Growth and limits to growth
This week marks the effective mid-point of the course. We have completed the first half of Smardon, in which he lays out the problems confronting Canadian policy for science and technology, as a consequence of its economic evolution since the Second World War. The role of Canada’s close relationship with the US, and the social ties its capitalist and managerial classes have to their American counterparts have been hinted at as causal factors. As we move on to the second half of Smardon’s book, he provides a more detailed explanation of the policy environment over this same period – 1960-2000 – during which successive governments tried to adjust R&D policy to achieve specific policy objectives.
We will continue our two-track approach: first, understanding the policy landscape and changes that Smardon lays out; second, exploring specific issues with the policy toolkits and checklists that you have developed in the first half of the course.
In week 6 (unsupervised) you will prepare your first assignment, and select a subject for your second assignment. The first assignment is to present your toolkit and checklist: how will you assess government policies? This assignment is the same for all students, and consists of:
You will present this in week 7 (20 October).
You will also use week 6 to map out your application of your personal toolkit and checklist to one of the other policy areas or objectives indicated in the course outline:
We will adjust weeks 7-12 in order to integrate student presentations into the course material, usually on Tuesdays.
Now consider Growth. When is growth good for society, and how do we understand its costs and benefits? How do we measure growth, and how does it relate to normative ideas about distribution?
One important aspect of Part Two in Smardon is the Glassco framework, and the way in which it was employed by those who saw a role for the state in sponsoring growth through research and development of technology.
Skim part two’s historical walk through the permutations of the Glassco framework, chapters 5 to 9, with particular attention to the introduction and conclusion of each chapter. Prepare a table summarizing key state-led policies from Diefenbaker to Harper, based on timeline and regime.
Skim forward and branch out to consider the ways in which you might apply your toolkit and checklist to the problems listed above.
Complete preparations for presentation of your toolkit and checklist briefing in week 7. Be prepared to provide a 60s summary of your second assignment in week 7.
There is no seminar this week. Please contact me by email if you have questions or need assistance with the two assignments. Only assignment one is due in week 7. The others will be due on agreed dates between weeks 8 and 12.