City Research Online

From global value chains to corporate production and innovation systems: exploring the rise of intellectual monopoly capitalism

Rikap, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-4153-4490 (2022). From global value chains to corporate production and innovation systems: exploring the rise of intellectual monopoly capitalism. Area Development and Policy, 7(2), pp. 147-161. doi: 10.1080/23792949.2021.2025118


This article argues that contemporary leading global corporations are intellectual monopolies that base their power on the systematic concentration (and predation) of knowledge which they turn into intangible assets. By monopolizing access to portions of society’s knowledge, these companies’ capacity to plan portions of capitalism exceeds their legally owned assets. The article defines each intellectual monopoly’s sphere of planning as a corporate production and innovation system that may include several substructures, from global value chains to platforms. Inside corporate production and innovation systems, value and knowledge production are organized and controlled by the intellectual monopoly. Moreover, among intellectual monopolies, those centralizing big data and the machine learning algorithms required to process them will develop greater planning capacities and a further self-expansion of their intellectual monopoly. The emergence of intellectual monopolies has implications for every level within capitalism, including global capital accumulation, effects on labour and peripheries. By briefly referring to these dimensions, the article finishes by presenting a depiction of the geographies of digital capitalism as an era dominated by intellectual monopolies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Area Development and Policy on 14 Feb 2022, available at:
Publisher Keywords: global value chains; intellectual monopoly; corporate planning; corporate innovation system; digital capitalism; platforms
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of From GVC to corporate production and innovation systems 20211220 - Blind Copy.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (678kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login