Frameworks for Analysis
The long list of learning objectives for this week reflects the need for at least a superficial understanding of politics, government, society, economy, and even security before we go further. The Smardon text goes deeply into the Canadian case, but we need to place the concepts introduced last week into a framework that makes sense of how key actors within any state behave, so we can see the Canadian case as a special example. This will be easier for students with a background in political science (e.g. POE102 Introduction to Political Science, or POE205 Canadian Civics and Society). If students can describe the key relationships in the learning objectives above, then we will focus on Smardon’s description of alternative explanations of technological development.
We will plan to spend the first two periods of week 3 on the framework questions (from the learning objectives,
Last (2010) Institutions of government and governance, course notes. This should be a review of material covered in introductory political science courses like POE102 and POE205.
The policy market place (Milne) – a thumbnail sketch of Ottawa’s policy environment.
Smardon (2014) Chapter 1, “Promoting domestic technological capacities: state strategies and social antagonisms,”
Listen to two extracts from the debate about government action on the economy:
Beutelsbach consensus – educators should not be trying to overwhelm or indoctrinate students. In this spirit, my bias is unapologetic. I am a public servant; the state is important; markets don’t always serve the public interest; good governance is important. The optional readings this week are intended to put neoliberal world views and policy prescriptions into perspective, and give you essential tools for critical analysis of what has become mainstream thinking.
Blyth, M. (2013). Austerity: the history of a dangerous idea. Oxford University Press. There are two good videos on this: a short clip (5 minutes) and a longer video (56 minutes). I want you to understand the interests at stake in the neoliberal prescription for market driven policies. In his introduction, Blyth goes back to John Locke’s imagining of the functioning of the economy and the role of the state. And here’s a link to an article summarizing the book’s main argument.
Mirowski, P. (2013). Never let a serious crisis go to waste: How neoliberalism survived the financial meltdown. Verso Books. Chapter 2, “Shock Block Doctrine” If Blyth describes the problems with neoliberal ideas, Mirowski helps to explain how they became mainstream, and survived the events that should have led them to be more widely questioned. In particular, look at the expanding reach of the MPS-related think tanks (pp. 12-14/36) and the alleged intent of the neo-liberal agenda to reshape the role of the state (p. 19). Because the course is concerned with science policy that serves the public interest, this understanding is important.
Complete required reading and prepare for seminar.
Are there security concerns associated with the Trans Pacific Partnership and how might they be managed?
Do foreign corporate takeovers represent national security threats, or is this a political issue designed to protect friends of the government?
What is Foreign Ownership Control and Influence (FOCI) based on the executive summary of the report attached. We’ll come back to this issue when we go into more detail on policy options.
Participation evaluation for week 3 will consist of a set of questions on frameworks (5x60s) and one consensus report (5R) on the Smardon reading: The 60s will be during the double period, and the 5R will be during the single period.
Questions and discussion
***We did a written exercise in which you were asked to consider four cases – a government expanding or shrinking its powers, and a civil society expanding or shrinking the bridging social capital in relation to bonding social capital. You had a variety of different interpretations of the assignment, but it was clear that time was too short to do more than a very superficial impression for a response. Here are some thoughts to consider.