IGA-524M: Technology Policy and Global Development

Semester: Not Offered

Credit: 0.5

Faculty: Calestous Juma


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There is growing policy interest in the role that advances in science and technology play in global development. Conventional approaches have sought to apply linear models to the role of science and technology in economic growth. However, evidence from around the world reveals a more complex picture with latecomer economies using existing technologies to promote fast economic transformation. The aim of this course is to explore the role of technology policy in global development. The course is offered in three units. The first unit covers the origins and evolution of technology, which emphasize the notion of exponential growth in knowledge. This unit stresses latecomer advantages associated with rapid accumulation of scientific and technical knowledge. The second unit examines specific case studies of rapid adoption of technology in developing countries with specific emphasis on technological leapfrogging and catch-up. The third unit explores the opportunities and challenges faced by emerging nations in harnessing existing technologies for economic development. The course is taught largely using the case method involving reading and discussion. Each reading of the case is guided by a set of study questions. The final output of the class is a 2,500-word policy paper. Through class discussion and the final paper, students are expected to show understanding of the concept of exponential growth in knowledge, its relevance for technological leapfrogging and catch-up, and the associated policy implications. Training in science, technology, or engineering is not a requirement for the course.


Not offered in 2013-14.