author and consultant, India Advisory, Brussels
I have now acquired and am
happily reading the book on Portuguese
Innovation - quite intellectually refreshing,
revealing and insightful. It
not only broadens my understanding of Portuguese
history but you tie it in
to modern day thoughts, vocabulary and mindsets -
the "marketing" program to
the Pope and modern business concepts. Great job.
Lots of fun reading.
Consultant, Jean Austin
This is an innovative contribution to the global
debate about globalization. It makes a cogent − and
readable − case for Portugal's pioneering role in
the early phase of globalization. It also is an
extended test of an evolutionary analysis of that
process, which is driven by K-waves and the long
cycle of global politics. That understanding, in
turn, forms the basis of the future suggestions that
completes this successful work
Professor Emeritus of Political Science,
University of Washington
This book represents one of the best treatments of
the Portuguese technology utilized in its major
contribution to an earlier phase of globalization.
The idea of system building is also a contribution.
It is one answer to the classical structure-agent
problem: the Portuguese set out to build a system.
While they may not have fully understood what they
were doing, they did create and impose a new partial
structure on world politics and the world economy. A
third contribution is the long cycles discussion,
which demonstrates that these efforts have a
temporal shape and are finite. Bluntly put, system
builders eventually run out of steam.
William R. Thompson
Rogers Professor of Political Science,
A non-nationalistic approach in the revisitation of
the developments in the spreading of a 'scientific'
mentality among key figures involved in the
Portuguese maritime explorations is fundamental if
we are to enter into a dialogue with non-Portuguese
historians, particularly those recognized as the
dominant forces in contemporary historiography.
There is indeed much in our 21st century books that
is not yet known, or insufficiently known, outside
of Portuguese circles, and that deserves its place
in the narrative covering the emergence of modern
science and technology. Let us hope that this book
catches the attention of those who should learn from
Onésimo T. Almeida
Department of Portuguese and Brazilian
Studies, Brown University
This extremely well-researched and truly
globally oriented book is a welcome reminder,
especially to the European reader, of the
world-system relevance of the Portuguese experience.
The "Lisbon Process," initiated in 2000 by the
European leaders, gathered at the European Council
in Lisbon, aimed at transforming Europe into the
leading economy in the world until 2010. Most
indicators tell us that Europe will not achieve this
ambitious task. This book, written from the very
best perspectives of evolutionary world systems
theory, shows to us that there are more important
things to "worry about" than just the European
Constitution, the accession of Turkey, and the
further tightening of the external borders of the
European Union: the position of Europe in the world
system. And indeed, this small country at the far
south-western corner of the European continent has
an important message.
Adjunct Professor of Political Science,
Austria Counselor of the Federal Ministry of Social
Affairs and Consumer Protection, Austria
Jorge Nascimento Rodrigues and Tessaleno Devezas
have written, Pioneers of Globalization,
which has a unique take on the popular globalization
theme. Their book combines the theory of the long
wave, developed by Russian economist Nikolai
Kondratieff, with an intriguing analysis of how
Portugal's mastery of ocean navigation contributed
to this tiny country's domination of global trading
routes from South America to Africa and India.
What is perhaps most intriguing about the Portuguese
version of globalization is that although the
authors focus on a period 500 to 600 years ago, the
Portuguese approach to globalization seems very
modern to me. Here are the key elements that the
Strategic intent. The
authors argue that Portuguese people are
proactive when they have "an enterprise to
Possibly because Portugal is a relatively small
country with a limited market and finite natural
resources, it chose to overcome these weaknesses
with a global outlook.
commitment. Portugal invested in research
Portugal's skills at navigation created
knowledge workers who could apply these skills.
Looking ahead. Portugal
looked beyond the current geostrategic
boundaries and battles of the Mediterranean
Control of asymmetric
information. Portugal had a passion for
choosing the unknown over the known which gave
it an advantage over other nations.
Incrementalism. Trial and
error and pragmatic correction were the key to
Portugal employed the scientific method that
challenged existing dogma with experiments and
Portugal employed secrecy, counterintelligence,
and disinformation to achieve its ends.
Portugal employed a mix of improvisation and
clear strategic intent to achieve its goals.
Before reading Pioneers of
Globalization I had not realized how timeless
these strategic principles are. But the authors make
a compelling case that Portugal was pioneering them
hundreds of years ago.