Nevertheless, the result is a scholarship on political economy that is “now back to a more balanced emphasis on all three” (Schmidt, 15) —notwithstanding the differences between American and British traditions in political economy (Maliniak and Tierney, 1). According to Maliniak and Tierney, the American school of political economy is positivist and empiricist while the British school is more explicitly normative and interpretative.
A comparative political economy approach allows us to derive lessons useful for advancing knowledge and informing policy. We have this in mind as we study and compare the cases of Angola and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We choose the two countries because relatively little is known on the two countries. We apply our comparative political economy approach to Angola and the Islamic Republic, focusing on the role of political economy on national innovative capacity. Porter and Stern define national innovative capacity as the countries potential “to produce a stream of commercially relevant innovation” (5).1 They emphasize that national innovative capacity is a product of the countrys technological sophistication, number of scientific and technical labor force, investments, and policy choice.2 Viewed in this perspective, national innovative capacity is definitely an outcome of a political economy environment that promotes technological sophistication, size of scientific and technical labor force, investments, and competition. Further, the Porter-Stern notion of national innovative capacity also emphasizes on the political and economic entities of countries (5) and, therefore, this constitutes another stress on a political economy perspective.
In contrast, the political economy perspective on innovation of Cowhey and Aronson stresses on how a combination of technological innovation, market strategies, and political entrepreneurship shapes the global economy,