This book brings together 12 papers written over a period of 30 years (1985–2015). I have added an introduction (Chapter 1) where I indicate the context of the papers and their relationship to each other and an essayistic Postscript (Chapter 14) where I reflect upon normative implications.
Anyone who reads the book as a whole will experience some repetition. This reflects ‘self-citation’ and that the papers appear in their original form. This means, however, that each chapter can be read separately. I am most grateful to Shagufta Haneef who helped me with preparing the manuscript and the editing.
Several of the papers have been co-authored, and I am grateful to Anthony Arundel, Antoine Valeyre, Björn Johnson, Edward Lorenz, Morten Berg Jensen, Rasmus Lema and Shulin Gu for their collaboration and for permissions to republish those papers in this volume.
I am in intellectual debt to many other scholars who have given inspiration to my work. Thanks first to colleagues in the research group on Innovation, Knowledge and Economic Dynamics (IKE group) at Aalborg University, particularly Asger Brændgaard, Bent Dalum, Birgitte Gregersen, Björn Johnson, Esben Sloth Andersen, Gert Villumsen, Jan Fagerberg, Jesper Lindgaard Christensen and many others.
Since 1984, I have become increasingly involved in collaboration with scholars from outside Denmark. I have benefited from cooperation in European projects with Alice Lam, Daniele Archibugi, Edward Lorenz, Giovanni Dosi, Luc Soete, Maria Jao Rodrigues, Mark Tomlinson, Susana Borras and many others.
In the new millennium, I learnt a lot on how to link innovation to development from Globelics colleagues Jose Cassiolato, Judith Sutz, Gabriela Dutrrenit, K. J. Joseph, Keun Lee, Rajah Rasiah, Shulin Gu, Anna Kingiri, Bitrina Diaymett, Mammo Muchie and many others. One of the messages in this book is that apprenticeship learning is important in all domains of knowledge, including research. I have had three ‘masters’ who have inspired my work: Lars Herlitz, Richard R. Nelson and Christopher Freeman.
For the title of this book, I have borrowed the concept ‘the economics of hope’ from Freeman's 1993 book. Christopher Freeman was an intellectual giant who not only called for a better world but also, as a scholar and a world citizen, made contributions to make it a reality.