based technologies has put the position of every nation in the international hierarchy of wealth and power, including the United States, up for grabs. To date, as Cohen and Zysman report, this country has not adjusted well to these changes. Only by recognizing the crucial role of manufacturing and manufacturing skills, they insist, can we restore our competitive preeminence.

"This is an urgent book that could alter the American future. It forces us to see our economy, and plan for our future, in new ways. Manufacturing Matters is as fascinating as it is compelling."
Robert Heilbroner, Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research

"An important and readable book on American competitiveness. Manufacturing Matters sets the direction for action at the national and company levels for restoring American preeminence. I recommend it highly to both business and policy leaders."
John Young, President and CEO, Hewlett-Packard Company; and Chairman, The President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness.