The Public Interest

European disunion and the technology gap

Robert Gilpin

Winter 1968

In late 1964, President Charles de Gaulle of France circulated to the members of his government a study which warned that France, and indeed all of western Europe, must either adapt to the contemporary scientific-technological revolution or risk economic and political subjugation by the worlds foremost scientific power, the United States. The independence of France, de Gaulle warned, was being threatened by the technological gap between the United States and western Europe. He declared that, unless France took appropriate steps to meet this challenge, she would become a relatively underdeveloped nation in a world dominated by scientific superpowers.

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