Towards Better Models
Edited by Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros
Chapter 7: Tensions of science, technology and innovation policy in Mexico: analytical models, institutional evolution, national capabilities and governance
The analytical framework used for science, technology and innovation (STI) public policy design worldwide is largely based on a systemic/evolutionary approach and, empirically, it is based on countries with specific initial conditions – the central economies and some successful Asian economies. These countries have specific trajectories of institutional building, political culture and STI capabilities, which shape their national innovation systems (NIS). A central issue in understanding the trajectories and the chances of success or failure of policies emanating from these models, and variants that aim to adapt to developing economies, is to analytically conceive the role of the institutional framework, the rules of the game in operation in the system, the governance at national, sectoral and regional levels, and some aspects of the political economy in the recipients’ countries. These affect the STI practice and policy, contribute to feeding tensions that militate against the building of a sustainable NIS, and are country specific. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the experience of STI policy making in Mexico, considering the international model and the interaction between the trajectory of institutional building, the process of construction of both the government and the governance of the NSI, and the political economy. This chapter argues that a set of rules and actions are formed and built from the STI practice; they allow or block actions in governance processes. The data used to inform our arguments are based on the STI laws and regulations, transcripts of board meetings and interviews with key agents of the NSI.
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