Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Semiconductor and ICT Industrial Policy in the US and EU: Geopolitical Threat Responses

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Abstract:  This article analyses chips and critical ICT infrastructure policy in the US and the EU. It examines the increasing importance of Waltian geopolitical security threats on both sides of the Atlantic as a driver of industrial policy, export controls, self-sufficiency, and friendshoring as a replacement for dependence on global supply chains. It shows that threat perceptions are strong and bipartisan in the US, allowing comprehensive, strategic and well-funded industrial policy. Threat perceptions driving chip and 5G industrial policy are also present in the EU’s Economic Security Strategy and related policies. However, differing national preferences dilute a Waltian turn with continued attachment to liberal (global supply chain) approaches to chips and 5G infrastructure and a Waltzian realist stance (capacity-building to build, protect, and promote regardless of security threat) that occupies the middle ground.

Keywords:  5G; European Union; industrial policy; national security; semiconductors; strategic autonomy; supply chains; United States



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© Shawn Donnelly. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.