Research Handbook on Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies
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Research Handbook on Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies

Towards Better Models

Edited by Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros

Although in recent years some emerging economies have improved their performance in terms of R & D investment, outputs and innovative capacity, these countries are still blighted by extreme poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Hence, emerging countries are exposed to conditions which differ quite substantially from the dominant OECD model of innovation policy for development and welfare. This Research Handbook contributes to the debate by looking at how innovation theory, policy and practice interact, and explains different types of configurations in countries that are characterized by two contrasting but mutually reinforcing features: systemic failure and resourcefulness. Focusing on innovation governance and public policies, it aims to understand related governance failures and to explore options for alternative, more efficient approaches.
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Chapter 2: Science, technology and innovation policy that is responsive to innovation performers

Gillian M. Marcelle

Abstract

Science, technology and innovation (STI) policy in the global South is underperforming partly because the starting point of policymaking is often not as relevant to context as it ought to be. To correct this policymakers should draw more from their lived reality and ask deeper questions rather than accepting the status quo. STI policy in many developing countries has paid insufficient attention to the perspectives of innovation performers and that policy is either silent or deeply flawed. This chapter provides a Kuhnian explanation as to why there has been limited progress by suggesting that innovation studies is experiencing a period of intellectual lock-in characterized by the dominant tradition crowding out other voices, explanations and traditions rather than accepting richness and diversity. Micro-foundation explanations, particularly a focus on learning and capability building, and user perspectives on innovation do not receive as much attention as systems perspectives. In addition, there is a near invisibility of Southern voices in the conceptual agenda and the specifics some developing country regions such as Africa and small island nations are ignored even by so-called development institutions, with the result that, even when innovation studies is operationalized in development programming, it is framed as though the conceptual underpinnings have emanated from the global North. Many interventions and transformations are needed to improve the performance of STI policy in the global South.

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