Drawing on recent theorisations on the information society/knowledge-based economy (IS/KBE) and the transformation of the roles and functions of the nation-state, the paper argues for the importance of the state and its mechanisms for the sustainability of the IS/KBE. In doing so, it supports the claim in the literature, also proven by the empirical reality in different national contexts) that the state has been transformed towards a generic model of ‘competition state’ involved in the establishment of the IS/KBE paradigm. Nonetheless, surpassing this model, this paper argues that the state is called upon to operate also in a developmental way, at least in certain national contexts, if a sustainable IS/KBE is to be achieved. The paper draws on the Greek IS/KBE case so as to assess these competition and developmental state aspects.