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The Politics of InnovationWhy Some Countries Are Better Than Others at Science and Technology$
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Mark Zachary Taylor

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190464127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190464127.001.0001

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Technological Losers and Political Resistance to Innovation

Technological Losers and Political Resistance to Innovation

(p.183) 7 Technological Losers and Political Resistance to Innovation
The Politics of Innovation

Mark Zachary Taylor

Oxford University Press

If solving market failures and setting up social networks are the keys to national success in S&T, then why do some countries perform these tasks so well, while others fail? This chapter describes how S&T progress, and even S&T institutions, policies, and networks, can create winners and losers within society. Innovation can therefore cause new domestic conflicts or excite traditional ones. When these domestic conflicts arise, public support for S&T declines and political elites act to slow innovation. Specifically, elites who seek to quiet domestic tensions, represent resistor interests, or merely support the status quo tend to show limited support for S&T institutions and policies, and perhaps even oppose technological change. The net effect is that a nation’s domestic political-economic rivalries act as a force to slow and obstruct political support for S&T. These politics constitute the domestic aspects of a new creative insecurity theory of innovation.

Keywords:   creative insecurity, political losers, military innovation, technological resistance, Luddites, steam carriage, HIV, cruise missiles, status quo

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