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The Mexican exception: patents and innovation policy in a non-conformist and reluctant middle income country

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This article analyzes patent and innovation policies in Mexico. Unlike many developing countries, Mexico has enthusiastically embraced external pressures for stronger patent protection. Yet, also unlike other countries, Mexico has not complemented changes to its patent regime with measures to buttress science, technology and innovative (STI) capabilities. To explain this atypical trajectory, I focus on the shape of political coalitions in the areas of patents and STI policies. The early adoption of a strong patent regime, combined with liberalization and internationalization of the economy, consolidated a coalition based on a low-technological form of integration into the global economy, and the same processes withered away the coalition that might have pushed for an alternative project. Understanding the political underpinnings of Mexico's behavior sheds light on the conditions under which middle-income developing countries may engage in issue leadership and join with other developing countries to shape the international economic architecture.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43176/

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