Economic and social change is accelerating under the twin impact of globalisation and the new information technologies. But how are these processes interrelated? Are they impelling us towards a common socio-economic future? What can governments do if they want to manage and steer the direction of development? This book addresses these questions with particular reference to the European Union, which has made the development of a socially cohesive, knowledge-based economy its central task for the present decade. It assesses both the challenges and the policy instruments that are being deployed, focussing in particular on:the dynamics of the 'new economy';the new organisational architectures associated with rapid innovation;the transformation of education and training;the implications for social cohesion and exclusion;the role of policy benchmarking in promoting policy learning and enhancing national performance. ·[vbTab]The European Challenge presents the most up-to-date research on the development of the knowledge-based economy and its social and policy implications. Its accessible and integrated treatment of the processes of economic, social and technological change make it an invaluable resource for those studying and researching in the fields of public and social policy, organisational and technological change and innovation. It is also highly relevant to policy-makers who need to understand and manage this change.