Archives:Constructing Competitiveness: The Politics of Engineering Work in the French Nuclear Program, 1955-1969
The term technological competitiveness invokes connections between technology and economics. But what precisely does it mean to say that one technology is "competitive" with another? In this chapter, the author examines French nuclear development from 1955 to 1969 to argue that we cannot assume that the term technological competitiveness has a fixed meaning. The notion of "competitiveness" acquired three different meanings over the course of these 15 years of French history. These meanings changed with the shifting political, economic, and cultural climates of French industrial development in general and the nuclear program in particular. Furthermore, each meaning was closely connected both to a distinctive kind of organization of technological work and to a particular vision of the role of nuclear technology in French economic and industrial development.
Citation and Link
Gabrielle Hecht, "Constructing Competitiveness: The Politics of Engineering Work in the French Nuclear Program, 1955-1969," in Technological Competitiveness: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Industries (Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1993), 326-351.