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Dr Robyn Klingler-Vidra is Reader in Political Economy at King's College London. She is the author of The Venture Capital State: The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia (Cornell University Press, 2018). She holds a Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange Research Grant (2019-2022).

Robyn’s research focuses on government efforts to promote innovation, economic growth and entrepreneurial clusters and has been published in highly-ranked peer-reviewed journals, including International Affairs, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, New Political Economy, Regulation & Governance and Socio-Economic Review.

Robyn received her BA from the University of Michigan, was a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and obtained her MSc and PhD in International Political Economy at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA). Previously, Robyn was a Senior Research Fellow, in charge of venture policy, at the Coller Institute of Venture at Tel Aviv University.


  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Economic Competitiveness
  • Venture capital markets
  • Political Economy of East Asia
  • Inclusive Innovation
  • Diffusion and Contextual Rationality
  • Patient capital
  • Comparative Capitalism

Robyn’s research focuses on government efforts to build venture capital markets as a means to promote innovation, economic growth, and development.

She is currently engaged in five major research projects:

  1. investigating why and how the Silicon Valley venture capital policy model is adapted as it diffuses, with particular emphasis on the forms venture capital policies take in East Asia. Robyn has been researching this since 2010.
  2. investigating East Asian governments' shift from supporting state-owned enterprises and conglomerates, to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups in the post-East Asian Financial Crisis.
  3. exploring how the educational backgrounds of East Asian innovation policymakers are shaping the focus of national entrepreneurship promotion policies. 
  4. developing a framework for assessing the 'external rate of return' of business activity across economic and social parameters.
  5. continuing to explore venture capital and private equity, across the themes above, as a source of patient capital for innovation and development.


PhD supervision

Robyn is interested in supervising PhD projects focused on topics closely-aligned with her areas of research.

Further details

See Robyn's research profile