Investing nationally; a case study taking ideas seriously as variables in the institutional development of NPIs
For the first time in decades, a revaluation of the state as a valid contender in economic enterprise is apparent. National Promotional Institutions (NPIs), state-administered vehicles for economic intervention ‘promoting’ various social and economic goals through financial means, quickly rise to prominence. This thesis explicates the discourse surrounding government intervention in general and NPIs in particular in the Netherlands between 2008 and 2023, hypothesizing the ability of ideas to yield institutional change and impact practical functions. Informed by a process-tracing case study of the Dutch NPI Invest-NL, it finds that the subject’s restricted form and functioning are attributable to the formalisation of ideas on additionality and market conformity, with the history of ideational contestation of these principles occurring largely independently from field pressures and external shocks. The particular Dutch history of market fundamentalist principles diminishes the potential for intervention of this institution. Contestation, however, never finishes, and recent developments offer the possibility that actors may negate some of these issues. Future endeavours should ‘take ideas seriously’, whilst taking care to properly operationalise ideas and the mechanisms allowing them to effect change.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen