Why are Some Countries Better at Science and Technology than Others?

December 11, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mānoa Campus, East-West Center Research Program, Burns Hall, Room 3012 Add to Calendar

Why are Some Countries Better at Science and Technology than Others? The State of the Debate


Mark Zachary Taylor

Associate Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs
Georgia Institute of Technology

Thursday, December 11, 2014 12:00 noon to 1:00pm
John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012 (3rd floor)

This talk will survey the state of the debate over the political-economy of national innovation rates. It begins with a summary of recent research on the role of national institutions and policies in fostering scientific progress and technological change. Country specialists and national systems scholars have shown that a variety of institutions and policies can be effective, but there is no consensus on precisely which ones to prescribe. A second set of researchers has identified certain kinds of international networks that may be just as important as domestic institutions and policies for acquiring national S&T capabilities. A third avenue of recent research suggests that perhaps the most important causal variables are national security concerns, economic crises, and natural resource constraints. The empirical evidence suggests that particular combinations of these three variables appear to motivate elites to pursue (or eschew) competitive national S&T capabilities. This talk will briefly summarize the key findings and points of intersection between these separate lines of research. It will also suggest ways to unite these disparate research programs in a more cohesive and cooperative research agenda.


Mark Zachary Taylor , is currently an Associate Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He specializes in the politics and economics of science, technology, and innovation. Formerly a solid-state physicist, his research on S&T politics and policy has appeared in the journals Foreign Affairs, International Organization, Security Studies, Harvard International Review, and Review of Policy Research. He has served as Chair of the Science, Technology, & Environmental Politics section of the APSA and been the book reviews editor for books on S&T politics and policy for Review of Policy Research. (PhD Political Science, MIT 2006; MA International Affairs, Yale 1995; BA Physics, UC Berkeley 1990).


Event Sponsor
East-West Center Research Program, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Laura Moriyama, (808) 944-7444, Laura.Moriyama@eastwestcenter.org

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