The role of the state in shaping the internationalization of firms in the twenty-first century
In: Competition & Change, 0(0), (2024)
The year 2020, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent crises, highlighted the significance of state intervention in shaping firm competitiveness. However, unprecedented government support for businesses has left us puzzled about the state’s role in firm internationalization, especially in emerging markets and the Global South, where government involvement has been accompanied by democratic backsliding and rising authoritarianism. Our Special Issue moves the current debate forward by exploring how the state’s changing role affects firm internationalization. The objective of this editorial is twofold: stimulating theory development by scrutinizing state intervention in emerging markets in recent decades and introducing the Special Issue articles. Contributions investigate how governments support the internationalization of their domestic businesses by focusing on firms’ institutional embeddedness and the impact of institutions as both resources and constraints to their internationalization. By linking the discourse on state capitalism with business internationalization, our empirical studies advance research on political economy and the state’s role in innovative ways, reflecting on recent geopolitical developments. Our introductory article situates the Special Issue papers in the state capitalism and firm internationalization literatures and discusses their implications for future research.