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close this bookThe Uncertain Quest: Science, Technology, and Development (UNU, 1994, 531 pages)
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Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction: From tradition to modernity
Open this folder and view contentsPart 1: Science, technology, and development
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(introductory text...)

Edited by
Jean-Jacques Salomon,
Francisco R. Sagasti, and
Céline Sachs-Jeantet

United Nations University Press

© The United Nations University, 1994

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations University.

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The United Nations University is an organ of the United Nations established by the General Assembly in 1972 to be an international community of scholars engaged in research, advanced training, and the dissemination of knowledge related to the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. Its activities focus mainly on peace and conflict resolution, development in a changing world, and science and technology in relation to human welfare. The University operates through a worldwide network of research and postgraduate training centres, with its planning and coordinating headquarters in Tokyo, Japan

Note to the reader from the UNU:

The economic and social development of a nation have become directly dependent on the strength of its scientific and technological base. In order to take advantage of the full range of available technologies - from traditional to highly advanced for the purpose of development, concepts such as the management of technological pluralism and of technology blending have emerged as key components in the design and implementation of scientific and technological policies for development.

The United Nations University has established an extensive network of scholars representing different disciplines, cultural values, and perspectives in approaching the issues of science, technology, and development. Considerable research has been carried out and knowledge accumulated through country studies and regional comparative studies. Building on this experience, the UNU invited a selected group of specialists mainly from its network to develop a sourcebook on science and technology policies to be published in several languages. The book provides a scholarly assessment of the role of science and technology in the development process and a critical analysis of their social, economic, and political dimensions.


Heitor Gurgulino de Souza
Rector of the United Nations University

Science and technology have long been recognized as essential driving forces in the development process. Yet the decade of the 1980s brought with it many disappointments on the part of the developing countries in their attempts to actually use the potential of rapid technological change to their advantage. For this reason, it became obvious that in light of global change and the struggle for a new world order in many areas, innovative theories, new paradigms, and creative approaches regarding science and technology policies were long overdue.

The United Nations University (UNU) has established over the years an extensive network of scholars representing different disciplines and cultural values and perspectives in approaching the linkages between science, technology, and society. Thus, considerable research had been carried out in the past through country and comparative studies. Building on this experience the UNU invited a selected group of specialists engaged in these past endeavours to write an authoritative sourcebook on science and technology policies for development to be published in several languages.

The objective of this UNU sourcebook on science, technology, and development is to provide a scholarly assessment of the role of science and technology in the development process and a critical analysis of the social, economic, and political dimensions of science and technology. All contributors have themselves been attached to science and technology policy units, either at a university or research institute or in other high-level administrative positions related to this field throughout their careers.

In order to establish a direct bridge between this scholarly work and the UNU's postgraduate training activities for professionals from developing countries, some of the authors of our sourcebook were also involved as lecturers in related training activities carried out by the UNU in cooperation with Unesco and several non-governmental organizations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Choosing priorities in science and technology, identifying strategies appropriate to existing national resources and needs, and establishing adequate institutions and strategic alliances of governmental, academic, and private sectors are essential stepping-stones in the management of science and technology. The UNU's training activities were designed to assist these processes.

Science and technology capacity-building in developing countries continues to be of great concern to the UNU, and new institutional and programmatic arrangements have been made by us over the past years to strengthen the position of science and technology in such fields as natural resources, development economics, environment, energy, and new technologies, particularly biotechnology and microelectronics, to mention just a few. The consolidation of the World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) and the establishment of the UNU institute for New Technologies (UNU/INTEC), the UNU International Institute for Software Technology (UNU/IIST), the Programme for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU/INRA), and the Biotechnology Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNU/BIOLAC) represent major progress in this direction. Furthermore, a new series of international seminars on "The Frontiers of Science and Technology" was established by our University Centre in Tokyo, in cooperation with major Japanese universities, to explore some of the most recent trends and their potential implications.

New paradigms are evolving in development theory and practice. The "human development" aspect now emphasized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the higher importance attributed to the role of the private sector by all major multilateral and bilateral aid organizations, the recognition of ecology as a vital factor in development, and the inevitable long-term trend towards a "one-world technology" - implying that there will not be one technology for the developing and one for the developed world, but global technologies- are all part of this process.

I wish specially to thank the editors, Jean-Jacques Salomon, Francisco R. Sagasti, and Céline Sachs-Jeantet, and the authors of our sourcebook for their efforts, as well as the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Unesco for the moral, intellectual, and financial support they have given to this project.


The idea for this book came about in the course of discussions between the International Council for Science Policy Studies (ICSPS) and the United Nations University. In the industrialized countries, the number of institutions and research projects concerned with the study of the economic, political, and social issues raised by science and technology has been growing steadily over the last 30 years; under the labels "science studies," "science policy studies," "science, technology, and society," or "science of science," these issues have acquired academic recognition and university status, making it possible not only to improve understanding of these topics but also to provide relevant training. By contrast, very few developing countries have organized teaching or research on these subjects, although some have earned an excellent reputation, especially India and countries in Latin America. In recommending that the United Nations University should arrange regional seminars to provide training related to these issues, the ICSPS stressed that certain themes should be given top priority and that it was essential to make a state of the art as regards the problems and the literature in this field.

Jean-Jacques Salomon, then President of the ICSPS, was behind the publication of the book Science, Technology and Society: A Cross Disciplinary Perspective (ed. Ina Spiegel-Rösing and Derek de Solla Price, 1977), which was very well received and made a substantial contribution in all the industrialized countries, in both the West and the East, to the rise of disciplines concerned with studying science and technology policies. A similar exercise, this time examining the specific situation of developing countries, was therefore proposed by the ICSPS, taking into account the progress made in the field since the publication of the Spiegel-Rösing and de Solla Price book and also the special problems faced by the developing countries in the last decade. We are particularly grateful to Professor Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, who had only just been appointed Rector of the United Nations University in 1988, for his immediate enthusiastic reaction to the project and for his constant support ever since.

The project was rather more ambitious than the earlier one: for one thing, the well-established tradition of studies in this area had generated a vast corpus of books and academic theses that all the specialists in the industrialized countries have long since read and absorbed. In addition, whatever the differences among the industrialized countries - for instance, among the OECD member states or between countries run on free-market principles and those with managed economies - they had all invested massively in science and technology since the Second World War, they had all encouraged research and development (R&D) in similar areas, and hence they had a pool of shared experiences and debate. Naturally, neither the corpus of literature nor the experience was to be found on the same scale in the developing countries, especially given that their choices of development strategies had been extremely diverse, sometimes conflicting and rarely directed towards major R&D efforts. In many ways, it is still useful to refer to the book edited by Spiegel-Rösing and de Solla Price - which shows how much their pioneer work contributed, intellectually and academically - for a review of the contexts and fundamentals that continue to shape the study of the links between science, technology, and society. In putting together our own volume, we have taken for granted that the earlier survey is still an essential work of reference, and we have not felt it necessary to discuss again some of the topics (especially as regards the growth of institutions, professionalization, and standards) where its coverage is still valid and relevant to the present situation.

We went about the task of producing this volume in the same way as was true for the last. At an initial meeting of all the contributors in Paris in June 1990, we tried to draw up the overall structure of the book in the light of the proposed chapter outlines. The editors and the authors then sent each other many kilos of correspondence, and read several drafts, before a four-day meeting at the Saline Royale d'Arc et Senans in June 1991, where we tried to ensure that the various chapters constituted a coherent framework, which itself had inevitably been modified in the course of time. After another, three day meeting in Paris, this time just among editors, in January 1992 to review the revised contributions, the editors had to check all the chapters, make sure that they were neither too long nor too short, take some drastic decisions in order to eliminate as much repetition as possible, and prune the bibliographies to manageable proportions.

From the very outset, we were aware of the limits of our project. We knew that we could not deal with all the issues relating to science and technology as applied to development, and we never even thought that we could. For one thing, this field is vast and has no well-defined frontiers, and the problems are constantly changing over time and in response to changes in the economic, political, and social contexts, both nationally and internationally. There is no comprehensive economic and social theory that clearly explains the links between science, technology, and development hence part of the uncertainty of the quest. The best one can do is to stress the complexity of these links, to summarize existing knowledge, and to highlight some of the partial lessons that result from the many studies of these links. Secondly, the developing countries themselves are quite disparate, with their own characteristics, "styles," and constraints that make it impossible to establish satisfactory typologies. Under the same heading, they are different social organizations: there are differences in degrees of external exposure, in terms of trade, access to external funds, maturity of production, patterns of social conflict, etc. Lastly, and most importantly, authors were asked to examine the issues through small "windows" and from just a few angles, and hence could be accused of bias, since the view from Latin America, for example, could obviously not be the same as from South-East Asia or Africa. If we had tried to cover more topics, and to analyse them more thoroughly, with more case-studies and illustrations, we would have ended up like the builders of the proverbial Tower!

Hence this book- with its limitations and its deficiences that we are the first to acknowledge - seemed to us the best solution to the problem of how to treat the matters that we had set ourselves as the aim of the endeavour both concisely and in a useful way for teaching purposes. We have tried to present a survey of the state of the art; to emphasize some key issues, but not all; to make available studies that, along with the bibliography of relevant publications, will provide a sound basis for teaching and learning and an analytical framework for reflecting upon the role of science and technology in the development process. We expect our audience to be researchers, academics, research administrators, and decision makers concerned with all aspects of devising and implementing policies on science and technology. We should like to stress that if science and technology are essential components of any development strategy, the policies relating to them should be integral to all the other aspects of a thoughtful and consistent development policy, ranging from the economy to education, from agriculture and industry to the environment, from business to health, etc. Lastly, we have tried to highlight certain challenges for the future, and point to areas and directions where research and discussions might be pursued. It is clear that if there is to be a follow-up to this volume- and it is up to others to undertake the task - it should take the form of a series of sector studies, with case-studies on the history and the various disciplines in each region, and even perhaps the different experiences of each country within the region.

It has also to be said that events are moving ever faster, especially as a result of scientific and technological progress, so that we live in a world of constant and extremely rapid change. When we first thought of this book, the communist bloc was still in existence, even if there were cracks in the foundations. As time passed, and the communist economies collapsed and the Soviet Union imploded, we wondered (and others asked us) whether we should not have covered the industrialized countries of the Second World that had suddenly become "new developing countries" by analogy with the "newly industrialized countries." This would have meant making the book even larger; but in any case, there are very good reasons for making a clear distinction between the former communist economies and the developing countries. Besides, there is a risk that the tendency of the West to take a special interest in the problems of the ax-communist countries might mean that it would be even more neglectful of the problems of the "old" third world. To have contributed to this trend would have been contrary to the ideas underlying the conception and the production of this book.

If we had prepared the book 25 years ago, the title as well as the contents would have been more optimistic with regard to the potential positive influence of science and technology on development in both industrialized and third world countries. Now, the damage to the environment from industrial activity and the dangers of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy mean that progress as such can no longer be taken for granted. We must be wary of the sidetracks, the adverse effects, and the costs of change resulting from scientific and technical advances. This quest is all the more uncertain today in relation to development. The title of this volume reflects not our doubts about what can be achieved through science and technology but our conviction that this is less than ever an inevitable process, all of whose promises can be kept.


We are delighted to record that this project benefited from the outset from wide-ranging support from the United Nations University, the engine of the project, but also from the International Development Research Centre, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the International Council for Science Policy Studies. We should like to thank in particular the officials of each of these institutions with whom we dealt, who were unstinting in their faith in us and in their support: the Rector of the UNU, naturally, but also his Senior Adviser, Sogo Okamura, and Dieter Koenig, Scientific Affairs Officer; Marc Chapdelaine, Head of the Science, Technology and Society Unit at Unesco, his successor, Vladislav Kotchetkov, and Kotchetkov's consultant, Folin Osotimehin; Brent Herbert-Copley, Programme Officer at IDRC; Everett Mendelsohn, Professor at Harvard University and President of the ICSPS; and Georges Ferné Secretary of the ICSPS, without whose help we should never have been able to carry through this project. We should like also to thank those who contributed during the earlier stages of the preparation of the volume: Roy MacLeod, Professor at the Australian National University; Geoffrey Oldham, Director of the Science Policy Research Unit of the University of Sussex; and Henrique Rattner, Professor at the University of São Paulo. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the support provided throughout the project from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, and the Centre Science, Technologie et Société, in particular from Nadine Glad, and from the World Bank.

We would also like to say how grateful we are to the contributors, not merely for the chapters that they wrote but also for their valuable comments, discussions, and criticisms. If the book gives the impression of being a collective endeavour, conceived and brought to publication in a real spirit of international cooperation, it is thanks as much to them all as to us. Last but not least, we would like to express our gratitude to Ann Johnston, who edited the original English version of the manuscripts, most of them written by authors who are not native English speakers. Moreover, without her tenacity, professionalism, and encouragement, this volume would never have been accomplished.

All parts and all aspects of science belong together. Science cannot develop unless it is pursued for the sake of pure knowledge and insight. It will not survive unless it is used intensely and wisely for the betterment of humanity, and not as an instrument of domination by one group over another. Human existence depends upon compassion and curiosity. Curiosity without compassion is inhuman; compassion without curiosity is ineffectual.

Victor F. Weisskopf

(introductory text...)

Jean-Jacques Salomon, Francisco R. Sagasti, and Céline Sachs-Jeantet

A "science" of some sort has existed in every society at all periods of human history. There can be no action, whether on natural or social phenomena, without a certain amount of rational empirical knowledge of the physical, living, and social world. Such knowledge has always played an important role in the development of societies, in their material as well as in their institutional and cultural achievements. However, it is in modern industrial societies that science and technology became the critical factor in the process of long-term economic growth and development. Many civilizations and societies have ignored or simply not paid attention to the notion of progress, but nevertheless have witnessed some degree of technical change that occurred over the very long term.

Expectations about prospects for improvement in the standard of living are a rather recent phenomenon, and they rose extremely slowly in the pre-industrial era. The idea of progress emerged in the context of the Judeo-Christian civilization and developed mainly with the Scientific Revolution in the seventeenth century, the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, and the Industrial Revolution that is still with us. Subsequently, economic growth became - for better or for worse - the basis of every society's hopes for the future, and science and technology became more and more instrumental in the fulfilment of these expectations. It is in this framework that policies for and through research and development (R&D) activities became more and more indispensable to the conception, elaboration, and implementation of broader policy and political objectives. Max Weber considered that the modern state is defined by bureaucracy, so that any current policy-making process can be defined as bureaucracy plus science: most political decisions today have recourse to scientific disciplines as regards methods, proofs, results, and even promises.

The importance of science and technology

Science and technology do indeed matter, and nowadays more and more. This should be self-evident, and yet in many developing countries, there is so little appreciation of this fact, among decision makers as well as the general public, that people either do not know or do not realize the benefits that a consistent and deliberate development strategy can derive from scientific and technical resources. Furthermore, people often overlook the fact that science and technology function successfully only within a larger social/political economic environment that provides an effective combination of non-technical incentives and complementary inputs in the innovation process. Science and technology are not exogenous factors that determine a society's evolution independently from its historical, social, political, cultural, or religious background.

As a recent report of the International Council for Science Policy Studies has emphasized:

technological change and innovation cannot have their socially beneficial effects if the cultural and political contexts are not prepared to absorb and incorporate them, and to achieve the structural transformations which will be required - a process which is much more difficult and complex than a mere transfer of resources (in this case, science and technology rather than capital) from the rich to the poor as a way of correcting imbalances. Science and technology have had an enormous impact on reducing the burden of physical work and improving social welfare. These contributions have only been made possible by the enormous methodological power of scientific reasoning which extends human ability to imagine and to develop alternatives. This being said, however, the development of science and technology is much more than the application of objective logic. It is built on a social consensus about goals and values. Science and technology exists only through human beings in action in certain contexts, and as such cannot be entirely value-free and neutral. [7, pp. 16-17],

Unquestionably, scientific and technological progress has provided many benefits over the long term for the industrialized countries and in more recent times for developing countries. The most striking evidence of this in the industrialized countries is per capita income, which has increased almost tenfold in the space of two centuries. What is more, this purely quantitative indicator gives no idea of the individual and collective benefits that have accompanied this enormous rise in income: longer life, lower infant mortality, eradication of certain diseases, higher level of education, more rapid means of communication, better living and working conditions, greater social protection, more leisure opportunities, etc. Whatever inequalities persist, and however large (and sometimes growing) the pockets of poverty still to be found in the "rich" countries, the general level of material improvement is manifestly positive. This is all the more a reason to try to improve the current situation of most developing countries, whose conditions are such that the benefits of scientific and technological progress do not contribute to their development in the same way, at the same level or speed.

This reading of technical progress- the only one that is objective - is derived from the figures selected by economists for the purpose of calculating rises in gross national product and productivity. They can lead to irrefutable conclusions regarding the quality and standard of living from an economic standpoint, and this is already a decisive achievement. But such an assessment does not go beyond the quantitative facts concerning production, consumption, the working week, health and hygiene, life expectancy. As soon as one takes a broader view, the balance sheet of progress is more ambiguous and becomes a matter of subjective reactions and convictions. Our economic indicators are quite incapable of gauging the social costs and drawbacks (e.g. for the environment) associated with economic growth and technical progress. But they are also incapable of allowing for all the new knowledge and technical know-how - largely the products of progress- that have enabled human beings to extend their knowledge of nature and themselves, to reduce the level of superstition, and to act more rationally to achieve a better life. There are, of course, darker sides in this balance sheet of science and technology, from the arms race and the creation of a nuclear arsenal capable of "overkilling" mankind to the global environmental issues resulting from a process of industrialization that threatens the future of the whole earth. Nobody today can share the positivist optimism of the Enlightenment's concept of progress; the straight road to greater knowledge and material progress does not lead by the same token to the less direct road to "happiness" and "moral progress."

"Whether like the sociologist, Herbert Marcuse, or the novelist Simone de Beauvoir, we see technology primarily as a means of human enslavement and destruction, or whether, like Adam Smith, we see it primarily as a liberating Promethean force, we are all involved in its advance. However much we might wish to, we cannot escape its impact on our daily lives, nor the moral, social and economic dilemmas with which it confronts us. We may curse it or bless it, but we cannot ignore it." This was how Christopher Freeman began his book on The Economics of Industrial Innovation [5, p. 15]. Indeed, whether one likes it or not, the final trade-off is between poverty and growth. Where Freeman was concerned only with technology, we are concerned here with both science and technology.

In rejecting modern science and technology, Simone de Beauvoir is consistent in her deliberate preference for poverty. But most economists have tended to accept with Marshall that poverty is one of the principal causes of the degradation of a large part of mankind. Their preoccupation with problems of economic growth arose from the belief that the mass poverty of Asia, Africa and Latin America and the less severe poverty remaining in Europe and North America, was a preventable evil which could and should be diminished, and perhaps eventually eliminated. [5, p. 15]

Freeman continues:

Innovation is of importance for increasing the wealth of nations not only in the narrow sense of increased prosperity, but also in the more fundamental sense of enabling them to do things which have never been done before at all. It is critical not only for those who wish to accelerate or sustain the rate of economic growth in this and other countries, but also for those who are appalled by narrow preoccupation with the quantity of goods and wish to change the direction of economic advance, or concentrate on improving the quality of life. It is critical for the long-term conservation of resources and improvement of the environment. The prevention of most forms of pollution and the economic re-cycling of waste products are alike dependent on scientific and technological advance. [5, p. 16]

We quote at such length from Freeman, who was offered the first chair of science policy in the world and led with great success the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, not only to pay tribute to his pioneering work but also because we share his conviction - which is the guiding principle of this volume as a whole that there is no substitute for rational thought. We can learn to make better use of science and technology, but we cannot escape from them - unless of course we are prepared to give up all attempt to cope with the difficulties, tensions, and challenges of the world in which we have to live. Freeman added:

The famous first chapter of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations plunges immediately into discussion of "improvements in machinery" and the way in which division of labour promotes specialized inventions. Marx's model of the capitalist economy ascribes a central role to technical innovation in capital goods - "the bourgeois cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the means of production". Marshall had no hesitation in describing "knowledge" as the chief engine of progress in the economy.

From Schumpeter to Samuelson, most economists today come to the same conclusion. The central importance of science and technology for economic progress is equally the main concern of this book.

Science, technology, and society

The social and cultural factors - the attitudes and the beliefs attached to economic, political, and social organization - influence the role that science and technology play in a given society. In their turn, the spread of new knowledge, products, and processes derived from scientific and technological progress transforms social structures, modes of behaviour, and attitudes of mind. The role of technical change in the process of economic growth is recognized by all theories of development. But what precisely is that role? In particular, what part did science and technology play in the economic and social transformations that accompanied the Industrial Revolution from its beginnings? Answers to these questions can be neither easy nor, consequently, swift, requiring as they do a subtle analysis, a long-term historical perspective, and reference to examples drawn from different branches of social science [2, 14].

Today the ways in which technical change transforms attitudes, institutions, and societies cannot be reduced to a simple linear relationship that is automatic, i.e. deterministic. Technology is one social process among others: it is not a question of technical development on the one hand and social development on the other, as if they were two entirely different worlds or processes. Society is shaped by technical change that, in turn, is shaped by society. Conceived by man, technology eludes his control only in so far as he wants it to. In this sense, society is defined no less by those technologies that it is capable of creating than by those it chooses to use and develop in preference to others [15].

Indeed, the present situation is very different from the expansion of mechanization encouraged by the development of machine tools and the steam engine in the nineteenth century. The spread of the "new technologies" (electronics, computers, telecommunications, as well as new synthetic materials and biotechnologies) creates far greater disparities than those that were possible between European countries at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Moreover, it involves much greater challenges than those tackled by nineteenth-century European societies (which were pre-industrial rather than purely agricultural), which achieved success thanks to their long preparation in basing their interpretation of natural phenomena and their handling of techniques on, among other things, mathematics, experimentation, measurement, calculation, and proof [16]. On the one hand, in fact, the geopolitical situation in the world today is more complex, with events and actors constantly in motion on a continental scale, further augmented by the explosion in the means of communication themselves. On the other hand, the very tools (both conceptual and practical) that allow us, at least partially, to understand the world in which we live and to manipulate it, have continued - in large measure thanks to the spectacular progress of science and technology - to become ever more "sophisticated" and therefore difficult to master without specialist skills and qualifications.

It is against this background of the increasing complexity of problems as much as of methods that the "shock" of the new technologies has struck both developing and industrialized countries. For the latter - given the economic difficulties of the early 1980s, the very moderate rates of growth and the persistence of high unemployment- the adjustment to the new technical system that is just beginning to spread poses problems that are not very different from those that gave rise to the various stages of mechanization in the course of the nineteenth century. Whatever the social costs in terms of redundancies and job displacement, and however substantial the pockets of poverty that remain (and that sometimes even grow as a result of the crisis and uneven development), we are nevertheless dealing with societies where basic needs are by and large satisfied, and furthermore the resources available to train and retrain the labour force are considerable. It is not for nothing that they have been called "post-industrial" societies, characterized by the dominance of the service sector, the very rapid growth of information-related activities, and the large scale of investment in education and research.

By contrast, for most of the developing countries, the most basic needs for survival - food, health, shelter, and education - are far from having been met, so that the things that are perceived by the rich countries as essential can seem to the poorer countries like a display of luxury or a gimmick of a consumer society. In addition, they face the double pressures of the population problem, which seems unlikely to see major improvement before the end of the century, and the debt problem, which has become so dramatic that some countries can barely cope with payment of the interest charges. Against this background some people question the claim that the new technologies are what many developing countries should seek as a high priority in order to meet their real needs. And yet- given both the growing interdependence of economies and the internationalization of trade on the one hand and the undeniable opportunities to modernize and "catch up" that are offered by the new technologies on the other- it seems inconceivable that any country should choose to deprive itself of the products and the infrastructures that increasingly define the "nervous system" of the contemporary world and determine its functioning [8]. In this connection one cannot underestimate the relevance and the value of "technology blending," i.e. the application of new technologies economically deployed to upgrade, modernize, or develop traditional activities (or to exploit natural resources that would otherwise remain untapped) while causing minimal social and economic disruption.

The rapid spread of a new technology does not of itself imply rapid social change. Other factors are involved, such as economic, social, and educational policies, the negotiations and agreements between interest groups, the well-established customs of daily life and social institutions, the society's values and traditions. Once again it needs to be stressed that science and technology are not independent variables in the process of development: they are part of a human, economic, social, and cultural setting shaped by history. Nothing is more revealing from this standpoint than the case-studies of technology blending, which indeed show precisely that the application of new technologies in traditional sectors is not simply a technological issue but more so an institutional, social, and political one [1]. It is this above all that determines the chances of applying scientific knowledge that meets the real needs of a country. It is not the case that there are two systems - science and technology on one side and society on the other held together by some magic formula. Rather, science and technology exist in a given society as a system that is more or less capable of osmosis, assimilation, and innovation - or rejection - according to realities that are simultaneously material, historical, cultural, and political.

All in all, there is no inevitability in technical change: neither its pace nor its direction is predetermined (even though one cannot underestimate the strength of certain industrial and national lobbies in imposing their factories or products), and the success of an innovation is never certain. Technology influences economics and history, but it is itself the product and the expression of culture. The same innovations can therefore produce very different results in different settings, or at different periods within the same society. Technical change and technology itself thus make up a social process in which individuals and groups always make the determining choices in the allocation of scarce resources, an allocation that inevitably reflects the prevailing value system [14]. At the same time, science and technology are not "black boxes" with principles and effects that leave unchanged the social structures of the societies that adopt them. They cannot be shipped like commodities: the process is never neutral, straightforward, or permanent; it demands levels of skill and often also perseverance, without which it constitutes a tool without a handle or a box of tricks without a key.

It is from this angle that the links between science, technology, and society in developing countries should be addressed. Beyond a certain threshold of resources, capital accumulation is never by itself a guarantee of growth. On the contrary, it is first and foremost the organization of society which in turn determines the organization of production - that allows a country to create and exploit its scientific and technical resources. These factors define the extent to which science and technology can operate to initiate and stimulate the process of development, and not vice versa. If science and technology are not external to this process, it is because they cannot themselves be either developed or used other than in a given economic and social framework. Extreme underdevelopment is in this sense the stage of development that puts no pressure on the social structure to become involved in scientific and technical research. And, lacking a favourable economic and social structure, even countries above this level may find themselves unable to take advantage of science and technology. If there is a lesson to be kept from history, and especially from the history of science, it is that the routes and institutions by which knowledge develops and is transmitted across a society, as much as across cultural frontiers, are never linear nor mechanistic.

The institutional and policy requirements

In what follows, we intend to highlight, first, the crucial importance of scientific and technical resources for social and economic development; second, the variety of situations facing the developing countries, especially as regards their endowment in terms of science and technology, and thus the fact that there is no single model for defining and implementing strategies; third, the contradictory, if not disappointing, results achieved by development economics, and the indispensable effort that needs to be made in order to integrate science and technology policy in an overall policy for economic and social development. Any attempt to make general statements on the subject runs the risk of failing to capture what is actually happening, for two reasons: national circumstances are too diverse for a single model to fit them all, and science and technology today are too complex to be dealt with in general terms. These words of warning apply equally to general discussion of the so-called "third world." And particularly with regard to technical innovation: "It is not possible to come to grips with the complexities of technology, its interrelations with other components of the social system, and its social and economic consequences, without a willingness to move from highly aggregated to highly disaggregated modes of thinking" [12]. In other words, any analysis of the interaction between social organization and technical change must always be refined to take account of each country's characteristics, especially its relative level of scientific and technical assets, the nature and quality of those assets (higher education and training institutions, laboratories, etc.), and the use made of them in the framework of its specific economic, political, and social conditions.

Whatever its pace and level, development is a journey between tradition and modernity. In this dynamic process, quantitative indicators are always relative: development is never finished and certainly is never achieved once for all, nor is the process measurable only quantitatively. Neither "take-off" nor increasing industrialization can ever be a reliable guarantee against slipping back, as the example of eastern Europe shows. In addition, although the available data provide points of comparison, we are not dealing with a scale of values derived from a single, comprehensive and unassailable theoretical model. The journey takes time, incurs costs, requires the making of choices, and so demands a resolute collective determination not simply to cope with the risks arising from change but to try, from a long-term perspective, to guide change in a particular direction.

As Gunnar Myrdal [10] has emphasized, the terminology used by the social sciences is not neutral. We now talk about "developing countries" rather than "underdeveloped countries" because we want to play down the realities of structural imbalance and stress instead the chances of catching up. The courteous language of diplomacy suggests that there is merely a short time-lag separating the industrialized countries from those that are not there yet: all that is needed in order to bridge the gap is to adopt the "right" economic policy. The term "developing country" is illogical, according to Myrdal, because it conveys the idea that there are countries that are not developing. Besides, it gives no indication of whether a country wants to develop or is taking practical steps to foster its development. In this sense, the first requirement- not just in terms of chronology but above all of principles- can be summed up in the determination to try to develop, not so much with a view to breaking with the past (or at least not with all earlier traditions) as to acquiring the means to modernize. These means are partly but not entirely economic; institutional, social, political, and cultural factors also count. The development process is a package in which success depends on many different elements in combinations that can never be determined by economic indicators alone.

The most general lesson is that technical change does not transform societies independently of other factors that are not related to technology as such. The Industrial Revolution witnessed the start of a new type of growth, which was connected with a succession of technical innovations that speeded up the pace of change, although their origins and development depended on a wide range of nontechnical factors. In Europe, capitalistic competition encouraged technical developments geared to increasing labour productivity. These developments happened and were able to spread only because the economic, institutional, and social circumstances were favourable. In their turn, these circumstances were altered by the progress of science and technology and then influenced the rate and direction of technical innovation. The process was extremely complex, as Landes [9] stresses in the conclusion to his history of the Industrial Revolution: "There is a wide range of links, direct and indirect, tight and loose, exclusive and partial, and each industrializing society develops its own combination of elements to fit its traditions, possibilities, and circumstances. The fact that there is this play of structure, however, does not mean that there is no structure."

In this delicate and uncertain "play of structure," which is affected by the historical and cultural background of each country, the institutional and political prerequisites for making good use of the scientific and technical resources available mainly relate to these noneconomic factors. The growing interdependence of nations and the emergence of the world economy have not abolished the individuality of cultures and societies. The journey from tradition to modernity raises the same question for all developing countries, but they are the only ones in a position to reply, in line with the decisions that they take themselves about science and technology as about everything else. This question is double-edged: how to modernize without sacrificing tradition? how to preserve tradition without compromising modernization? More than ever, the hurry-burly of politics that we are witnessing as we approach the end of the twentieth century warns any developing country to be sensitive to the implications of this question.

The new international context

The decade of the 1990s will hold as many surprises and shocks as that of the 1980s. A new and as yet fluid world order is in the making as we approach the transition to the twenty-first century, and in this volatile context extrapolation of past trends into the future is a risky enterprise. Predictions are less effective than attempts at mapping uncertainties and identifying desired outcomes, for the latter are likely to be brought about by the purposeful actions of governments, international institutions, private enterprises, non-governmental organizations, religious groups, research and academic institutions, and mass media, among a growing number of actors in the international and national scenes.

The uncertain world in which we live has many dimensions: a rapidly shifting political setting, changes in the patterns of world economic interdependence, growth and diversification of social demands, emergence of environmental concerns, and major transformations in the cultural landscape.

The political setting

The end of the Cold War has undermined the ideological, military, and political foundations of the international order that prevailed during the last half-century. The world is in transition to a "post-bipolar" political and economic order, whose nature is in the process of being defined but which will require a profound re-examination of the means for providing national, regional, and international security as a precondition for development. Some of the elements of this new order include the virtual elimination of the threat of an all-out nuclear war, an increase in the number and intensity of regional conflicts, the likelihood of a more cooperative approach to conflict resolution among key political and economic players, and a larger role for international institutions in fostering and maintaining international security.

The range of possible outcomes for these various elements of the emerging political order is wide. The demise of East-West rivalry has complex implications for national security in developing countries. Conflict and insurgency based on Cold War ideology, once generously financed by the superpowers, have all but vanished, as has the possibility of playing one camp against the other. But Soviet and American disengagement could encourage other countries to build and exercise military power, with the enthusiastic support of aggressive arms merchants.

Ethnic and religious tensions within countries have contributed to this possibility, since they can attract support from neighbouring states. New regional conflicts over natural resources such as water, oil, or tropical forests, and over environmental spillovers could also encourage military aggressiveness. These tensions and conflicts may be kept in check by concerted actions by the major military powers, by regional and international organizations, or a combination of both. So far, despite diminished global superpower rivalry, there is no evidence of a decline in regional disputes, or in organized violence by ethnic groups, secessionist movements, terrorists, or drug traffickers.

At the same time, states are becoming less important as political units in the sense of being able to control whatever phenomena - economic, social, environmental, or technological - take place in the world at present. This is hard to get used to, for political systems are geared to focus on states as the locus of power and decision-making and as the main unit of political, social, and economic analysis.

The pre-eminence and sovereignty of states is being eroded in many aspects of foreign and economic policy' as is highlighted by the renewed importance of the United Nations in conflict prevention and resolution, by the proliferation of regional trade and economic agreements, by the growing economic power of international corporations, and by the conditions established by international financial institutions for obtaining access to resources under their control. The movement towards supranational action is likely to proceed by fits and starts, with temporary reversals and renewed bouts of nationalism, but will probably gain momentum as the new century approaches.

Political pluralism, popular participation, and democratic movements are becoming a fact of life everywhere: East, West, North, and South. It is now almost unthinkable to accept - at least without outrage, loud protest, and international sanctions - any government's imposition of a repressive regime on its citizens. By the early 1990s eastern European countries had their first open elections in half a century, almost all of the countries of Latin America had democratic regimes, a military coup failed in Russia, the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union were struggling to become modern nations, White rule was ebbing in South Africa, and there were pressures to abolish one-party rule in many countries of Africa. However, as the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia and in Somalia have shown, advances towards democracy and peaceful coexistence are by no means guaranteed.

As a consequence of these changes, the exercise of power and authority in the management of resources for development - usually referred to as "governance" - has become a legitimate subject of concern, particularly by international organizations and development cooperation agencies. In addition, non-governmental organizations of all types (trade unions, professional associations, environmental and human rights advocacy groups, grass-roots movements, church organizations) have also become extremely active and show that civil society is finding multiple ways of expressing itself at the local, national, regional, and international levels.

The international economy

The major transformations taking place in the patterns of world economic interdependence include the rapid growth and globalization of financial markets, changes in trade patterns, and new situations in key countries that affect the world economy. International financial markets now comprise a tight web of transactions involving global securities trading, arbitrage in multiple markets and currencies, portfolio investments through a bewildering array of international funds, and massive transborder capital movements. Financial transactions have acquired a life of their own and are becoming uncoupled from the production and distributions of goods and services: in 1989 the combined daily average of trade in the foreign exchange markets of Japan, the United States? and the United Kingdom reached US$430 billion? six times the 1979 level and 50 times the average daily volume of international trade in goods and services [4].

After a decade of rapid and substantial increases in commercial bank lending to developing regions during the 1970s, the debt crisis that started in the early 1980s reduced private bank flows to zero by the end of that decade: of the approximately US$60 billion of net debt-related flows to developing countries in 1980 US$32 billion came from commercial banks. In contrast, by 1990 total net flows fell to about US$20 billion, and the amount obtained from commercial banks fell to near zero. As a consequence? direct foreign investment acquired much greater importance as a channel for resource transfers to developing countries [22].

However, not all developing countries have been able to benefit from the rapidly expanding flows of foreign direct investment, and towards the end of the 1980s, only five developing economies accounted for about 80 per cent of foreign direct investment flows China (24 per cent), Brazil (18 per cent), Mexico (17 per cent), and Egypt and Malaysia (10 per cent each). The reasons why most of the poor countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East have not been able to attract direct foreign investment are many and varied and include their remote geographic location in relation to the main export markets, the relatively small size of their domestic markets, deficiencies in physical and institutional infrastructure? lack of a skilled workforce, and inadequate investment incentive regimes. An indirect result has been the inability to benefit from the transfer of technology, marketing, and managerial capabilities that are associated with direct foreign investment.

There have also been changes in the direction and content of international trade, such as the emergence of the North Pacific as the world's largest trading area (with the North Atlantic taking second place), the halting movement towards worldwide trade liberalization (best exemplified by the on-again off-again GATT negotiations), the rise of regional trading blocs (Europe after 1992 and the North American Free Trade Agreement), and the shift in the content of international trade against primary commodities (exported primarily by developing countries) and in favour of high technology services and manufactured products (typically industrialized country exports). A new web of commercial linkages between transnational corporations - covering manufacturing, finance, trade, and services - has now emerged, of which strategic alliances in pre-competitive research and development are a prime example.

In addition, we have seen completely new situations in several key countries and regions that affect the world economy significantly. During the 1980s, for the first time in recent history, the United States became a net debtor; Japan has become a dominant economic and financial actor on the international scene; Europe is rapidly moving towards economic, and maybe some form of political, unity; the USSR has dissolved and its republics are undergoing a painful transition towards market economies, a path followed earlier by central and eastern European countries; Latin America has weathered the debt crisis of the 1980s, initiated policy reforms, and appears poised for renewed economic growth after a decade of stagnation; the worsening situation in Africa has reversed the precarious gains of the preceding three decades; continuous instability and strife plague countries in the Middle East; and in Asia a few newly industrialized economies continue to grow rapidly, India and China are experimenting with economic policy reform and liberalization, while other countries in the region begin a difficult process of reconstruction after decades of war.

The range and diversity of possible outcomes in practically all aspects of the international economy appear much larger during the 1990s than at any time during the last three decades. Growing interdependence has created an international economic environment that transmits disturbances and magnifies disruptions. Technological advances in telecommunications and information sciences have contributed to this (witness the impact of computer trading in stock markets), while the absence of effective international rules and institutions to regulate financial and trade flows - and the limitations of economic policy coordination among the world's leading economies - have helped to increase uncertainty.

Social demands

The explosive growth in social demands in the developing regions has been largely triggered by population increases during the last 30 years. Coupled with a significant slow-down in population growth in the industrialized nations, this has led to a highly skewed worldwide distribution of social needs and of the capabilities to satisfy them.

The dynamics of population growth strongly condition the demand for food, education, employment, housing, and other social goods [6]. Food and nutrition demands have multiplied many times over, particularly in the poorest countries, and although world aggregate food production is sufficient to provide each and every human being with adequate nourishment, existing political, social, and institutional arrangements - at both the national and international levels - have proven incapable of doing so. Armed conflicts, droughts, and natural disasters have conspired to make it even more difficult to ensure access to food in many developing countries.

Demand for basic health care and elementary education expanded at a rapid pace during the last three decades, as developing countries made efforts to improve the provision of these services to growing populations. Migration and accelerated urbanization created huge demands for housing, sanitation, transportation, and energy supply - a situation that adds unmet urban needs and widespread urban poverty to the deprivation that characterizes rural populations throughout the developing world.

Unemployment has emerged as perhaps the most troublesome and persistent problem in developing countries. This is also a growing issue in industrialized countries, where technological change seems now to depend so heavily on capital that unemployment appears to have become one of the new structural characteristics of economic growth for the foreseeable future, if not forever. If there are reasons to be anxious about the outlook for employment in the industrialized countries, there are few grounds for optimism about most developing countries. Here the jobs created by the new technical system are generated against a background of non-employment, and the promises of a production system that will be more and more based upon robots and fully automated factories may increasingly conflict, in view of demographic trends, with the job expectations in developing countries. The spread of the new technologies is already transforming the very nature of work and leisure, creating jobs that are less and less like traditional tasks, although it is precisely these traditional tasks that still offer the highest number of employment opportunities in developing countries. The inability of the modern sectors of their economies to absorb new entrants into the labour force has led to a variety of "informal" arrangements for workers to earn their means of subsistence. Developing countries face the difficult challenge of raising labour productivity while at the same time absorbing the growing number of entrants into the labour force.

A significant drop in the population growth rate of industrialized countries is to be expected during the 1990s, from an average 0.5 per cent per year in the 1980s to only 0.3 per cent in the 1990s. This implies a rapid rise in the number of elderly people (particularly in Japan and Germany), a significant increase in the ratio of dependents (children and old people) to workers, and a further shift in the balance of world population. Ageing in industrialized nations will have a major impact on the demand for social services, as well as important consequences for the patterns of consumption, employment, and savings and for the direction of technical progress.

In developing countries the rapid pace of population growth is expected to continue through the 1990s, although at a moderately slower pace than in the 1980s - from the present rate (i.e. 1992) of 2.0 per cent per year to 1.8 per cent per year during the next decade. As a consequence, youth will remain by far the largest segment of the population in most of these countries, whose economies must expand at rates significantly above those of population in order to satisfy the growing demand for work.

Population imbalances could pose the problem of uncontrolled mass migration from developing to industrialized countries, threatening social cohesion and international solidarity. In some western European countries there is already a backlash against "foreigners," although the fear of massive inflows of workers from the east has failed - as yet - to materialize. In Asia, migration pressures are likely to build up as a result of the growing demographic imbalance between Japan and the poorer, overpopulated countries of the region. Despite the increased participation of women in the labour market, Japan will experience a decline in the labour force after 2000, and labour shortages will be compounded by moves to reduce the number of working hours [11].

The role of human capital and technological capabilities will become even more important as a major determinant of long-term growth in the developing countries in the 1990s. The level and quality of investments in human resources will have to rise significantly during this period in order to deal with the rapid rise in the number of young people, and also to enable the labour force of developing countries to utilize new technologies that increase productivity.

Environmental concerns

During the 1970s and 1980s environmental concerns have risen to the top of the international public policy agenda. There is now greater awareness of the limits that the regenerative capacity of natural ecosystems imposes on human activities, as well as of the dangers of the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources (the sea, forests, land, rivers) and from overloading the capacity of the earth to absorb waste (air and water pollution, acid rain, toxic and nuclear wastes). The 1980s witnessed the emergence of truly global environmental problems, such as depletion of the ozone layer and global warming, that underscored the possibility that unforeseen ecological instabilities could cause irreversible environmental damage.

The problems of environmental sustainability and resource use are closely related to population growth and poverty in the developing countries, and to the often wasteful consumption habits of rich nations. Major changes in lifestyles will be essential in both groups of countries to address successfully the problem of environmental sustainability in the transition to the twenty-first century. According to the World Bank,

the most immediate environmental problems facing developing countries unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, soil depletion, indoor smoke from cooking fires, and outdoor smoke from coal burning - are different from and more immediately life-threatening than those associated with the affluence of rich countries, such as carbon dioxide emissions, depletion of stratospheric ozone, photochemical smog, acid rain and hazardous wastes [22, pp. 2-3]

The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro endorsed "Agenda 21," a wide-ranging world programme of action to promote sustainable development, but the negotiations exposed the divergence of perspectives between industrialized and developing nations on approaches to sustainable development [21]. Questions of lifestyles, national sovereignty, barriers to trade and financial assistance, in addition to access to less-polluting technologies, are now at the centre of the debate on sustainable development (see the contribution of Ignacy Sachs in this volume).

As a consequence of the greater importance of environmental concerns, access to development assistance during the 1990s will be increasingly linked to the attainment of environmental objectives. Another result is that some industrialized countries - notably Japan and Germany - are positioning themselves to compete in what will be one of the most dynamic markets of the future: that of environmentally sound technologies. Being able to deliver "green" technologies could soon become a source of competitive advantage in the global search for new markets.

Cultural transformations

Three powerful cultural forces are shaping the international scene in the transition to the twenty-first century: the growing importance of religious values and the rise of fundamentalism as a main driving force of economic and political actions in many parts of the world; the tensions between cultural homogenization pressures brought about by the pervasive influence of mass media and the desire to preserve cultural identity; and the emergence of moral and ethical issues at the forefront of choices about inter- and intra-generational equity, particularly in relation to the environment, income distribution, and poverty reduction, and the new biomedical technologies. It is not a coincidence if, in most industrialized and in some developing countries, special commissions have been instituted, often at the level of the legislative branch but also in the framework of advisory bodies independent from the executive, in order to anticipate and assess the impact of technical change and sometimes even that of scientific discoveries: offices of technology assessment, commissions on biomedical ethics, on freedom and information sciences, on the prevention of technological risks, etc. An increasing number of fields call for mechanisms of regulation so as to correct, limit, and if possible avoid the negative or unanticipated effects of scientific and technological activities. These institutional innovations on the political scene reflect a change of values in societal reactions, at the national and international level, to progress.

The revival of religious and spiritual concerns has been a characteristic of the 1980s and 1990s, which have witnessed the renaissance of Islamic values in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia; a revival of the Orthodox Church in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; the spread of evangelical churches in Latin America and other developing regions; a surge of popularity of the Pope; the growing influence of Christian fundamentalism in US political life; and the renewed interest in mysticism and Oriental religions, often associated with "New Age" movements that eschew rationality. This revival points to the fact that, because of the overriding concern with improving material well-being and standards of living, the spiritual dimensions of human development have been neglected during the period after the Second World War.

As a consequence of the globalization and pervasive influence of mass media - a direct result of technological advances in communications during the 1970s and 1980s - two contradictory cultural forces can now be seen at play: pressures towards the standardization of aspirations and cultural values throughout the world, and the desire to reassert individuality and preserve cultural identity. These two contradictory forces create cultural tensions and emotional stresses, particularly in developing countries, where the images of affluence brought by television programmer from industrialized nations contrast sharply with the harsh reality of mass poverty - and with the fact that those worlds of plenty are simply unattainable for the vast majority of the population.

Moral and ethical questions, once the province of academics and religious activists, are finding their way into public debates on the rights of future generations in relation to sustainable development and on issues such as racism, abortion, corruption, crime, and drugs. A renewed concern with human rights throughout the world has led to a questioning of the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of states where governments do not respect basic human rights. Finally, reversing the trend that prevailed during the 1980s, equity considerations are finding their way onto the political agenda of many industrialized and developing countries, at the same time that the moral and ethical aspects of technological change and economic behaviour have begun to receive greater attention.

Against this background of fundamental changes in the international context, North-South cooperation is likely to remain a peripheral concern of industrialized countries, especially as they focus their attention on their own internal problems, on coordinating economic policies, on improving competitiveness, and on easing the transition of the former Soviet Union and of eastern Europe towards market economies.

As prospects for greater resource flows to developing countries appear doubtful, policy reform, structural adjustment, and the mobilization of science and technology for development objectives will take place in a resource-constrained environment. This will test the political will of governments to embark in the uncertain and long-term enterprise of building science and technology capabilities, particularly when facing a multiplicity of urgent short-term needs.

Modernity and the uncertain quest

In 1963, C.P. Snow [19] wrote an essay on the "two cultures," calling attention to the differences that exist between scientists and literary intellectuals, deploring the lack of communication and understanding between them, and making a strong plea for the emergence of a more integrated culture in which the humanities and the sciences would contribute equally and grow through mutual interaction. However important the differences and lack of communication between Snow's "two cultures" which may indeed have increased as a function of the growing impact of scientific methods and activities on all societies - they have been overshadowed by the even more profound and disturbing material differences between the rich and the poor nations of the world. Indeed, Snow made reference to these glaring inequalities and attributed their existence in part to the inability of the West, with its divided culture, to grasp their magnitude and to understand the need for urgent and profound structural transformations of a social, economic, political, and cultural character.

It is obvious that the end of the twentieth century and a great part of the new one will be dominated by the growing gulf between the industrialized and the developing countries, in so far as one can speak of "two civilizations" rather than of several worlds. The concept of the third world emerged as both a third element and a buffer more or less manipulated by and manipulative of the two rival blocs, communism and capitalism, that confronted each other after the Second World War. Now that communism has admitted defeat, the notion of the third world is all the more meaningless in that most of the former communist countries have created a new category, that of industrialized countries that have become in their turn newly developing countries. Moreover, developing countries do not constitute a homogeneous category, and the need to distinguish various levels of development and even underdevelopment is more pertinent than ever.

The world is still divided into two civilizations that interact strongly, although the interaction is one-sided: the second civilization is dependent and deeply affected by the first and lacks the capacity of influencing it to the same degree. The first civilization is based on the growth of science as the main knowledge-generating activity, the rapid evolution of science-related technologies, the incorporation of these technologies into productive and social processes, and on the emergence of new forms of working and living deeply influenced by the Weltanschauung of modern science and science-related technologies. The second civilization is characterized by the lack of a capacity to generate scientific knowledge on a large scale and by a passive acceptance of scientific results generated in the first; by a technological base that comprises a substantive component of traditional technologies and a veneer of imported ones; by a productive system whose modern segment is dependent on the expansion of production in Western industrialized nations and on the absorption of imported technology and whose traditional segment vegetates and is based on an often stagnant traditional technological infrastructure; and by the coexistence of disjointed and even contradictory cultures.

The first civilization, corresponding to the developed, or highly industrialized, countries, has an endogenous scientific and technological base. This base is still present, in spite of its current difficulties and disruptions, in the former communist countries of eastern Europe, and one of the most important agreements signed in 1992 between the United States, the European Community, and Japan was intended to help these countries to keep this base alive. This comes down to helping somebody not to sink when he or she already knows how to swim. The second civilization is not swimming, but struggling to stay afloat, with the exception of a handful of countries that have recently succeeded in catching up with some of the best swimmers in the first civilization. The great majority of the countries in the second civilization are not only lagging behind but lack, above all, most of the basic ingredients - in terms of resources, institutions, manpower, and cultural background - indispensable if they are to benefit from scientific knowledge and new technological innovations. The historical reasons for this situation deserve to be carefully studied in these countries by local scholars and should be made a part of science studies and research programmes, which would help policy makers and society at large become more aware of the internal and external conditions that have jeopardized - and still jeopardize the development, if not the emergence, of a scientific and technological capacity. It is hoped this sourcebook will contribute to a better understanding and thus a greater mastery of all these conditions.

Development is an uncertain quest in which the seekers rely heavily on science and technology. The quest is uncertain not only because there is no prior guarantee of success (nor that it will be lasting), but above all because it raises questions about the price of modernity: the benefits that a country can expect to derive from it, in political, economic, social, and cultural terms, as well as the sacrifices that it is prepared to make on its behalf. Development is not a neutral process with no impact on the social structures that are involved; science and technology do not always bring about improvements to those areas that they affect. In short, despite what was promised by the rationalism of the Enlightenment and even more by the positivism of the nineteenth century, scientific and technical progress does not necessarily coincide with social or moral progress.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, economic progress has meant upheavals. Schumpeter agreed with Marx at least in this regard, and stressed the "revolutionary character" of industrial capitalism, which leads to the obsolescence, destruction, and renewal of economic and social structures. This is what is involved in innovation, and now that innovation is worshipped as the driving force of international competitiveness, it is important to recognize that it always has a price attached: technical change is accompanied by social change. As Schumpeter rightly said, "No matter how many more stagecoaches you have, you will not thereby acquire railways," and he emphasized that economic growth is a process of change that is constantly revolutionizing economic institutions from within, destroying the parts that are out-of-date and creating new ones in their place. What happens is not that more stagecoaches are added to the existing stock, but they are replaced with railways in a process of "creative destruction" [18].

Economic development has growth (i.e. a sustained increase in national income) as a corollary, but growth in quantitative terms does not necessarily mean development. From the start of the Industrial Revolution, and especially since the pace of technical change has quickened thanks to the growing cross-fertilization of science and technology, people in the industrialized countries have been pondering the gap between wisdom and strength. The issue of how to bridge that gap is constantly raised by modernity, and the economic implications naturally have philosophical dimensions. There has to be choice at least regarding the importance attached to tradition, to its structures, hierarchies, codes and rites, as against rationalization, with its constraints, order and disorder, its capacity to transform and destroy. As Alain Touraine [20] has pointed out, scientific and technical thinking threatens to reduce human beings to purely instrumental rationality, while attacks on rationality from the viewpoint of particular faiths, traditions, or communities threaten to retard or even prevent any change by searching for compensations for the present in a mythical past. To bring together the economic vision and the cultural one involves the same difficulties as making a bridge between the particular and the universal, or between facts and values.

The developing world has forced the industrialized countries to recognize not only that their cultures are extremely diverse, but that that diversity is perfectly legitimate. Both sides have learned, too, that development cannot take place without dialogue between cultural heritage and instrumental rationality, even if the two cannot be entirely reconciled. In the upheavals marking the end of the twentieth century, especially after the collapse of totalitarian ideologies and regimes, the whole world is in quest of new paths and alternatives leading to a better social order. And just as the developing countries are having to take on board some of the aspects of modernity that they used to criticize, so the industrialized countries are having to restore some aspects of tradition that they used to challenge. No society, clearly, can ever again impose its own values or development model on any other. Science and technology can contribute a great deal to development, but they cannot do everything, and above all they do not offer a ready-made solution to the problem of values that is raised by the clash between tradition and modernity. Modern societies have realized that they can no longer place their trust in progress as people thought in the Enlightenment. But while nobody can believe any longer that growth necessarily brings with it greater democracy and happiness, everybody knows now that development requires growth and a certain degree of rationality: not any longer confidently relying on technical or administrative efficiency alone, but rather on an awareness and a mastery of the consequences of scientific and technical change.


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12 Rosenberg, Nathan. Perspectives on Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

13 "Technology, Economy, and Values." In: Bugliarello and Doner, eds. See ref. 3.

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17 Schumpeter, J. "The Communist Manifesto in Sociology and Economics." Journal of Political Economy 57 (June 1949): 199 - 212.

18 Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. London: Allen and Unwin, 1950.

19 Snow, C. P. The Two Cultures: A Second Look. New York: Mentor Books, 1963.

20 Touraine, Alain. Critique de la modernité. Paris: Fayard, 1992.

21 UNCED. Final Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development: Agenda 21. Rio de Janeiro, July 1992.

22 World Bank. Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries -1992. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1992.

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Part 1 sets the scene. Jean-Jacques Salomon first reviews the emergence of modern science: its successive institutionalization, professionalization, and industrialization. The fact that this process tended to happen in a different order in developing countries raises particular problems for them. In recent years, in industrialized countries the expansion of modern science and technology has gone hand in hand with the rise of science policy - that is policy for science and policy through science - as a result of increasing concern about the impact of advances in science and technology on society. Science is linked to the state, and in the context of the Cold War, there was a full-scale mobilization of scientific research. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of the innumerable innovations generated by economic competition and by defence-related R&D during this period, and especially the role they played in the conception and development of the new technologies that characterize the "new technical system" now flourishing. In an era of increasing international competitiveness, innovation rests on a much wider range of actors, institutions, and issues, raising a lively debate on the role of the state: how far should it intervene, under what circumstances, and on what criteria? The chapter ends with a discussion of the universality of science and the coexistence and complementarily of rationalities, which may challenge Western science as a unique model, but not its operational effectiveness.

What is development? Nasser Pakdaman traces the evolution since the Second World War of the ideas, theories, and practices that have lain behind the efforts of the third world countries to emerge from "underdevelopment." The patchiness of their success - indeed, the frequent failures - has led some commentators to refer to the rise and fall of development economics, as if the subject were bound to disappear so that others could rise, like a phoenix, from its ashes, relying increasingly on an ever wider range of social sciences (sociology, anthropology, history, etc.). There is now a better understanding of the factors leading to economic growth, but there is still no clear definition of what constitutes economic development, beyond the fact that it involves a process of gradual transformation over the long term, and the ingredients are never exclusively economic. The current preference for "sustainable development" arises out of an awareness that the pure "economic paradigm" has its limits, whether inspired by the Left or the Right, and that economic theory and practice must abandon the illusions of rapid "take-off" or "catching up" and instead fit in with the historical realities that shape the specific characteristics - and constraints - of each country.

Though it is difficult to achieve international comparability using existing R&D and innovation indicators, Jan Annerstedt attempts to provide from the existing statistics a comprehensive picture of measurements of science, technology, and innovation, stressing the uneven relationship in R&D spending: in 1988-1989, the third world had a little more than 4.5 per cent of total R&D funds, with considerable differences among developing countries. A proposed worldwide science and technology-related typology identifies countries (a) with no science and technology base, (b) with the fundamental elements of a science and technology base, (c) with a science and technology base well established, and (d) with an economically effective science and technology base, notably in relation to industry. Finally, the author argues that to develop policies that could avoid further marginalization in foreign investment and technology transfer, the developing countries need much more detailed and statistically grounded analyses of the role of science and technology in the globalization process, and he reviews the innovation indicators in the making.

(introductory text...)

Jean-Jacques Salomon

The emergence of modern science

It has been said that all the old scientific movements of all the different civilizations were rivers flowing into the ocean of "modern" science [31]. Modern science has its roots in a past that is extremely diverse in both time and space, ranging from the earliest civilizations of Asia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, to the "Greek miracle," through the Judeo-Christian, Arab, and scholastic traditions. However, science as we understand the term is a relatively recent phenomenon. A major advance occurred in the seventeenth century, an advance so different from all previous ones that it can be called an unprecedented "intellectual revolution."

Gaston Bachelard [1] has labelled it an epistemological breakthrough and Thomas Kuhn [19] a paradigm shift. Either way, this turning-point was of even greater historical significance because it began in Europe and developed almost exclusively there for several centuries. The economic and social transformations coming in the wake of the invention of printing and the enormous stimulus to curiosity provided by the "great discoveries" and accompanying this scientific revolution helped to ensure, strengthen, and speed up the expansion of Western civilization relative to all the others. It is not surprising that the history of Western science has often been written as a history of conquest, and oversimplified in such a way that science has featured as an agent of European colonialism or as a residual feature of post-colonial imperialism. Yet history is no less complicated than is the concept of a scientific revolution [7].

Modern science did not happen in a single day - it took time to make an impact on people's thinking and on institutions, with added difficulties because, when experimental science started, most facts were still so uncertain that speculation had a field day. Furthermore, some of the most innovative thinkers (such as Kepler and Newton) in many respects belonged to the old order, half in the modern era through their radical contributions to astronomy, but half in the past because of their links with hermetics, mysticism, or astrology. In a system of thought that had not freed itself from alchemy nor from the bookish tradition handed down from Aristotle, the spread of new ideas was hindered by strong resistance, resulting from a combination of prejudice, dogma, and habits. The scientific revolution of the seventeenth century has generated a huge literature, which is constantly being reinterpreted and reassessed [24].

"Nature is expressed in mathematics": Galileo's famous phrase appeared in his Saggiatore in 1623; it marks symbolically the break with the ancient notion of Nature as an ensemble of substances, forms, and qualities and suggests instead a completely different conception in terms of quantitative phenomena that can by definition be measured and therefore potentially controlled. This "intellectual reform" led not only to the transformation of science - which gradually developed into a range of many and varied sciences, each of them in turn splitting up into more and more specialized subdisciplines - but also to one of perceptions, structures, and institutions. The break between arts and crafts and science reflected a break in the social order and hence a class distinction; technology, until then reserved for the "servile class," becomes the indispensable collaborator of speculative science, which had been reserved for the "professional class." This nearing of theory and practice is a revolutionary turn at both the intellectual and the social level. For the old saying, "to know is to contemplate," a new one was substituted: "to know is to act, to manipulate, to transform" - knowledge is power, in Bacon's phrase. And by the same token, the technician's know-how is to be closely associated with the scientist's theoretical way of thinking and doing.

The process of the creation, expansion, consolidation, and success of modern science has had three distinct phases: institutionalization, professionalization, and industrialization. In all the industrialized countries these phases occurred in the same historical sequence and took several centuries, whereas in the developing countries - most of which became independent nations only very recently - they have often occurred in a different order, with professionalization starting before institutionalization, or even industrialization before professionalization. The problems of the scientific and technological systems in many of these countries, like the lack of social recognition of their scientists and research institutions, can often be largely attributed to this hasty development, which frequently occurs without the benefit of any previous scientific tradition and within a few decades in circumstances very different from those of the industrialized countries.

The institutionalization of science

Bacon, in his utopia New Atlantis (1627), already envisaged scientific research as a public service, taking in most of the functions that it in fact acquired between his day and ours: research would become a profession, managed by administrators, the subject of political decision-making, requiring funding and choices to be made; it would yield usable and useful results; it would be responsible for informing and educating at all levels, drawing on a wide range of specialists, from researchers to administrators, even to scientific attaches, whose brief would be both to make known a country's discoveries abroad and to monitor - if not spy on - developments elsewhere. The link that modern science established between theory and practice creates a power to act inseparable from its power to explain.

Institutionalization began in the scholarly communities of the Academies, the first ones appearing in Italy: they distanced themselves from both Aristotelian science (grammar, rhetoric, and logic) and from other institutions (political, religious, philosophical), which did not share their exclusive concern with "perfecting the knowledge of natural things and of all useful arts. . . by experiment," to quote the charter of the Royal Society (1662). Herein lies the origin of both the secularization of the modern world - the differentiation of the sphere of scientific proofs and facts from that of faith and conviction and the reductionist, positivist, or even "scientistic" leanings of some scientists. One can also see in the stance of the Academies the beginnings of the conflicts that science has had ever since Galileo with authorities who thought they could impose their beliefs, contrary to scientific theories and scientifically established facts. Indeed, little has changed since Galileo wrote to Christina of Lorraine that to interfere with the work of researchers "would be to order them to see what they do not see, not to understand what they understand and when they seek, to find the opposite of what they find."

Nevertheless, from the outset, the scientific establishment has been linked to those with political power, demanding their protection and support and in return providing useful and usable results. The style of institutionalization naturally varied according to the national context. The Académie Royale des Sciences in France was created by Louis XIV's minister Colbert and kept under tight royal control; its members received salaries and the state treasury allocated 12,000 livres per year for equipment and experiments; and certain foreign scholars (such as Huyghens and the Cassinis) were hired abroad for huge salaries - an early example of an organized "brain drain." By contrast, the Royal Society in London enjoyed purely formal official support and until 1740 had an annual budget of less than £232, mainly contributed by the Fellows, and only two official appointments. Both, however, were eager to gain recognition through services rendered to the state, e.g. by solving the problem of calculating longitude at sea, a major strategic concern for which the maritime nations offered substantial rewards [27].

The process of institutionalization spread throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The laboratories attached to the academies provided a new setting, outside the universities, for the activities of researchers and the development of new ideas. But institutionalization did not yet mean professionalization, even though the members of the Paris or Berlin academies received salaries. The membership was still limited to a tiny elite, many of which were active in politics, the army, or the church rather than engaged in scientific research. Institutionalization helped to foster the "role of the scientist as researcher," but this role was just starting to develop and was far from achieving social recognition [2].

The professionalization of science

A profession is a legally recognized occupation, usually offering a lifetime career path as well as a livelihood. Scientific research began to achieve this status in the early nineteenth century, but did not do so fully until the eve of the Second World War. The Ecole Polytechnique in France started the process: it provided for the first time technical training involving both a research laboratory and teaching by specially appointed professors (e.g. Monge). However, Polytechnique soon concentrated on teaching rather than on "science in the making," and its graduates became senior civil servants rather than research scientists. The German chemist Liebig, a graduate of Polytechnique, introduced the model to his university in Giessen, whence it spread throughout the Continent. Research became the purview of (professional) university teachers rather than of (amateur) academicians. Humboldt's reform of the university was very much along these lines, and made scientific research an integral part of the university's responsibilities. Merely to possess knowledge and transmit it was not sufficient; the university must also create knowledge.

These developments were reflected in the changing membership of the Royal Society: the number of academic scientists more than doubled between 1881 and 1914, when they made up 61 per cent of the total, while other categories such as "distinguished laymen," soldiers, and clergy were drastically reduced. First used by Whewell in 1840, the term "scientist" came to replace "natural philosopher" or "savant," first in the English-speaking countries, a century later elsewhere. Indeed, the language and activities of science had become incomprehensible to anyone who had not had the appropriate training. New specialisms, disciplines, and subdisciplines proliferated and generated their own networks of institutions, journals, and meetings. The number of researchers grew enormously: not just scientists, but engineers and technical experts, increasingly working in teams or groups, often outside the universities in public or industrial laboratories, or for defence establishments. As in any profession, the growth in numbers led to fierce competition for recognition and hence resources and survival. James Watson gives a very personal and vivid account of the discovery of the genetic code in The Double Helix [59], describing the ruthless behaviour often required to be recognized as one of the top research teams in the world and to achieve the ultimate accolade, the Nobel Prize. The American catch-phrase, "publish or perish," is another example of the distortion of the scientific ethic brought about by competition within a worldwide scientific community, where the "credit" attached to results produced and published to gain fame also determines the financial "credit" that all research programmes require to survive.

The process of professionalization implies membership in a community, with its own rules and initiation rites and tests for entry and continued acceptance. The scientific community in fact has a double role: communication and regulation. It is responsible for disseminating the results of work in progress, as well as publicizing and promoting science, both within its own ranks and outside, to decision makers and the general public. It also looks after scholarly exchanges, sanctions qualifications and research projects, sees to the promotion of researchers and honours them with prizes and grants. In institutional terms, these functions are carried out by the Academies, learned societies, "peer review committees," boards of examiners, and juries. The basic qualification for the researcher is the doctorate, which originated in Germany in the mid-nineteenth century and is now the standard entry requirement for the profession.

In basic research, unlike technological research, scientists are expected to share their results freely with the rest of the scientific community. Progress occurs through and depends on publishing results and on cooperation that by definition transcends national and ideological boundaries: it is indeed a matter of "public knowledge," where the norms set the conditions for working in the field, just as they do for advancing knowledge and know-how [64]. In return, scientists expect to receive additional resources in order to continue their work, perhaps leading to further and more substantial recognition. There are indeed certain similarities with the process of canonization by the Church, except that the candidates are alive and the cursus of honours (publication in prestigious journals, membership of learned societies, national and international prizes, etc.) helps them to advance in their careers. Kuhn [19] has shown that professionalization in the natural sciences is inseparable from this regulatory role of the scientific community. If science is able to advance, it is precisely because the learning process depends on the publication of current research efforts in a given field. A scientific revolution occurs when a new "paradigm" is adopted, obliging the community to throw away the books and articles produced on the basis of the previous paradigm. There is no equivalent in scientific education of the art museum or the library of classics. Whereas in the arts or social sciences one cannot ignore the work of the great names of the past - the writings of Plato or Weber are still a fundamental element of discussions in philosophy or sociology - a modern student of physics is not required to read Newton, Faraday, or Maxwell.

Finally, the process of professionalization not only leads to recognition of status in the abstract, but also (perhaps above all) involves socially sanctioned rewards in terms of income and resources directly linked to the activity of research. This social legitimation occurred earlier in the United States than in Europe, just after the First World War. As Ben-David [2] has pointed out,

The requirement of a Ph.D. made suitable candidates scarcer, and raised thereby the market value of those who possessed the degree. But its principal effect was to create a professional role that implied a certain ethos on the part of the scientist as well as his employer. The ethos demanded that those who received the Ph.D. must keep abreast of scientific developments, do research, and contribute to the advancement of science. The employer, by employing a person with a Ph.D., accepted an implicit obligation to provide him with the facilities, the time, and the freedom for continuous further study and research which were appropriate to his status.

In Europe in the interwar period, scientists had great difficulties in convincing governments to recognize their role as researchers. In fact, research activities still appeared there to be an end in themselves - a calling rather than a productive function - in the context of a university culture, insulated by its institutions and context from community problems and mundane affairs; they were kept on the fringe of university functions and remained there for such a long time that Jean Perrin, Nobel prizewinner in physics, could say, as late as 1933, that "the use of university grants for scientific research is an irregularity to which the authorities are prepared to turn a blind eye" [52].

It was only after the Second World War that the function of scientists devoting themselves full time to research came to be fully recognized in most of the capitalist industrialized countries, with negotiable salaries. In the United States, this negotiation takes place on the basis of individual contracts, whereas in countries such as France, it is part of the standard negotiations with trade unions and professional organizations relating to conditions in the public service. Whatever the system, however, research has joined the general category of professions that provide their members with their livelihood. This stage would probably not have been reached as fast or on the scale that it has without the stimuli of developments in industry and of deliberate policies for science and technology launched after the Second World War.

The industrialization of science

The industrialization of science should not be confused with industrial research. The latter dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and merely brings together the laboratory and the factory. Industrialization means the development of big equipment and the application of industrial management methods to scientific activities themselves. This stage of "big science" [43] occurred only between the world wars and increased rapidly after 1945. In fact, science and technology had relatively little contact with one another until the middle of the nineteenth century; and technology contributed to science (via scientific instruments) rather than vice versa. As is well known, the Industrial Revolution was not closely linked to science at the outset, but rather was produced by craftsmen and engineers, often trained on the job. The most famous example is the steam engine, which was invented almost a century before the principles of thermodynamics were understood.

The turning point came again thanks to Liebig, who brought about the creation of "applied science" in Germany with the exploitation of advances in organic chemistry in the dyeing industry between 1858 and 1862. Von Baer's team, working on the synthesis of indigo, was given direct support by the Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik, which invested almost £1 million in both research and development, i.e. establishing the chemical reactions required on a large scale prior to commercial production. Similarly, Menlo Park, created by Edison in 1876, was the first R&D laboratory in electromechanics and one of the first instances of substantial venture capital being invested by banks hoping to profit from future inventions. Edison did not so much mark the end of the heroic age of great inventors as the beginning of science-based technology. A self-taught experimenter rather than a scholar himself, he brought to Menlo Park scientists and technicians trained in the best European institutions.

Industrial research soon spawned a new type of entrepreneur, entrepreneurs with science degrees from universities and engineering schools, who were employed by industrial firms or who themselves started new industries. It is important to realize that these developments depended on special conditions whose absence in developing countries often explains their difficulties in properly integrating scientists and laboratories into the production process. For industrial research to flourish, there must already be a layer of relatively mature and varied industries, and the industrialists themselves need to have an adequate scientific background that they can bring to bear on both management and production. There must also be a pool of scientists willing to undertake "directed" research on the problems facing firms, with the aim of producing commercially viable results within a reasonably short time [6]. In some specific cases of scientific research (elementary particles, fusion, astronomy, space research, genome) no progress is conceivable without a critical mass of manpower, equipment, and institutions. These prerequisites could not be satisfied in Europe until the beginning or even the middle of the twentieth century. The Industrial Revolution was accompanied by essential transformations of higher education: the combination of research and teaching, the creation of new specialisms, the modification of university structures in line with changes arising from scientific progress, but also the introduction of university-industry contracts and the increasing recruitment by industry of university-trained scientists.

The industrialization of research - and even of science itself - is the most recent development, dating back to the aftermath of the First World War. The system for supplying weapons, transport, food, and health care (the first vaccines) set up in order to wage the war provided a model for the rational management of technology in terms of organization, discipline, standardization, coordination, separation of line and staff, etc. [47, 48]. The First World War did not so much create new weapons as adapt existing civilian technologies for military purposes (automobiles turned into armoured cars, aeroplanes into bombers, etc.). It was the first war where the outcome was determined by success in maintaining a constant supply of materiel, of machines as much as munitions, and also the first where military operations started to be mechanized and submitted to scientific management. The basic principles underlying the American and European industrial systems with regard to machine tools, spare parts, standardization, and mass production were then extended from the military to the civilian economy via the armies' suppliers: Taylorism and Fordism thus had their first applications [25]. The changes begun in the interwar period, most vividly illustrated by the creation of enormous industrial laboratories such as Bell Laboratories or Du Pont de Nemours in the United States, were considerably strengthened during and just after the Second World War, which was the immediate stimulus for new weapons systems (the atomic bomb, radar, computers, jet engines, rockets, etc.), sanctioning the shift to "big science" as well as "big technology." The links between science and technology became so close that their advance became increasingly interdependent.

The characteristic feature of this stage is that science became increasingly capital-intensive, dependent on huge investments in manpower and specialized equipment. This was partly because research programmes were far more expensive than before and partly because the research programmes were also far more ambitious in terms of both scale and expectations of quick results. "This change is as radical as that which occurred in the productive economy when independent artisan producers were displaced by capital-intensive factory production employing hired labour" [46, p. 44]. Science became indispensable to industry, while industry imposed itself on science, forcing science to adopt its concerns, making science dependent on its contracts, influencing the moral code even to the extent of sometimes preventing the publication of certain results or, conversely, insisting on patenting things that previously had remained in the public domain (e.g. computer software or biological cloning). The industrialization of science also altered and extended the scientist's role so as to become simultaneously: in the university a teacher, administrator, and research scientist; with various state agencies, a contractor for research, an assessor for research proposals, an official adviser on existing projects, a military or diplomatic adviser, a specialist in strategic problems such as the management of advanced weapons systems or the negotiations on arms control; with commercial industry, a private consultant to firms, and a businessman manufacturing equipment of his own invention. These transformations did not occur without causing problems, challenging traditional values, and exposing researchers to conflicts of interest and forcing them to make political, ideological, or commercial commitments that their predecessors had been sheltered from (or alleged they were) thanks to the "neutrality" of science.

Habits change in time: the "detached" academic researcher came to be replaced by the scientific entrepreneur struggling for recognition and maximum profit. Henceforth, many more scientist-researchers worked in industrial laboratories, public or private, and for the military than in the universities. In the era of industrialized science, businesses organize themselves with a view to science-based production and technical innovation. The distinction between science and technology has become blurred: as technologies have become increasingly sophisticated and complex, the innovation process has become increasingly dependent on the findings and methodology of science. From now on, the practice and advance of science are far more dependent on technology than vice versa. Important discoveries are as likely to be made in industrial laboratories as in universities (e.g. nylon by Du Pont, the transistor by Bell Laboratories, enzyme synthesis by Merck, superconductors by IBM). And the system of management, control, and evaluation typical of industry is increasingly applied to research activities, including those in universities.

The expansion of modern science and technology

As we have seen, the link with political power was present from the beginning of modern science, but that link was all the less effective, institutionalized, and systematic because science had little influence on economic, military, and technical development, and at the same time, because the state intervened little in its affairs. The age of institutionalized science policy really started only when scientific activities began to have a direct effect on the course of world affairs, thereby causing the state to become aware of a field of responsibility that it could not neglect [20, 52, 4]. To give an idea of the change of scale that occurred as a result, we need only point out that the entire Federal R&D budget of the United States was less than $1 billion in 1939 (agriculture and health accounted for the lion's share); the Manhattan Project alone, which was responsible for the first three atomic bombs produced by 1945, cost $2 billion over three years, while the Apollo Program to put a man on the moon cost $5 billion per year over 10 years. In 1989, the total American gross domestic expenditure on R&D went up to $135,150 million, of which a little more than 50 per cent was financed from public sources. Even the countries that are the most vociferous upholders of free-market principles and abhor state intervention, from the United States to Germany, have seen public support for R&D, both direct and indirect, considerably increase and expand.

By science policy we mean the collective measures taken by a government in order, on the one hand, to encourage the development of scientific and technical research and, on the other, to exploit the results of this research for general political objectives. Today these two aspects are complementary: policy for science (the provision of an environment fostering research activities) and policy through science (the exploitation of discoveries and innovations in various sectors of governmental concern) are on a par in the sense that scientific and technological factors affect political decisions and at the same time condition the development of various fields (defence, the economy, social life, etc.). The historian of science will find it easy to show that neither the idea nor the thing itself was really absent from the development of science as an institution before the Second World War. However, if these two aspects did exist beforehand, they rarely did so simultaneously, and in any case only for short periods marked by the interest of the state in military exploitation of the results of scientific research, for instance during the French Revolution, the American Civil War, or the First World War [53].

The rise of science policy

In the West, the examples of a closer link between science and the state provided by the First World War and the post-war period were only a rough sketch of a process that was to be accelerated and firmly established by the time of the Second World War. In particular, even though the Depression of the 1930s caused some people to become aware of the role that science policy might play in economic and social development, this awareness did not go so far as to provide the state with the means to guide the direction of scientific research, or even to organize it in a more coherent manner [9]. France alone among the market economies endeavoured to recognize the jurisdiction of politics over scientific affairs by setting up, under the Popular Front, the post of Under-Secretary of State, which was given first to Irene Joliot-Curie, then to Jean Perrin. The fact that the two Nobel prizewinners occupied in 1936 a ministerial position and the establishment of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (an institution mainly concerned with the promotion of basic research) are the first signs in the West of the recognition on the part of the state of both the role played by science in economic and social affairs and the political concern that it should be integrated into the general fabric of government decisions [40].

This case, unique in the West, was inspired in part by the Soviet experience. For it was indeed in Russia that the closest link ever to be forged between science and politics was established by the triumph of the Revolution. The progress from ideology to action provides a model of organization inasmuch as it attempted to integrate science into the social system as a "productive factor" among other productive forces. Certainly, scientific activities enjoyed a status and a support at that time that had no equivalent in other countries before the Second World War; research was considered inseparable from the political system of which it was both the means and the end. Nevertheless, as heavily as political factors may have weighed on the development of science as an institution, the model presented by the Soviet regime did not give rise then to a real science policy [14, 62].

It was at any rate that model that served as reference to Bernal when, just before the war, he wrote his book The Social Function of Science, a pioneer work heralding the enormous changes that were soon to affect the relations between science and the state [3]. No other work has done more to ensure the recognition of scientific activities as a social institution that both affects and is affected by the development of the social system as a whole. In many respects, Bernal's analysis still shows a utopian approach directly inspired by the hopes that the Enlightenment and nineteenth-century positivism had placed in the politically liberating and inevitably beneficial character of science. He is nevertheless the first to have perceived and analysed (even though with the Marxist bias of that time) all the aspects that could make scientific and technological research activities themselves into objects of social research. As such, Bernal appears as the founding father of the new field that is, in relation to development issues as well as to the industrialized countries, the subject of this whole volume: science policy, or science, technology, and society "studies." Bernal deplored the lack of public interest in science at that time and the scarcity of resources, but he had no doubt as to the immense progress science would accomplish and the great service that, associated with technology, it would render to society. Two conditions at least needed to be met in his view if these promises were to be fulfilled: far greater resources allocated for research activities, and the implementation of deliberate science policies.

It is now commonplace to point out that the Manhattan District Project, the name given to the programme that developed the first atomic bombs, marked an irreversible turning-point in the relations between science and the state: the establishment of science as a "national asset," the direct intervention of governments in the direction and range of research activities, the recruiting of researchers for large-scale programmes [21]. The change in scale of research activities goes hand in hand with the major technological developments that had a direct effect on the relations between countries: there were 100,000 researchers (scientists, engineers, and technicians) in the world in 1940, and 10 times this number 20 years later [10]. In the OECD area alone, the total R&D personnel was estimated at 1,754,430 in 1983, of which the United States accounted for a little more than 700,000 [38].

Indeed, the nature and the scale of the scientific research undertaken during the Second World War and, above all, the strategic importance of its results, have had consequences beyond anything Bernal had foreseen. According to his own words in the preface to the new edition of his book, "the scientific revolution entered a new phase - it became aware of itself" [3]. During and after the Second World War, scientific and technical research, conceived with military strategic ends in mind, became the source of newly discovered forms of technology that were to be applied on a vast scale in civil life: nuclear energy, radar, jet planes, DDT, computers, missiles, etc. From then on it became impossible for political power to leave science to its own devices, and at the end of the war, the demobilization of researchers, far from signalling the end of "mobilized" science as such, gave rise to systematic efforts to take advantage of research activities in the context of "national and international" objectives [18].

The perfecting of nuclear weapons, missiles, and computers altered the most traditional law of the balance of power: it was no longer enough to avoid being at the mercy of the enemy, one had now to forestall him. In this new kind of international competition, between the "balance of terror," the arms race, and the fear of "technological gaps," scientific and technical research constituted a powerful strategic, diplomatic, and economic resource. Science policy developed in this context of strategic competition as a consequence of the impossibility of establishing real peace at the end of the Second World War. In this sense it is obviously one feature of an overall policy determined by rivalry, struggles, and clashes between nations, ideologies, and will for power. But in another sense the growing influence exerted by technological and scientific affairs on politics in general could be regarded as a cause as well as an effect of the international climate of insecurity. No doubt, the "tyranny" of the arms race and escalation operated through a "scientific-military-industrial complex" that is very real and the irony (or wisdom) of history is that it was a senior army officer and president of the United States who uttered the first and gravest warning against this complex. In his farewell speech as president, Eisenhower referred to the risks of a public policy becoming the captive of a scientific and technological elite and of the military-industrial complex to which this elite owes its existence (New York Times, 22 January 1961).

Actually, it was only from 1957 - the date of the first sputnik - that institutions really concerned with science policy were set up. Even in 1963, when the first Ministerial Meeting on Science took place at the OECD, the ministers specifically in charge of scientific affairs could be counted on the fingers of one hand [28]. In the space of only three years, they made up the majority. As a field of government competence, science and technology were no longer intended merely to follow in the wake of educational or cultural policies. Whatever the institutional arrangements, the organizations concerned with science policy, wherever they were, all fulfilled at least three functions: information, consultation, and coordination. Science policy of any kind had to be prepared by administrative services, clarified by the advice of experts, coordinated between the various ministries and agencies concerned with research activities, and finally, of course, decided upon and implemented in conjunction with the private industrial sectors. National traditions and structures provided a framework for these functions and, within that framework, specific bodies (e.g. the Office of Science and Technology in the United States? the Delegation générale à la recherche scientifique et technique in France). According to whether the political system was centralized, decentralized, or pluralistic, science policy was developed in different institutions, linked more or less closely with bodies concerned with economic and strategic planning. Everywhere these bodies started their functions by collecting statistics on R&D activities, drawing up an inventory of researchers and laboratories, and allocating resources to sectors considered to have priority [5].

From the 1950s to the 1970s, science policy in the industrialized countries went from an age of pragmatism to the general awareness of the role played by scientific and technological research in the "wealth of nations" and in the struggles for international competition. However, there were important changes not only in the aims but in the political and cultural contexts. The first period, which corresponded to a climate of high tension, the Cold War, strategic competition and economic development impervious to the social and environmental costs it engendered, came to an end in 1968-1969. In the aftermath of détente, the campus revolts, the growing awareness of the limits to economic growth, and the American fiasco in Vietnam, the positivism induced by the methods and achievements of science was questioned not only by movements outside the scientific community but also by scientists themselves [49]. An American walked on the moon, but the very success of the Apollo Program marked a turning-point: the great options that had fed science policy during two decades ceased to be taken as articles of faith. The previous priorities were being re-examined critically, and reordered in a manner that, it was felt, would be more concerned with social well-being than with technological progress as such.

It is instructive to underline some of the conceptual changes that have taken place in the field of science and technology policy research and that show how this area of policy-making, although defined and nurtured by science, is heavily dependent on social structures and pressures. The OECD has been one of the leading institutions in highlighting the importance of science and technology policy; the first report prepared by the Secretariat in 1963, Science, Economic Growth and Government Policy, was quite optimistic and focused on the formulation of government policies, the building of scientific and technological infrastructures, and on the need to expand science and technology education as a lever for increasing economic growth. Nearly a decade later, in 1971, another report on the subject, Science, Growth and Society: A New Perspective, stressed the social impact of scientific and technological advances, paid attention to the American challenge in technology, and focused on both the role of innovation as an engine of growth and the need to anticipate and assess the negative aspects of technical change. The OECD reports published in 1980, Technical Change and Economic Policy, and in 1981, Science and Technology Policy for the 1980s, put greater emphasis on the economic and social changes that characterized the industrialized nations during this period and acknowledged that after three decades of unprecedented growth in the world economy, the situation was likely to be different. The oil crises led to focusing research priorities on possible energy alternatives, but issues such as the interaction between technology and employment, the dominant role played by micro-electronics and informatics, the growing importance of biotechnology and new materials, the restructuring of world industry and international competitiveness became central concerns of science and technology policy makers.

Thus in less than 20 years, a new perception of the interactions between science, technology, and society has emerged in the industrialized countries, one in which the optimistic views have been replaced by increased concern regarding the impact of advances in science and technology on society. The scientific crisis simply reflected the crisis taking place in society. As the Brooks Report pointed out, "science policy is in disarray because society itself is in disarray, partly because the power of modern science has enabled society to reach goals that formerly were only vague aspirations, but whose achievements had revealed their shallowness or has created expectations that outrun even the possibilities of modern technology or the economic resources available from growth" [33]. The problems posed by the deterioration in living standards, the chaotic state of urban development, the difficulties of transportation, pollution, the threat to the environment, and the growing inequalities within most of the industrialized countries and between them and the developing countries all of this called for some control over the course of technical progress and the building of new paths that would reconcile technical progress to a more harmonious type of development. The notion emerged that the solution to these problems does not lie solely in the technocratic application of instruments that would reduce history to its physical constraints. Even in the case of strategic weapons and arms control, some scientists became aware that the "dilemma of steadily increasing military power and steadily decreasing national security has no technical solution" [61].

It is in this context of challenge and disenchantment that technology assessment was launched: a new function that would enable possible undesirable effects to be foreseen or the costs of the introduction of new technologies to be considered in relation to obvious or disregarded social needs. Subsequently, following the example of the United States, most of the industrialized countries created special bodies, within or outside their parliaments, whose function was not only to anticipate and regulate the effects of technological change but also to involve the public more closely, if not make it participate in the decision-making process relating to science and technology activities. However, this period of questioning and reappraisal did not see any reduction (rather the contrary) in the predominant strategic and prestige objectives concentrated in the most important industrialized countries on defence, nuclear, space, and computer research. And the malaise felt in relation to social issues was soon to be superseded by the economic difficulties precipitated by the oil crisis of 1973. The barely attempted efforts to redirect research activities toward the solution of social problems were limited, if not stopped, by the economic crisis, growing unemployment, and more intense international economic competition in relation to the "new technologies."

The defence-related R&D endeavour

Science policies were the consequence of the Second World War and the absence of peace that followed it. For the most industrialized countries, and in particular those with nuclear weapons, the Cold War was a period of full-scale mobilization of scientific resources, with huge investments in R&D in three key sectors: nuclear, space, and information and communications technologies. For the United States, Britain, and France, these investments accounted for two-thirds of their total R&D expenditure, public plus private. For the USSR, the defence budget was an even greater drain on resources, with the statistics for the 1980s indicating that military expenditures varied between 20 and 28 per cent of GDP - an enormous proportion when compared to that of the United States, where military spending equalled 6.5 per cent of GDP in the same period, even if the American GDP was much higher [62].

The arms race was one of the most spectacular features of the Cold War, but there was also fierce competition for world renown, ranging from the first sputnik to the first men on the moon. These struggles forced the state to intervene in research and innovation, even in countries claiming to be unshakeable upholders of free market capitalism. Questions may indeed be raised about the cost of the exaggerated level of armaments and the links between economic and strategic reasoning; it may be argued that the arms race diverted scarce resources (capital and skills) that could have been used for more socially and economically constructive purposes. The debate about the cost-benefit analysis of the "spin-offs" from military R&D for the civilian economy is not over, but it is impossible to underestimate the importance of the innumerable innovations generated by military R&D during this period, and especially the role they played in the conception and development of the new technologies that characterize the "new technical system" just now beginning to flourish [58, 26, 55].

On the Soviet side, it is clear that the priority given to the military-industrial complex in R&D expenditure and production made a decisive contribution to the collapse of the economic system. It cannot be ruled out that Reagan's challenge via the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars) helped Gorbachev to realize that the centrally planned Soviet system had reached its limits, with a civilian economy in a desperate state and a military sector unable to keep up with the rapid progress of American technology. For the capitalist democracies, the costs in terms of economic growth were far smaller, but still not zero. One has only to compare the rates of productivity growth in countries with high levels of defence-related R&D to those with low levels. Germany and Japan, forbidden to invest in military activities after 1945, have had far higher productivity growth and much greater technological success in commercial terms than the United States, Britain, and France. Furthermore, in the 1970s, the innovations generated by the defence sector seemed increasingly remote from the needs of ordinary consumers. The military demands for technical excellence in terms of reliability, miniaturization, resistance to extreme conditions, etc., have created products that are harder and harder to adapt for civilian purposes. At the same time, in certain high technology areas (especially "chips," components), commercial users have tended to overtake military orders in stimulating innovation. It is likely that the spin-offs from military R&D will be far less useful for the civilian economy in future, so that the economic growth rates of the countries most committed to such programmes will suffer accordingly.

Military R&D efforts have not been monopolized by the most advanced, industrialized countries. Among the developing countries, nations such as Brazil, China, and India have strengthened their manufacturing potential at the same time as their ambitions to build up an independent armaments industry, and even their own nuclear and space facilities. The growth in the arms trade in developing countries and the appearance of new producing countries are a sign of both the relative success of some industrialization policies and the feelings of insecurity that rightly or wrongly beset the purchaser nations. Military ambitions have been able to stimulate industrial modernization in a context of policies of economic nationalism; yet, it is obvious that this choice of manufacturing and exporting weapons has diverted scarce resources that could have contributed to a more balanced economic and social development.

The Cold War justified everywhere the growth of a vast public sector and increasing state intervention in the private sector. Business interests were able to cash in on the arms race precisely because both sides felt insecure. "A war with no fighting neatly avoids the risk of fighting coming to an end. Obsolescence in a technological competition is a nearly perfect substitute for battlefield attrition" [12]. As long as the Cold War lasted, stopping the race was deemed more dangerous than the race itself. The post-war period has ended with the collapse of the communist system, the abolition of the Warsaw Pact, and the fragmentation of the Soviet empire. The signing of the START agreements means a 30 per cent reduction in long-range nuclear weapons. The end of the confrontation between the two systems and the collapse of the communist economies lead to the end of the arms race, and hence mean facing the problem of how to convert some (if not most) of the arms industries to civil purposes - a very difficult issue, which will take many years to resolve and which will quickly generate large-scale redundancies to add to the economic crisis in the republics of the new Commonwealth of Independent States.

There are already signs of a new race beginning, this time either to attract the best scientists from these countries to work in the West or else to "anchor" them in their laboratories, helping them to destroy the existing weapons systems or to redirect their research towards peaceful ends. Either way, the aim is to hold onto them and discourage them from selling their services to developing countries that would like to build up their own nuclear weapons and space capability. The OECD ministerial conference on science and technology in March 1992, attended for the first time by representatives of Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, was almost entirely devoted to this problem. And the sole purpose of the International Centre for Science and Technology established in Moscow with funding from the European Community and the United States is to prevent the growth of "mercenary science," where nuclear scientists rather than hired soldiers offer themselves to the highest bidder.

The reduction in nuclear weapons is not the same thing as disarmament, and the scaling down of the arms race by cutting the number of weapons does not necessarily mean scaling down military R&D programmes - even if there is now less urgency to perfect some of them. For one thing, the agreements deliberately leave open the possibility of increasing the numbers of cruise missiles, and the removal of some intercontinental missiles will in fact lead to even greater R&D efforts to improve the "quality" of conventional arms. For another, although the end of the Cold War undermines the traditional basis for the legitimacy of the military-industrial complex, the subsequent upheavals that are likely in central Europe and above all in the former Soviet republics will encourage the West to "lower its guard." It is clear, after the experience of the Gulf War, that the research into electronic warfare, in particular the anti-missile systems, is likely to expand rather than diminish, because of the threats of nuclear proliferation from peripheral countries.

Although the spectre of global nuclear war is fading for the first time, local conflicts are far from over. Military R&D efforts will continue to concentrate on miniaturization and on improving the precision of conventional weapons, as well as perfecting the systems of surveillance, monitoring, and response peculiar to electronic warfare. As General Poirier [42] has stressed, nuclear weapons, paradoxically, restrained the level of violence, because potential enemies knew that they must act and stop each other from acting in a haze of shared uncertainties, which led to political moderation and strategic prudence. In the "balance of terror," uncertainty brought a degree of order to relations between the superpowers, as deterrence only works when the enemy acknowledges the same rules. Nuclear proliferation may lead to an "imbalance of terror," where uncertainty generates disorder and where disorder on the periphery in fact adds to general uncertainty. The death of communism and the collapse of the Soviet system have removed the basis for the whole post-war strategic confrontation, and it is hard to imagine the biggest nations relying upon their nuclear deterrence in the event of hostilities initiated by "non-rational" smaller countries without atomic weapons. However, given that the sources of conflict throughout the world have not been eliminated, the "watch" will continue to mobilize substantial scientific resources. The heyday of the military-industrial complex is not yet over; that of defence-related R&D even less so.

The era of innovation policy

Whichever country - and no matter its political ambitions or strategic commitments - the primary objective of the industrialized nations now is to achieve and if possible improve economic growth, without which nothing else is possible, in economic as well as in all other spheres. Economic growth depends more than ever on firms' competitiveness, which in turn is very closely linked to the capacity for innovation, not only of firms but also of the entire system of social and economic organization (especially in relation to education and technical training). The research effort of these countries can be defined today as more and more oriented towards this goal, and it is complemented by a set of measures aimed at increasing the diffusion and application of technology in a large array of traditional industries and activities, as much as in the industries with a high R&D intensity.

This is the most important and revealing change: innovation policy appears as an extension of (or an alternative to) what was previously called science and technology policy. The concept emerged in the course of the 1970s as a result of three developments: first, economic and sociological analysis of the factors responsible for the performances of firms and especially of the roles played therein by technical innovation; second, the economic problems starting with the oil crisis that stopped the post-war period of rapid growth and full employment; and third, the upsurge of the "new technologies," particularly the information technologies, which brought about great changes in products and services throughout the economy. During the 1980s, the "structural policies" followed by the industrialized countries reshaped the continuum of their research systems to adjust to and overcome the consequences of the crisis (industrial restructuring, competition from the "newly industrializing" countries, unemployment, etc.) and the changes in the system of production and consumption introduced by the "Information Revolution." To these should be added the recent concerns about the environment, which are generating more and more public and private R&D efforts to bring products, processes, and industrial waste into line with new regulations. These changes in standards reflect changes in attitudes and values that oblige industry to innovate so as to satisfy the new consumer demands as well as the new legislative requirements regarding safety and pollution.

In brief, while state intervention in R&D activities has evolved in a context of privatization and deregulation, the American model has been replaced by the Japanese model, involving a package of long-term measures with a common target covering education, research, industry, foreign trade, and environment aimed at ensuring and sustaining the dynamism of firms in a global context [34, 35, 37]. The idea that innovation and entrepreneurship were among the basic factors underlying industrial expansion was certainly not new, since it dates back to the writings of Schumpeter. But the period of expansion after the war caused it to be overlooked. Although many studies were undertaken, notably those of the OECD on the "technology gap," the "Charpie Report" in the United States, and the research of economists like Edwin Mansfield, Richard Nelson, and Christopher Freeman, governments did not pursue them beyond affirming the importance of a well-thought-out policy for scientific and technological research activities: their gaze fixed on the input, they barely concerned themselves with the ways of ensuring a better diffusion of the output [11, 8].

All these efforts nevertheless arrived at the same conclusion: the problems of innovation depend less on the size of the investments in R&D than on basing the management of university and industrial resources on the entrepreneurial model. By emphasizing the importance for the innovation process of these factors, which are not properly scientific or even technical, all these studies recommended concentrating on policies that at first sight appear to have little in common with science policy as such. They stressed that it is not enough for a country to have excellent universities and research teams, to turn out increasing numbers of Ph.D.'s, to devote vast resources to R&D activities, or even to pile up Nobel Prizes in order to be one of the leading innovators. Winning the productivity battle, capturing and keeping new markets, and developing the full potential for innovation does indeed require a well-run research system, but that is just one prerequisite among many others. For innovation to be successful, the diffusion process is much more critical than that of either discovery or invention.

This period of introspection and research led to a better understanding of the sources, determinants and nature of innovation [22]. In particular, it came to be realized that commercial viability depends as much, if not more, on the social and institutional factors that provide the environment for the management of innovation as it does on the technical sophistication of the new products or services that it generates. To a large extent, the success of the "American model" could be attributed to the combination of two factors: the capacity of the universities to adapt very rapidly to the new needs generated by advances in knowledge, and the ability of industry to exploit the results of research more efficiently. And yet most of the European policy makers paid less attention to these factors and their combination than to the magnitude of the United States' expenditures for R&D (the "magic" target of 3 per cent of GNP) and the role exerted by the Federal government in stimulating the national research endeavour in the name of strategic and defence-related challenges.

In fact, even before the crisis of the 1970s, the example of the United States itself, where a few people had begun to be concerned with the falling rate of productivity growth, gave food for thought. Clearly, there was no direct link between the amount invested in R&D and the performance of the economy: champions in most categories of science and technology, the United States still had a productivity growth rate below that of Europe and, most important, of Japan. The question has been debated for more than a decade, and the Americans are still pondering the answer [30]. The fascination with the success of the "American model" made observers overlook the take-off conditions of a very different model, which more than ever confirmed that innovation should not be confused with scientific research: the model adopted by Japan, soon followed by the "little dragons" of South-East Asia. This raises at least the question of how much basic research does really contribute to growth and development at large. The modernization of Japan and its most recent success story in industrialization, like that of the newly industrialized countries, was not until recently accompanied by major contributions to scientific progress as such. The situation started to change in Japan because the very nature of its industrial development now requires a greater input of theoretical research. But this change is connected as much with the greater economic prosperity of the country as with the new prerequisites for producing technical innovations that are increasingly "sophisticated" and linked to laboratory research [56].

In Europe, it was not until the crisis of the 1970s that the significance of these limits to science policy began to be appreciated. By shifting from science in the strict sense to the broader field of innovation, governmental concern demonstrated an awareness of the fact that economic development was increasingly dependent upon constraints affecting industrial competitiveness and international trade. In the preceding period, the main concern had been to make basic research an integral part of the research system and to rely for technological innovation on "major programmes" supported, if not directly managed, by the state. Henceforth, there was debate about the extent to which the state should provide support for basic research and these "major programmes" that were financed (or subsidized) by public resources. Now, in the new context of privatization and deregulation, the question is how far the state should go, and under what institutional conditions, in intervening in the market in order to stimulate technological innovation.

Thus the criteria, as well as the instruments, involved in science policy have been profoundly altered. Science policy as such concerns individuals, institutions, and issues involved in measures related to scientific training, higher education, and academic research. As illustrated by the recent OECD report, Technology and the Economy: The Key Relationship [39], which is entirely devoted to an analysis of technological innovation in the context of increasing international competitiveness, innovation depends on a much wider range of actors, institutions, and issues - from industry, the banking system, and the overall economic environment to vocational training and even the general level of technical and scientific literacy. What is at stake is the need to "integrate" science and technology policies with all other government efforts, especially economic, industrial, energy, and social policies, as well as policies on education and employment. This was all the more obvious because of the need to cope not only with the consequences of the economic crisis but also with the changes introduced by the "new technologies." The products and processes created by these new technologies led to new modes of production and consumption that spread through all sectors of economic and social life; these products and processes are developed mainly by flexible, decentralized firms that are able to adapt quickly to market changes and are highly aware of consumer needs and preferences. In this context of market economies, if the role of the state cannot be limited to merely supporting scientific and technological activities, how far should it intervene, under what circumstances and on what criteria?

In some areas, state intervention is traditionally unquestioned (or, in some countries challenged less than in others): defence, basic research, the environment, health, large-scale technological systems such as those involving large infrastructures and networks (energy, transport, telecommunications). These areas concern society as a whole and require strategic action; in short, they are outside the market framework, and the private sector cannot be expected to take on the risks involved, or to safeguard and respect the public interest. The decisive competitive battle is now being waged among the small and medium-sized firms rather than among the major public programmes. Here, innovation involves entrepreneurial initiative, for which the management structures of public enterprises are badly (or rarely well) prepared. If the state has to intervene directly, it can be in the preliminary stages, where an "infant" technology or an "infant" industry threatens to be stifled before it reaches maturity by pressures from competitors. Yet the state cannot forever stand in for firms, or at least not without allowing its programmes to be guided by noneconomic considerations, and unthinkingly subsidize their products in order to protect them from foreign competition; there is no lack of examples of these risks and failures, from the Brazilian "reserved market" for information technologies to the Anglo-French supersonic Concorde and the French "Plans Calcul" [32].

In the past, the state could start from scratch or could promote an industry (e.g. metals, shipbuilding, railways, oil) where the aim was to satisfy national needs without having to face the pressure of international competition. If need be, it could nationalize existing firms, even if they were foreign. But when the new technologies are involved, which deal mainly with intangibles (i.e. information, from hardware to software), the state has far less room for manoeuvre. Nationalizing firms in this sector would mean buying only the factories without having any control over the flows of intangible data that are the real source of technical and commercial success. In this context, the trend towards deregulation appears to be the result not only of economic (if not ideological) considerations, but also of institutional and technical factors: on the one hand, the organizational and social setting, which reveals the limits of the management and control of the monopoly hitherto enjoyed by publicly owned firms (e.g. the post office), and on the other, the new technical system, which imposes strategies and even an entrepreneurial approach closely linked to consumer demand and international markets. Once outside the programmes that are its concern for strategic reasons, it is through indirect measures (especially fiscal, but also educational in general) and above all a macroeconomic policy favouring investment that the state is best placed to stimulate technological innovation efficiently - and more economically [50]. Most of these changes will continue to affect this new "strategic posture" of the industrially advanced countries, a posture that is basically defined by the growing economic competition, more concern for the regional and global environment, and the possibility - still to be confirmed - of an effective levelling off not only in the military budgets at large but also more specifically in the defence-related R&D endeavour.

Cultures and coexistence of rationalities

The radical change accomplished by modern science generates a major debate and many questions. For instance, what is it in the rationality of this science - European in origin and destined, as Needham says, to become "ecumenical" - that distinguishes it from other types of knowledge and culture? Or again, why did this version of science make its rapid rise in western Europe at the time of Galileo? The paradox involved in these questions is that much is said about the universality of modern science, while stressing the peculiar nature of its Western origins. The debate is all the more difficult in that it leads one to ask why, at a given moment in their histories, one civilization was so far ahead of others, for example the Chinese or the Muslim cultures, which turned in on themselves and missed the boat of "progress"?

Needham's life's work shows us that certain societies, certain cultures, at various periods of history, reveal themselves as far more efficient than others in the mastery of scientific knowledge and the exploitation of technical progress. But it is not only the past that tells us this. At this very moment, even as there is talk of a new stage in the history of the Industrial Revolution, it is clear that considerable disparities exist in the ability of different societies to take advantage of the possibilities opening up and, a fortiori, in their capacity to contribute to the conception, development, and production of the "new technologies." Needham's conclusion has the merit to exclude from the very outset any "physical-anthropological" or "racial-spiritual" factor involved in what may explain the advance or the lateness of societies in relation to each other: "The answer to such questions lies, I now believe, primarily in the social, intellectual and economic structures of the different civilizations" [31, pp. 127-128]. Moreover, it rightly suggests that catching up - as much as fading away and decline - is possible as a function of the efforts made to adjust and modernize these structures.

Scientific and other knowledge

Indeed, there is a common postulate subsumed in the approach of modern "hard" sciences: the constancy of the laws of the universe. This postulate went almost unchanged from Lucretius, who spoke of the laws of nature as contracts ( foedera), to Einstein, who proclaimed that "God is subtle, but does not have a malicious nature." Or as Norbert Wiener wrote: "Nature plays fair and if, after climbing one range of mountains, the physicist sees another on the horizon before him, it has not been deliberately put there to frustrate the effort he has already made. The devil whom the scientists are fighting is the devil of confusion, not of wilful malice" [60]. The postulate of this rationality is that the universe functions according to commands that are like decrees. In fact these would seem to be the decrees of a supra-rational legislator, decrees that the founders of modern science - Galileo, Descartes, Kepler, Newton - thought to be "revealed" to the human spirit.

This postulate is what led Needham to highlight the essential difference between the conception of the order of the world in traditional China and that in Europe of the Renaissance. In the latter, the laws of nature are valid for the earth and heaven according to "orders" given by a rational legislator; in the former, there is no superior authority instituting a system of causal relations but an organic cooperation defining a cosmic reality: the law has no clear representation outside human affairs so that the intelligibility of the world is never guaranteed. Needham cited the example of medieval Europe, struggling against sorcery, where trials were held in which charges were brought against roosters that laid eggs. These roosters were condemned to be burned alive because they had betrayed the divine order. Needham used every opportunity to show that Taoist China would never have dreamed of conducting similar trials. Such phenomena were considered to be "rebukes of heaven," "celestial misfortunes," and not a perversion of the order of the world guaranteed by God.

Western science was finally developed and imposed itself by doing without the guarantee of a supreme legislator; nevertheless, statistical regularities and their mathematical expressions guarantee somewhat the hypothesis of an "honoured contract," of an order removed from the whims and arbitrary moods of either a magical or a malicious intervention: it is by definition impossible to hold the rational functioning of natural phenomena in default (which does not mean that there is neither deep complexity nor even disorder and chaos in the functioning of some of these phenomena, as shown by the most recent developments in theoretical physics). Hence the remark by Needham, which marvellously locates the boundary between the cultures ready to adopt a Western rationality and those that are closed to it: "Perhaps the kind of spirit which could make of an egg-laying rooster a being to be persecuted by the law was necessary in a culture so that this same culture would later be capable of producing a Kepler?" [31].

Until the seventeenth or eighteenth century, China and the West shared the same capital of knowledge, and China was in many aspects more advanced technologically. The compass, gunpowder, and printing were all transfers of technology from China to the West, and the end of the seventeenth century marked, thanks to the Jesuits' "technical assistance," reciprocal exchanges between the two civilizations in the common area of mathematics. "The Europeans at my court have presided over mathematics for a long time already. During the civil wars they rendered an essential service to me with the cannon which they have cast," states the Edict of Tolerance of K'ang-hsi in 1692. And the Chinese "model" defined a good part of European literature during the entire eighteenth century. But it was from the seventeenth century onwards that the parting of the ways occurred, with rivers that no longer flowed into the same ocean up until the nineteenth. Economic and social structures in Europe prepared the way for the scientific and technical revolution, while in China the "celestial bureaucracy" refused entrepreneurship, innovation, and change. Along with economic and social structures, there came some would say that they are dependent on them - moral attitudes and new values.

Modern science is not content merely to substitute one model of knowledge for another (mathematics and experimentation for perception by the senses), but sets up a conception of the world in which the capacity for action is directly linked to speculative knowledge. It is from this angle that the rationality of Western science is the opposite of that of traditional science, whose influence is still present in most developing countries, especially in Asia. For instance, it has been shown why the world view found in traditional India could not have produced natural sciences in the sense understood in the West since Galileo [65]. The principle underpinning ayurvedic science in fact is that of law, and deals with rites and legends; its action depends on doing things in the ways stipulated in the traditional texts and not at all on research into causes that then leads to changes in the way things are done and to technical progress. Scholarly medical treatments in Asia seem to be outside history, ignoring the idea of change over time; they have links with the divine world and divination that can be traced back to the earliest sacred texts, providing complete responses from the outset. The principle behind the application of these treatments cannot be extended to have universal applicability, whereas for Western science, the constant search for and identification of causes lead to discoveries and innovations whose effects can be universally reproduced.

The complementarily of rationalities

The universality and the universalization of science are postulates of scientific thinking as it was formed in the classical period and developed in the course of industrialization. Indeed, these postulates were adopted by nonuniversalist cultures for reasons that have less to do with the definition of scientific research than with the power of economic-military-industrial complexes [57, 41]. Yet, although the operational power of modern science provided European imperialism with a means of unprecedented efficacy, the universality postulated by modern science did not (and could not) thereby make Western civilization universal. The desire for knowledge is truly universal no matter what form the knowledge may take. However, the universality of scientific knowledge in the Western sense affects only the network formed and developed by the adoption of the model of scientific institutions- from structures of education, training, and research to social and political institutions - that was created in Europe.

It is therefore easy to appreciate the limits and too often the failures of certain experiments in modernization conducted at headlong speed without regard for the economic, social, or cultural realities of the societies in which they were being conducted; the utilization of science and technology cannot be reduced to the insertion of knowledge or know-how, techniques, and methods into a social fabric that is unprepared. This fact underlies the equivocal nature (for some the illusion) of the notion of "technology transfer," a transfer that involves much more than the movement of a physical object from one place to another. Transfers of technology require the preparation of education, management, and production structures appropriate to the mastery of the production of knowledge and know-how themselves.

Do such structures have to be identical to those that produced modern science in Western countries? Not necessarily, given the example of Japan, where the Meiji "Restoration" led to the political decision to import the European scientific and technical model. The initiation into, and the rapid mastery of, Western scientific thinking came about not in terms of a rejection of a Japanese approach, but rather as its fulfilment. What distinguishes Japan from the European speculative heritage that dates back to ancient Greece is an attitude to science defined more in terms of its ability to produce practical applications rather than in terms of its purely scientific creative power. It is obvious that Japan never tried to follow the West blindly; instead, it tried to incorporate into its own system only those elements that would be of advantage in its task of modernization. This prudent and selective process of learning is often referred to as wakon yosai, meaning "Japanese spirit and Western learning" [15, 16].

The international network of scientists trained in the same institutions of higher learning and research, speaking the same language and publishing in the same journals, meeting one another periodically in the same places for colloquia and conferences, is indeed based upon the shared language, methods, and results of a universal scientific community in the Western sense. For a researcher, the notion of belonging to the extended community of science is highly significant and supportive. But this international network of science, in much the same way as the airline routes, is not universal in the sense that absolutely everyone can join in: belonging to the network is not the same as sharing in the conceptual framework that gave rise to that network. From this viewpoint, the "universality" of modern science is illusory.

It is not enough to rely upon the universal methods of science and technology in order to reproduce a model of development based on a tradition, history, and reality alien to that of most developing countries. What has been written about India in the aftermath of Independence is equally applicable to many other cases: "Science has grown as an oasis in an environment which, if not antagonistic, is also not sympathetic to it, with the majority of people steeped in superstitions and traditionalism of which many of the leading scientists are also victims" [45, p. 94]. It may appear obvious that one of the major aims of any development process must be to acknowledge science and technology as crucial elements in social and cultural life. But this is much easier said than done, and it is not surprising that Nehru and subsequent Indian leaders have constantly fought to spread the "scientific temper" among the vast population of the subcontinent.

At the same time, this does not mean dismissing sciences based on a different rationality from that of Western science, particularly since these have ceased to be strange and exotic in the West. They are thriving even in the midst of the scientific establishment, as is clear from the way that the teaching of acupuncture has spread in Western medical schools, or from the return to herbal remedies and "soft" technologies. The criticism of Western medicine for offering "aggressive" treatments and drugs, which do not respect the "harmony" of the balance between the psyche and the some, is another example of a cultural transfer from East to West. The range of rationalities needs to be recognized by stressing the way they complement one another, rather than setting them against each other. Nor is their coexistence neutral: it leads to positive interactions, and it is well known that non-Western medicine can have beneficial effects on cases of chronic and functional disorders.

For the health services of developing countries, this complementarity in fact accords with social necessity. In Asia, the popular medicine provided by herbalists, soothsayers, spirit mediums, Taoist or Buddhist priests carries on alongside scholarly traditional medicine practiced by people trained in recognized schools and hospitals [17, 29]. This scholarly medicine is supported by the World Health Organization, because its usefulness is all the greater in that Western medicine is costly, beyond the reach of the majority, and impossible to provide in country areas. Moreover, the two styles of medicine do not merely complement each other in providing treatments, but also in research, with studies combining traditional remedies and modern chemotherapy techniques. Since the 1970s, in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, publications on traditional Chinese medicine (kanpo) have enjoyed a tremendous boom, and it is not uncommon for a Japanese doctor trained in Western methods to practise kanpo at the same time, just as there are acupuncturists who increase the effectiveness of the needles by passing an electric current through them.

Yet, one must recognize that these transfers of practices from East to West are examples closer to what might be called "soft technologies" than to the technologies represented by the giant scientific complexes that are the mainstay of advanced physics and biology. The coexistence of different systems of rationality refers to institutions and practices from different levels, and what is valid for medicine, still more an art than a science, and even more so for the social sciences, may not be applicable to the "hard" part of scientific research. At the same time, within industrialized countries, the growing awareness of the social costs of the process of industrialization and the related threats faced by the environment leads some to question the foundations of Western rationality. Thus the coexistence of rationalities demands reflection not only on the limits to knowledge that does not meet the criteria of modern science, but also on the limits encountered by the very application of this kind of rationality. Even modern science, which based its claims to universality on the association of knowledge and power, is rediscovering that it is necessary to pay heed to the gap between knowledge and wisdom.

The search for new paths that would provide a legitimate and more viable framework for the pursuit of alternative development strategies requires a change in the perspective from which the concepts of "development" and "progress" are viewed. Despite its unquestionable achievements, the Western scientific-technological culture cannot be considered as the universal model to be imitated by the developing countries. A more ecumenical perception of the processes of development and progress is required, in which the potentialities of the many cultures that are part of the developing countries have to be revalued and appreciated, particularly if one tries to visualize what could be achieved through a harmonious integration of their cultural heritage with modern science. There have been many discussions on the question of whether it is possible to evolve a Latin American, Islamic, Asian, or African science, in contrast with the universal character of modern Western science that would not admit local variants. In a sense, this debate is an outgrowth of the much wider (and long-standing) debate between the "internalist" and "externalist" schools of thought in the history of science, which respectively attribute the main driving force of science to causes internal to the scientific enterprise and to the social context of science [51].

It is clear that the rate and direction of scientific progress is affected by considerations both external and internal to the conduct of scientific activities. If science is to be integrated with the cultures of the developing countries, so as to lead to the growth of science and technology capabilities, it is necessary to pay more attention to the factors that confer on science a local flavour and condition the necessity of its being combined with the cultural heritage of the developing countries. For instance, the process of identifying, selecting, and formulating problems so they would be amenable to attack through scientific research is clearly influenced by economic, social, political, and cultural factors. And while the choice of an individual research project may be more affected by considerations closely linked to the conduct of scientific research, the overall thrust of the scientific effort of a given nation is clearly conditioned by the general context in which science is inserted. The postulation of hypotheses and the building of theories to be tested are also influenced by broader considerations of a cultural character. This is a process where creativity finds room for expression, and where there is room for the modes and habits of thought that characterize different cultures to manifest themselves. Finally, the process of testing and verifying hypotheses must allow for the possibility of independent corroboration, and should comprehend rigorous comparison of the hypotheses - and the predictions derived from them - with the actual behavior of the phenomena under scrutiny. This aspect of the scientific process is obviously the least amenable to the introduction of local considerations, and verification methods should, at least as an ideal, be truly universal.

This shows that a "local flavour" can be imparted to the conduct of science through the first stages of problem identification and formulation of hypotheses, and that in the stage of verification it becomes necessary to acknowledge the universal character of the scientific enterprise. And thus it is possible to orient the growth of science or at least an important part of a "national" scientific enterprise in the developing countries in directions that would respond more to the local conditions and problems and take into account their cultural heritage, while at the same time maintaining the crucial aspects of methodology and subsequent universality that are essential for the conduct of modern science. Indeed, furthering scientific knowledge and (all the more) mastering technological change make up a social process in which individuals and groups make choices about the allocation of extremely scarce resources. There is the saying: "Tell me who you know, and I will tell you who you are." When it comes to development and the uses of, as well as the support for, scientific and technological resources, this can be rephrased: "Tell me what you are researching and which innovations appeal to you, and I'll tell you what you really care about."


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(introductory text...)

Nasser Pakdaman

After the Second World War, academic economics began to tackle the problem of how to deal effectively with the poverty and destitution that weighed upon two-thirds of the human race. Development economics is "a comparatively young area of inquiry. . . born about a generation ago" [27, p. 372] "[It] did not arise as a formal theoretical discipline, but was fashioned as a practical subject in response to the needs of policymakers to advise governments on what could and should be done to allow their countries to emerge from chronic poverty" [47].

Its birth occurred in an unusual historical context and under the decisive influence of a range of political and cultural factors. The historical background was the aftermath of the Second World War, whose end led to optimism that new forms of international cooperation and solidarity would be effective in resolving the problems of "backward" countries and regions and would create new opportunities in this regard. The disintegration of the colonial empires as a result of movements for national independence brought to prominence a new factor that hitherto - like the Third Estate in pre-Revolutionary France - had been "nothing" but now wanted to become, if not "everything," at least "something." "To become something" expressed a desire or an intention to bring about change that can be found underlying all the plans for development conceived by those parts of the planet later labelled by Alfred Sauvy as "the Third World" [61]. The development of this "neglected, exploited and despised" world, to quote Sauvy, was a very important international cause for concern, "a major problem that should fill the next half-century, and perhaps the one after that as well, provided that no serious accident occurs to give a new twist to the conflict between the two power blocs" [60].

It was against this background that the problems of development acquired far greater urgency than ever before and attracted the attention of economists. This is also the impression given by reading the accounts of the "pioneers in development," who were drawn from all sorts of backgrounds and for all sorts of reasons to study the problems of underdevelopment at that time [47].

Pioneers in development

In the post-war period, orthodox economics still had no interest in the problems of growth and in what occurred in the long term, so that W.A. Lewis could write in 1955 that "the last great book covering this wide range was John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy, published in 1848," adding, "after this economists grew wiser; they were too sensible to try to cover such an enormous field in a single volume, and they even abandoned parts of the subject altogether, as being beyond their competence" [40].

There has been a tendency to think of economics as a discipline founded by the classical school, and rounded out and perfected by the neoclassical school. The contribution of other economists to the shaping of the discipline tends to be presented as marginal, secondary, if not actually insignificant. Nevertheless, the success of Keynesian analysis meant that orthodox economics was forced to acknowledge the existence of Keynes's followers and the "new economics" they proposed. "Mainstream" economics thus split into two: orthodoxy and its concomitant heresy, with everything supposedly belonging to either the neoclassical or the Keynesian school.

As in any polarized situation, the two protagonists had a common interest in defending the validity of this dichotomy and denying that other views had any great significance or even existed. However, matters are not so clear-cut in practice, and if ever there was a branch of economics that managed to develop quite independently of the two main schools, it is development economics. Indeed, the problems of development must be analysed over the long run, i.e. in the time span where, as Alfred Marshall said, "real life begins" - or in which we shall all be dead, to quote Keynes's famous remark.

It is true that "development economics took advantage of the unprecedented discredit orthodox economics had fallen into as a result of the depression of the 1930s" and the victory of the Keynesian revolution [27, p. 375]. Nevertheless, development economics did not grow out of "new economics." The problems of development relate to the problems of change, i.e. they arise only in the long term and moreover require an interdisciplinary approach - but neither the neoclassical nor the Keynesian school provided appropriate conceptual tools for this purpose, as is clear from the writings of the "pioneers" [47]. Some of the early development economists were familiar with Keynes's ideas and those of his circle, but they did not consider themselves Keynesians. Several writers tried to adopt a Keynesian approach to the problems of development, one of the first and most famous being Kurt Mandelbaum [44]. But the relevance of Keynesian concepts for underdeveloped economies was already being questioned in the years immediately after the Second World War [53].

Among the "non-Keynesians," W.W. Rostow explained that a study of economic history made him aware of the narrowness of the neoclassical approach and led him to develop a "Marshallian long period," taking account of the contribution of social, political, and technological factors in real life [47]. Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, having parted company with the marginalist analysis, was forced to abandon the Marshallian theory of static equilibrium and to acknowledge the virtues of interventionism in order to devise a strategy for tackling poverty in the less advanced countries of southern and south-eastern Europe. He himself described the starting-point of his thinking about development in terms of a motto: in economics, "Nature does make a jump," which is the opposite of Marshall's belief that "Nature does not make a jump" (Natura non facit saltum). This led to the formulation of the well-known theory of the "big push," whereby "backward" economies needed a development strategy based on a kick-start to set in motion the "disequilibrium growth process."

The insignificance of the contribution of the neoclassical school to the emergence of development economics has been acknowledged by one of its most prominent representatives, Gottfried Haberler. He explained this in terms of "the decline of liberalism": "a sharp decline. . . started with the onset of the Great Depression of the 1930s (or possibly earlier- the precise date does not matter)" and reached its low point after the Second World War, when ´'faith in liberalism, in free markets and in free enterprise was probably at its lowest point since the early 19th century." He therefore argued that it was because economic liberalism had become discredited that the neoclassical school failed to make any real contribution to the creation of development economics (in Meier [46]).

In order to identify the sources of development economics, we must therefore look instead to economists who worked outside mainstream economics. The problems of development have been a central concern for several branches of the subject. W.A. Lewis notes that "the theory of economic development established itself in Britain in the century and a half running from about 1650 to Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (1776)." Lewis defines development theory as "those parts of economics that play crucial roles when one tries to analyze the growth of the economy as a whole," and he demonstrates

how much of modern development theory was already available in the year 1776.... This was quite a good beginning, that gave us the constraints imposed on growth by the agricultural surplus, or foreign exchange, or saving. Also we had Say's Law, the "Quantity Theory of Money", inflation, continual unemployment, entrepreneurship as a separate factor of production, the theory of bank credit, human capital and the incidence of taxes. Just ahead of us, in the first half of the 19th century, would come the law of diminishing returns, the law of comparative cost, the theories of population and of land tenure. After that, interest in development theory would almost die out until the theoretical explosion of the 1950s and after. (in Chenery and Srinivasan [12])

Amartya Sen also stresses the importance of development problems to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century writers:

Indeed, in the early contributions to economics, development economics can hardly be separated from the rest of economics, since so much of economics was, in fact, concerned with problems of economic development. This applies not only to Petty's writings, but also to those of the other pioneers of modern economics, including Gregory King, François Quesnay, Antoine Lavoisier, Joseph Louis Lagrange and even Adam Smith. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was, in fact, also an inquiry into the basic issues of development economics. (in Chenery and Srinivasan [12])

The quality and importance of the contributions of pre-classical economists to the problems of development should not, however, make us neglect those of the German school or of Marx. The study of actual economic change in order to identify the mechanisms and the types, "stages," "periods," and "phases" was one of the main preoccupations of the German historical school, which consequently introduced into its analysis a notion of relativity in the "laws" of evolution. and adopted a multidisciplinary approach [28].

As for Marx's contribution, Schumpeter maintains that "development" is "the central theme" in the general schema of Marx's thinking [62]. Indeed, one of the first instances of the term "development" occurs in Marx, in a passage in the preface to the first German edition of Das Kapital, dated 25 July 1867, that suggests a special view of historical evolution: in order to forestall the criticisms of German readers who might question why he used England "as the chief illustration in the development of [his] theoretical ideas," Marx stressed that "it is not a question. . . of the higher or lower degree of development of the social antagonisms that result from the natural laws of capitalist production. It is a question of these laws themselves, of these tendencies working with iron necessity towards inevitable results. The country that is more developed industrially only shows, to the less developed, the image of its own future" [45, p. 1718]. As regards his methods of investigation, in his afterword to the second German edition of Das Kapital (1873), Marx referred approvingly to one of his critics, who had described the way he applied these methods:

The one thing that is of moment to Marx, is to find the law of the phenomena with whose investigation he is concerned; and not only is that law of moment to him, which governs these phenomena, in so far as they have a definite form and mutual connexion within a given historical period. Of still greater moment to him is the law of their variation, of their development, i.e. of their transition from one form into another, from one series of connexions into a different one. This law once discovered, he investigates in detail the effects in which it manifests itself in social life. [45]

Among the first to be concerned with the problems of development were colonial authorities and those living under colonial rule. The former were mainly interested in "colonial development." It is not just coincidence that the first occurrence of the expression "economic development" is found in an essay written in Australia in 1861 on "the manufactures most immediately required for the economic development of the resources of the colony" [5] Henceforth, investigation of the development/colonization/exploitation of colonial regions became the principal task of a new discipline, colonial economics, concerned above all with maintaining the status quo in "an essentially static world" [47], as well as with problems of foreign trade and overseas markets. The spirit and the concerns of colonial economics are well illustrated by British legislation, such as the Colonial Development Act (1928) and the Colonial Development and Welfare Act (1938).

Colonial economics could not avoid examining the reasons for the differences observed between the situation of the colonies and that of the mother countries, or saying something about the timeliness and the chances of success of measures (already taken or required) aimed at solving the problems of the "backward" countries. As a consequence, the unity of economics was challenged, and doubts were raised about the universal validity of the concepts and the analytical tools provided by "Western" economics. From early in this century, there are instances here and there of people stressing the insurmountable differences between two types of social and economic organization, and the uneasy coexistence of two distinct social and economic systems, one imported and imposed by the colonial power, the other belonging to the "native" population. A dualist theory was first formulated before the First World War, while starting in the 1930s there were references to differences in socio-economic "structures" as the main reason for the polarization of colonial societies and economies [9, 10]

The colonial approach was based on an ethnocentric viewpoint and a belief in Western supremacy, which in itself showed the "backward" countries the direction they should be going in order to achieve Salvation: they must take the West as their model. At the same time, it was understood the West should take responsibility for and even actively implement this global scheme of social, economic, and cultural emulation. There thus arose a "development strategy" based on Westernization as a first version of what was to be thought of later as "modernization." l he civilizing role of the developed world was even stressed in official documents: the League of Nations Pact of 28 June 1919 used the term "development" five times in its article 22 in talking about "peoples who are not yet able to run their own affairs themselves in the particularly difficult conditions of the modern world." "The welfare and the development of these peoples are a sacred mission of civilization." "The developed nations are entrusted with the supervision of these peoples." The conditions and the precise manner in which this supervision would operate depended on the degree of development of the people and the communities concerned [15]. It justified putting "under international mandate" countries that in fact were under the rule of a single nation.

It should be remembered that, already in the nineteenth century, there was persistent questioning in the "communities concerned" as to the reasons political, economic, cultural, etc. - for the "lag" behind the "advanced" countries, and a variety of answers were given to explain their state of political and economic subjugation, as well as to suggest swift, efficient, and lasting solutions that would get them out of poverty and decline [8]. "How to achieve economic development?" and "What should be done in order to catch up?" were the main preoccupations of the colonial world. The responses were diverse, but all of them made industrialization the key element in any development strategy, since that had been the critical factor in revolutionizing the West and generating its economic growth. For proof, one has only to read the passionate debates stimulated by plans to set up a bank, build a railway, to exploit mineral resources in countries such as Iran, Egypt, or in the Ottoman Empire. It was no coincidence that Sun Yat-sen published a book in 1922 on the international development of China, in which he set out an impressive programme for the country's economic development [5]. It would be easy to find other examples in other parts of the colonial world, indicating the same concerns with combating poverty and promoting progress.

By the interwar period, everyone believed that industry was more important than agriculture: you had to have begun to industrialize in order to have an industrial revolution. This craze for industrialization, explained by some observers as ultimately derived from the theories of Saint-Simon, was apparent in the discussions at conferences, from Baku in 1920 to Bandung in 1956, gathering together representatives of countries rebelling against the colonial status quo. One example must suffice here. Among the resolutions following the Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi (23 March-2 April 1947) attended by the representatives of about 30 countries, points 4 and 5 dealt with the transition from a colonial to a national economy, the problems arising from "the development of a national economy" and "agricultural reform and industrial development." Point 5 included the statement that "the real criterion for Asian independence will . . . depend on the capacity of Asia to achieve a substantial level of industrialization" (in Queuilles [55]).

The new discipline of development economics was thus created where several points of view came together, all of which had some impact upon it: those wishing to identify the laws of economic evolution, others seeking to build a new and better world, others trying to maintain colonial regimes, and yet others trying to throw off colonial rule. Although development economics was not entirely a product of the post-war period, it was none the less strongly influenced by the atmosphere of the Cold War [22] and decolonization, Western ethnocentrism and the emergence of new sovereign states in the third world seeking "good advice."

The discipline develops

Since the years following the Second World War, development economics has continued to evolve in a climate of optimism and confidence, sometimes arrogantly and aggressively, and often with doubt and depression. We therefore find today a range of different and frequently contradictory arguments based on the shared concerns of a particular school of thinking or a particular body of problems. To gain an insight into the distance that has been covered since the war, it is interesting to observe the changing contents of successive editions of handbooks on development, such as Meier [46], or even better to compare a "textbook" written in the early 1950s with a more recent one. Alternatively, one might look at the accounts by development economists of their experiences in recent decades, such as the two volumes produced at the instigation of the World Bank on "the pioneers on development" [47, 46]. Fifteen such "pioneers" were asked to make a critical examination of their own working hypotheses, concepts, analytical tools, advice, and policy recommendations. Contributions came from P.T. Bauer, C. Clark, C. Furtado, G. Haberler, A.C. Harberger, A.O. Hirschman, W.A. Lewis, H. Myint, G. Myrdal, R. Prebisch, P.N. Rosenstein-Rodan , W. W. Rostow, T.W. Schultz, H.W. Singer, and J. Tinbergen. Each essay is followed by comments from one or more younger economists, so that in all, 23 currently active economists offer their critical assessment of the work of the "pioneers." It was hoped that these studies would provide an exceptional opportunity for a review of what had happened to development economics since its early days.

This type of study invites the usual remarks about the selection and the representativeness of the sample and the reasons for notable absences. For example, one may reasonably wonder why no French speaking economists were included (such as C. Bettelheim, R. Dumont, F. Perroux, or A. Sauvy), nor any of the many African and Asian specialists in the field, such as those who took part in the planning efforts in India after Independence. The result is a somewhat incomplete picture of the pioneer age, with very few "local" representatives. Were they not concerned about their own development, or is this another example of (Anglo-Saxon) ethnocentricity? Or are those third world economists right who consider studying development within the social sciences as yet another "product of the West," "an outsider's view of our development, in particular from the countries that once ruled us" (Goonatilake quoted in [8])?

The literature on development economics has been so rich and various that numerous attempts have naturally been made to classify it (e.g. Hirschman [27], Dockès and Rosier [19]) or to present it in historical and analytical terms (Roxborough [58], Kitching [36], Harris [25], Stern [72], Oman and Wignaraja [49]), but these still leave the reader pondering on the absences and oversights, or the reasons why a given author has been classed under one heading rather than another. This situation is partly a product of the way that development economics has evolved.

The subject has grown up in different continents simultaneously, across many cultures and at different levels related to the problems encountered, the differing schools of economic thought, and the models of society created by or for the developing countries. These levels were clearly not independent of one another; on the contrary, the many links that were forged among them helped strengthen the multifaceted character of development economics. As regards the problems encountered, in both development theories and discussions about policy choices, there was a gradual shift away from a purely economic approach in favour of a more interdisciplinary one.

The first formulations of the "problématique" of development focused on capital formation, seeing that as the engine of economic growth. Lack of capital was the distinctive feature of low-income economies that relied heavily on low-productivity agriculture. How could they be transformed into industrialized economies with high incomes? The answer was simple and categoric: investment. But how and where was the capital to come from? According to W.A. Lewis,

the central problem in the theory of economic development is to understand the process by which a community which was previously saving and investing 4 or 5 per cent of its national income or less, converts itself into an economy where voluntary saving is running at about 12 to 15 per cent of national income or more. This is the central problem because the central fact of economic development is rapid capital accumulation (including knowledge and skills with capital). We cannot explain any "industrial" revolution (as the historians pretend to do) until we can explain why saving increased relatively to national income. [40]

The necessary capital would be found either through the free operation of the foreign exchange market, which would attract foreign capital, especially public or private aid, to the underdeveloped countries; and/or through the interventionist policies of the state in planning the national economy and mobilizing "hidden" resources in order to achieve an increase in national income.

The first argument was proposed by the neoclassicists, but in the post-war years it was the second argument that tended to influence the design of development policies. Industrialization offered the key to growth and was presented as the main hope of most poor countries hoping to raise their incomes. This policy of industrialization whether aimed at achieving "balanced'? [48] or "unbalanced" [26] growth, whether conducted via a "big push" [57] or via "growth poles" [52] or via the choice of "industrializing industries" [18] - concerned above all the domestic market, where it was expected to satisfy existing demand for "modern" products, previously met by imported goods manufactured abroad. Import substitute industrialization was thus meant to bring about growth in developing countries by creating a modern industrial sector that would replace imports with locally made goods. It was argued that the benefits would "trickle down" to reach all parts of society, and in consequence the implementation of such development policies did not require any political or social transformations to the status quo. As regards strands of economic thinking, these first attempts at formulating the problématique of development economics were supported by the structuralists, the institutionalists, and the proponents of the dualist approach in short, groups outside the orthodox camp.

The neoclassicists - the orthodox camp - argued that market forces unfailingly provided the engine of economic growth: the interplay of supply and demand in both domestic and international markets would ensure economic success. The market was seen as a tool of social and economic management, and as such was thought to be the most efficient way of making decisions about the optimal allocation of available resources. The free marketeers, who were extremely critical of the interventionist and protectionist positions of the structuralists and institutionalists, thought that opening up to world markets could only bring benefits to third world countries, as suggested by Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage or the improved versions of it proposed by Heckscher and Ohlin. Theories like that of Jacob Viner [78] argued that, through trade, the growth occurring in the advanced countries would be transmitted to the developing ones. Full integration into world markets therefore became the key aim of every development strategy, and nothing would be spared to achieve it.

This choice had enormous consequences: economic development would be promoted by free enterprise and not the state; laissez-faire would replace all attempts at planning, and the main policy emphasis, instead of import substitution, would be on encouraging exports. Third world countries therefore ought to stick to exporting raw materials and should do everything to expand production of these commodities, while waiting patiently for growth to be transmitted to them from outside.

This idyllic vision of the world economy was vigorously challenged by all those who argued that international economic relations were shaped by mechanisms of domination, submission, and dependency. As early as 1948 François Perroux offered an analysis in terms of domination of the world economy, which he argued was divided into dominant (firms, countries, or regions) and dominated elements, with the former having an extremely uneven impact on the latter [52]. The notion of general and mutual interdependence offered by the neoclassical theory of general equilibrium was therefore replaced by a notion of "the dynamics of inequality" arising from and maintained by the dominant forces.

The centre and the periphery

At the same time, quite independently of one another, Raul Prebisch [54] and Hans Singer [70] highlighted the issue of worsening terms of trade for the developing countries. They argued that international trade worked against third world countries that relied on exporting primary products and importing manufactured goods. It was not a matter of mutual benefit, as the neoclassical theory maintained, but of an unfair transfer of economic gains. For Prebisch and his colleagues at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), the world economy was made up of two different and separate entities - the centre and the periphery - and the nature of their relations tended constantly to reproduce the conditions of underdevelopment and to widen the gap between developed and underdeveloped countries.

This was the first formulation, inspired by the structuralists, of a new paradigm of development: dependency. The underdeveloped countries were part of a network of international economic relations in which the industrialized countries, favoured by their position at the centre and by their early technical progress, organized the system as a whole to serve their own interests. The producers and exporters of raw materials were thus linked with the centre as a function of their natural resources, thereby forming a vast and heterogeneous periphery incorporated in the system in different ways and to different extents, depending largely on their resources and their economic and political capacity for mobilizing them. According to Prebisch,

this fact was of the greatest importance, since it conditioned the economic structure and dynamism of each country - that is the rate at which technical progress could penetrate and the economic activities such progress would engender. Similarly this system. . . exaggerated the degree to which income in the periphery was siphoned off by the centers. Moreover, the penetration and propagation of technical progress in the countries of the periphery was too slow to absorb the entire labor force in a productive manner. Thus the concentration of technical progress and its fruits in economic activities oriented towards exports became characteristic of a heterogeneous social structure in which a large part of the population remained on the sidelines of development. (in Meier and Seers [47])

Dependency theory marked a radical departure in development thinking: henceforth, underdevelopment was thought to be an inescapable consequence of the world economic system, and to analyse it required that all the links of dependency between the periphery and the centre be taken into account. Any development strategy that hoped to be efficient should therefore make the restructuring of the world economic order its principal goal.

More radical versions of dependency theory were proposed by Marxist economists and sociologists. In his analysis of the political economy of development, Paul Baran [6] uses the concept of economic surplus, defined as the difference between production and consumption. In every society, two main types of economic surplus are found: actual, which is the difference between current production and consumption; and potential, which is the difference between the potential production of a given economy and what is considered its "basic consumption." According to Baran, much of the potential surplus remains unexploited in the capitalist developing countries, while much of the actual surplus is transferred to the industrialized countries. The capitalist world is made up of two organically interlinked parts, the development of the one being the reason for the underdevelopment of the other. The relations between the developed and underdeveloped parts (i.e. Prebisch's centre and periphery) prevent any chance of normal capitalist development in the underdeveloped countries.

In its radical versions, dependency theory is an extension of Marx, taking further the Marxist analysis of imperialism, of the dynamics of advanced capitalism or the characteristics of different types of development in social structures that have a "backward" sector. Underdevelopment is thus taken to be an inescapable concomitant of the laws of unequal development inherent in the capitalist system, and it arises from the way the capitalist mode of production in the dominant countries interacts with pre-capitalist or semicapitalist modes in the dominated economies. The links between the centre and the periphery create and maintain underdevelopment and at the same time constantly exacerbate the disparities between the two parts of the system - which in turn fosters underdevelopment. Arghiri Emmanuel [20] argues that the economic relations between the centre and the periphery are based on principles of unequal exchange, and this thereby both overturns the theory of comparative advantage and provides decisive arguments in favour of dependency theory. Samir Amin [2] argues that, mainly because of the transfer of the surplus from the periphery to the centre, capital accumulation now occurs at the world and not the national level.

According to the radical exponents of dependency theory, the solutions to underdevelopment lie not in partial efforts to reform the system but in severing the bonds of dependency, then embarking upon various types of self-reliant development. A clean break with the capitalist world system is thus the main prerequisite in the struggle against underdevelopment, and countries must choose a completely different approach in order to put such problems behind them forever [3].

The virulence of the criticisms, the messianic tone, and the simplicity of the message expounded by the dependency school made their ideas very popular with some peripheral countries and were seen by the countries of the centre as an essential part of the prevailing third world ideology. In social science, there was also interest in other forms of dependency: e.g. political dependency [21] and dependent societies [74]. All in all, dependency theory generated considerable debate [64, 11, 8].

Another version of the strategy involving a clean break with capitalism must be mentioned so as to put all the schools of this period in a fair historical perspective: that produced by Soviet writers as part of the theory of non-capitalist development. This started life at the conference of 81 communist parties meeting in Moscow in November 1960 and became the main argument of the Soviet position on development in the 1970s [4]. The non-capitalist approach meant rejecting capitalism as a system and making a commitment to creating the material basis for a socialist society. This meant taking decisive steps against imperialism, capitalism, and feudalism, with an "attack" on major representatives of domestic and foreign capital, nationalization of the main means of production, the creation of a state sector, and the implementation of "radical" land reform. In fact, in order ultimately to achieve its economic goals, the strategy should start with certain political measures: the removal of "pro-imperialist forces" and the establishment of a policy of cooperation with the socialist bloc countries [71]. In the final analysis, implementation of this policy of cooperation constitutes the only valid indicator of success in carrying out such a strategy of non-capitalist development! After the implosion of the communist world, nobody knows what aftermath, if any, these notions of development may turn out to have.

Questioning and crises

It seemed a propitious moment, nearly 20 years after the first development programmes and plans were launched, to take preliminary stock of the results achieved thanks to the studies and advice provided by development economists. Three conclusions were drawn.

First, development did not always occur, and instead there were often disappointments and surprises. In the search for the miracle solution to the problems of underdevelopment, policies were changed too frequently (see, as a by no means exceptional example, the description of the successive development policies applied in Pakistan in an effort to keep up with the latest fashion: Haq [24]). The first disillusionments did not manage to dispel entirely the belief that miracle solutions existed, and the hunt for the developmental philosopher's stone was doggedly pursued. Nevertheless, every change of fashion drew attention to a new aspect of the complexity of the problems of underdevelopment.

Second, there is no miracle solution for generating development, which in any case cannot be achieved through the automatic workings of a set of economic variables and indices. Reality is not in the least like that, as is proved by the way that, where incomes did rise, the benefits did not spread evenly - instead, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer. The vaunted "trickle-down effect," so eagerly awaited, did not in fact occur.

Third, development is not accurately reflected in statistics in national accounts (e.g. gross national product or per capita national income), and it is not possible to monitor progress by such means. Other indicators besides growth in per capita income must be selected and examined.

This stocktaking led to a gradual broadening of the field studied by development economics, illustrated by a whole series of efforts to look critically at what was known and to extend it, as well as to take into account less purely economic aims in development strategies. This shift can be seen clearly in the various proposals made by international organizations and certain non-governmental organizations as they tried to define the goals of development policies. In 1969, the International Labour Office (ILO) launched its World Employment Programme, which gave priority to efforts to combat unemployment in all development strategies in the third world. In the early 1970s the World Bank announced its preference for "redistribution with growth" [13] as the only way to achieve equitable development. The second United Nations Development Decade, the 1970s, stressed "employment-oriented" development strategies that, with help from the prevailing populist tendencies, provided a good moment to revive the concept of "hidden unemployment," now renamed "the informal sector" and deemed likely to act as the engine of new types of development [69, 36, 51, 16]. The fight against poverty, which had been the prime mission of all development planners in countries like India in the early 1960s, also became a major concern of international organizations like the World Bank [80, 24]; the ILO, at its world conference on employment in 1976, adopted the strategy of "satisfying basic needs" [31]. According to the ILO's director-general, basic needs include not just material items like shelter, food, clothing and essential community services like supplies of drinking water, public health measures, public transport and education, but also non-material needs such as human rights, a job, and a share in decision-making.

Such attempts continue unabated, with each one highlighting new aspects of development problems that require attention: an alternative development strategy should be "need-oriented, endogenous, self-reliant, ecologically sound and based on the transformation of social structures" [17]. Unesco encouraged "endogenous development" that respected the cultural identity and lifestyles of each society [1]. Another, supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, sought to establish a "new world economic order," less hostile to the interacts of developing countries and more in line with their development requirements. As we shall see in Ignacy Sachs's chapter in this volume, the theme of "sustainable development" was put forward in the Brundtland Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development [79]. The Commission defined sustainable development as being development that meets present needs without compromising the capacity of future generations to satisfy their own needs. The final declaration of the Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992, in affirming that human beings are central to the concerns of sustainable development and that they therefore are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with Nature (Principle 1), was yet another instance of this new approach to development, looking to the future and being highly aware of the ecological and demographic problems of the Earth. This broadening of the field covered by development economics is also revealed in the "human development" reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), published every year from 1990 onwards.

These examples give some indication of the efforts to come to grips with a complex and multifaceted problem. Some features are unchanging (such as the deteriorating terms of trade for raw materials, poverty, or external domination, to mention only the economic ones), but there are also surprises, like the recent unexpected slowing of population growth in some countries in Asia, Latin America, North Africa, and the Middle East, the success of industrialization in the Far East with the emergence of the "little dragons," or the continually worsening position of the "least developed countries."

As the situation changes, things alter and disappear. Does "third world," associated as it is with the Cold War and the division of the world into two opposing blocs, have any meaning now? Some writers emphasize its diversity [82], or recognize its variety but are interested by what unites it [37], while others declare that it no longer exists [25]. The international organizations are now producing classifications based on new criteria and with more refined subgroups in an attempt to give a more accurate picture of the changed situation (see, for example, the World Bank's annual reports on world development from 1979 onwards, the UNCTAD reports on trade and development from 1981, or the ICSPS report published by Unesco in 1992).

The uneven pace of change, the resistance mechanisms, and the appalling problems of the developing world continue to stimulate and challenge development thinking. Each set-back is another clear refutation of the notion of miracle cures for underdevelopment, and each crisis offers a new occasion for finding and expressing serious doubts and reservations about elaborate claims for development. These criticisms, arising from disappointed hopes, poorly shouldered responsibilities, or disgust at instances of domination and repression, occur and recur according to a cyclical pattern. The amount of debate and its virulence are indeed one of the remarkable features of development economics. Each round of criticisms leads to new questioning, the formulation of new demands, and suggestions of new priorities.

During the 1980s major debates raged in many countries on the subject of development economics. In France, for example, criticism of "la vision tiers-mondiste" was accompanied by a declaration that development was finished [50]. Latouche wondered whether it would not be better simply to throw out development, on the grounds that it is the product of a technocratic attitude that considers only the economic aspects of the problem, whereas in fact underdevelopment results from the destruction of the cultural coherence of developing countries by the expansionist and imperialist forces of capitalism [38, 39]. In rejecting development that depends only on the solutions of economists and technocrats, that is based on copying other cultures and leads to the Westernization and acculturation of third world societies, Latouche is defending a historical and cultural approach that sees the solution to these countries' problems in a revival of their own cultural identity. Once their native cultural creativity is reestablished, they will be able to have an independent vision of their situation, identify their own problems, and find appropriate solutions for them (for a critical discussion of Latouche's views, see Kabou[34])

At the end of his preface to the volume on the "pioneers in development" published by the World Bank, G.M. Meier acknowledges that readers of these accounts might well wonder whether the efforts of the pioneers in fact led to the creation of a new branch of economics, and if so, what proportion of their contribution is still valid and insightful, which questions have remained unanswered, and lastly where development economics is heading now. Many development economists try hard to provide answers to such questions.

Hirschman on the discipline in decline

Albert Hirschman, both an observer and a long-time participant, has examined the causes of the rise and decline of development economics [27]. In a text that Amartya Sen has called "an obituary of development economics" [67], Hirschman suggests a typology of development theories based on two criteria: the monoeconomics claim (the belief that there is one form of economics that is valid everywhere for all time), and the mutual-benefit claim (the belief that reciprocal advantages are to be found in any bilateral relationship).

Using these two criteria, Hirschman distinguishes four types of development theory:

- orthodox neoclassical theories which believe in the universality of economics and reciprocity of benefits;

- neo-Marxist and dependency theories, which reject these two postulates;

- those based on "Marx's scattered thoughts on development of 'backward' and colonial areas," which accept monoeconomics but reject notions of mutual benefit; - development economics, which rejects the monoeconomics claim but accepts the mutual benefit one.

For Hirschman,

it is easy to see that the conjunction of the two propositions - (a) certain special features of the economic structure of the underdeveloped countries make an important portion of orthodox analysis inapplicable and misleading, and (b) there is a possibility for relations between the developed and underdeveloped countries to be mutually beneficial and for the former to contribute to the development of the latter- was essential for our subdiscipline to arise when and where it did: namely, in the advanced industrial countries of the West . . . at the end of the Second World War. [27, p. 3 7 5]

According to Hirschman, the first proposition was the prerequisite for creating a separate theoretical structure, and the second was needed "if Western economists were to take a strong interest in the matter."

Today, however, this "fledgling and far-from-unified subdiscipline" is in a state of crisis thanks to the impact of two factors: on the one hand, a double attack from both the Right and the Left; on the other, the succession of development disasters that have occurred in several third world countries. The right-wing attack, from the neoclassicists, criticized development policies for denying the "universal validity of economic laws" and consequently alleged they were the main reason for the misallocation of resources in underdeveloped countries. The left-wing attack (from neo-Marxists and dependency theorists) argued, among other things, that these "so-called development policies only created new forms of exploitation and 'dependency."' As for the disasters, these were "clearly somehow connected with the stresses and strains accompanying development and 'modernization,'" and they include everything "from civil war to the establishment of murderous authoritarian regimes."

In the climate created by these criticisms and political disasters, development economics switched from optimism to deep pessimism. There then followed "a Freudian act of displacement" in which, so as to make up for their anguish at the political situation, some specialists in development theory and practice attacked the weak points in the economic results. Both the political and economic balance sheets were disappointingly bad, so that Hirschman could write:

development economics started out as the spearhead of an effort that was to bring all-round emancipation from backwardness. If that effort is to fulfill its promise, the challenge posed by dismal politics must be met rather than avoided or evaded. By now it has become quite clear that this cannot be done by economics alone. It is for this reason that the decline of development economics cannot be fully reversed: our subdiscipline had achieved its considerable luster and excitement through the implicit idea that it could slay the dragon of backwardness virtually by itself or at least, that its contribution to this task was central. We now know that this is not so. [27, p. 387]

Seers on the death of the discipline

In his article on "the birth, life and death of development economics" [63], Dudley Seers goes even further. He too considers that development economics started in the 1950s, and traces its ancestry in part to colonial economics. The other part, according to Seers, was political opportunism with regard to the development of "backward" countries, on the part of both their own governments and the major capitalist countries, who saw in development an efficient means of fighting the communist threat.

Based on simplistic arguments, development "became increasingly identified with economic growth, as measured by the national income (defined according to Keynesian conventions)." The "developed" countries, seen as the social and political models, had high per capita incomes, so that high per capita income became both a necessary and sufficient condition for creating a welfare state with low unemployment. In order to raise incomes, what was needed was capital. There was general agreement, shared even by the Marxists, that the goal was higher incomes and that capital investment was the means of achieving it. This vision of development was strengthened by a range of innovations in economics and statistics (national accounts, growth models, development plans, etc.), and their elaboration and use became a prerequisite for success in implementing development strategies.

The force of circumstances and the complexity of the situation in practice soon led to disillusionment. Already in 1964, at a conference at Manchester University on "the teaching of development economics: its position in the present state of knowledge," serious doubts were expressed not only about the efficacity of approaches to development based on concepts such as economic growth, but also about the usefulness and appropriateness of neoclassical economics when applied to underdeveloped economies. Seers reminds us how these doubts, expressed more and more clearly, developed and ended up by discrediting the discipline as a whole: "development economics in the conventional sense has therefore proved much less useful than was expected in the vigorous optimism of its youth. In some circumstances, it may well have aggravated social problems if only by diverting attention from their real causes" [63, p. 712].

Seers's low opinion of what development economics had achieved is matched by unambiguous scepticism as to the discipline's chances of survival, which he considers slim for two reasons. For one thing, it has become clear that the economic aspects of development cannot be studied in isolation from the social, political, and cultural factors. A macroeconomic analysis of changes in consumption patterns cannot pretend to be exhaustive unless it is accompanied by a study of foreign cultural influences or the way they are transmitted. Secondly, contrary to the understanding of the term development economics in the 1950s and 1960s, the problems of development are no longer confined to the developing countries. According to Seers, recent changes in the "developed" world, especially since the oil shock of the early 1970s, show that there is no longer a distinct frontier between North and South. Consequently, development economics should be disposed of, and greater emphasis should be placed on the similarities rather than the differences between countries.

Thus development economics died young, after much suffering. "The history of economic thought shows that, in the end, irrelevant theoretical frameworks are discarded." Henceforth, "the logical future . . . is the study and teaching of development in a social and political as well as economic sense, with a wider geographical coverage and special emphasis on European development needs" [63, p.717].

Streeten: The dichotomies overcome

The reactions to these arguments were many and various. Paul Streeten believes that development theories suffer from not just one but several dichotomies, and if these are taken into account, it is possible to make other classifications that are closer to reality. In an article on "development dichotomies," reprinted as the conclusion of the Meier and Seers volume on the pioneers of development [47], Streeten discusses the typology proposed by Hirschman and argues that the theories of development, which at the outset were devised on the basis of broad generalizations and abstractions, as they are based increasingly on concrete examples, is becoming more precise and realistic. It is true that there is a wide range of development theories, but with time this diversity appears both relative and highly complex as it is realized that many of the South's problems are shared by the North, and that few problems are common to all the countries of the South. This diversity is not always an expression of a split in the discipline, dividing it into opposing camps, but may be rather the result of the fact that there are many possible solutions to every social problem. Seen from this angle, the dichotomies are not, as Hirschman believed, the reason for the inevitable decline of development economics, but are on the contrary a sign of its great richness and intellectual vitality.

It should also be stressed that these different theories of development are not always separated from one another by insurmountable barriers and that in many cases the diversity of theories hides the beginnings of convergence, in so far as the tools created by development economists prove useful and efficient in analysing developed economies, as has been the case, for example, with the application of structuralist theories to the study of inflation in the industrialized countries. According to Streeten, therefore, we are not witnessing the death of development economics but its transition "from the 'economics of a special case', viz. Third World economies, to a new global economics of shared problems, but with greater differentiation of approaches and analyses" [73, p. 886].

Thanks to these analytical methods, development economists should concentrate on building up three hitherto neglected aspects of their research:

- the historical dimension, so as to aid understanding of how things came to be what they are now;

- the global dimension, which would entail a study of international relations transcending national frontiers, of the interactions among the various national policies and the international system, and finally of "the alliances of interests across national boundaries";

- the "micro-micro" dimension, so called because it deals not only with what happens within a country, but also within the firm, the household, and "possibly within one individual, with conflicting desires." Of the three institutions - the public sector, the market, and the household - it is the last that has been the most neglected by economists.

Based on these areas of research and with attitudes favouring synthesis, development economics could yet usefully provide "imaginative but carefully worked out visions of alternative social possibilities" [73, p. 875].

Sen and the economics of "entitlement"

In a speech to the Development Studies Association in Dublin on 23 September 1982, Amartya Sen, too, discussed the questions raised by Hirschman and offered an assessment of development economics. In his view, the evaluation is far from negative: traditional development economics "has not been particularly unsuccessful in identifying the factors that lead to economic growth in developing countries" [67]. To achieve this growth, development economists prescribed a policy based on several major strategic themes: industrialization, rapid capital accumulation, mobilization of underemployed manpower, planning, and an economically active state.

A swift examination of the results of efforts at economic development in underdeveloped countries between 1960 and 1980 leads Sen to conclude that there is "still much relevance in the broad policy themes which traditional development economics has emphasized. The strategies have to be adapted to the particular conditions and to national and international circumstances," but these themes are not "rejectable" and "the time to bury traditional development economics has not yet arrived" [67, p. 753].

This position does not prevent Sen from recognizing the "real limitations" of this new discipline: in fact, "it has been less successful in characterising economic development." Here, the limits of development economics appear much more clearly; they arise "not from choice of means to the end of economic growth, but in the insufficient recognition that economic growth was no more than a means to some other objectives." In order to fill these gaps, Sen proposes a new definition of economic development:

Perhaps the most important thematic deficiency of traditional development economics is its concentration on national product, aggregate income and total supply of particular goods rather than on "entitlements" of people and the "capabilities" these entitlements generate. Ultimately, the process of economic development has to be concerned with what people can and cannot do, e.g. whether they can live long, escape avoidable morbidity, be well nourished, be able to read and write and communicate, take part in literary and cultural pursuits, and so forth. It has to do, in Marx's word, with 'replacing the domination of circumstances and chance over individuals by the domination of individuals over chance and circumstances." [67, p. 754]

For Sen, "entitlement" refers to "the set of commodity bundles that a person can command in a society using the totality of rights and opportunities that he or she faces" [67], which allow that person to acquire some capabilities and not others. The process of development can be seen as a process of expanding people's capabilities and entitlements. This study of entitlements should not cover just purely economic factors but should take into account the political arrangements "that affect people's actual abilities to command commodities, including food" [67]. Thus, here again, an examination of development economics reveals the need for a new definition, stressing the non-economic and above all the political aspects of development phenomena.

Lewis: A discipline in good health

Defining the aim and the contents of development economics was also the main concern of W.A. Lewis in his speech to the ninety-third congress of the American Economic Association in San Francisco on 29 October 1983 [41]. Examining the "state of development theory," he proposes a new definition of development economics as that branch of economics dealing with "the structure and behavior of economies where output per head is less than 1980 US$2000" [41]. The justification for making this a separate discipline lies in the need for analytical concepts and tools appropriate to the special problems of these economies.

These problems fall into two main categories: problems of resource allocation in the short term and of growth in the long term. With regard to the first category, the difference between the developed and underdeveloped economies is one of degree and not kind, since the same phenomena are found everywhere that the market, influenced by a variety of factors, no longer brings about the famous state of equilibrium. In these circumstances, prices no longer reflect accurately the trends in supply and demand, thus preventing a sound allocation of economic resources. Among the examples of market failure are where prices no longer reflect real social cost, where "the unregulated market constrains productive capacity," or where low elasticities of supply and demand coupled with low levels of stocks mean that the economy moves too slowly towards equilibrium. In addition to these cases where the price mechanism cannot function properly, there are others where, for "noneconomic considerations," production and trade are not governed by the desire to maximize profits. To analyse these problems, recourse must be had to economic anthropology, the only discipline to have studied them.

Lastly, another non-economic factor must be taken into account in allocating resources in developing countries: the role played by the government. In poor countries, the government is far more active in the modern sector of the economy. Moreover, where there is market failure, it is up to the government to correct the errors and omissions of the price mechanism. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that in these countries, it cannot always be assumed that the government represents the people, and that there are many models of government: "military (with generals), military (with sergeants), technocratic, aristocratic, popular front, peasant, kleptocratic - which react differently to similar stimuli" [41, p. 4]. Here, recourse must be had to the expertise of sociologists and political scientists.

Analysis of long-term growth involves quite distinctive problems peculiar to developing countries: the search for the motor driving development and the models of development. "The economist's dream would be to have a single theory of growth that took an economy from the lowest level of, say, $100 per capita. . . up to the level of Western Europe and beyond" [41, p. 4]. The problem is that such a theory does not exist. We have plenty of models for the final state of economic maturity and for those at the bottom of the ladder. As to the countries halfway up, our knowledge is too fragmentary and inadequate for us to answer a crucial question: "how output would be affected by policies that gave, say, an extra five percentage points of the national income to the bottom 80 percent of the population, assuming a peaceful transfer over, say, ten years. Would output per head rise faster, more slowly, or at the same rate? One must also ask whether it matters, or should the change be made in any case" [41, p. 6].

The pattern and size of these changes are poorly understood, and there is minimal knowledge about the "engine" of economic growth. What is it? Investment (whether in plant or in people) is not the only factor in growth, yet there is a strong correlation between the two, which allows us to consider it "as a proxy for the forces propelling the economy." How therefore does investment occur and what are the driving forces behind it? They may be economic (credit institutions, the tax system, etc.) or, more likely, non-economic, and the relationship between them and social institutions has always been one of the concerns of development economics. "Given the importance of incentives and institutions, are there particular circumstances that favor growth?" Each school of economists has chosen its own engine of growth: agriculture for the physiocrats, foreign trade surplus for the mercantilists, the free market for the classical school, capital for the Marxists, entrepreneurship for the neoclassical school, and so on.

According to Lewis, there is no single engine. "Growth occurs wherever there is a gap between capability and opportunity. Capability covers skills (domestic and foreign), government, savings and technology. Opportunity can be of any kind, including markets, rainfall, access to licenses, infrastructure. The engine may be at home or abroad, an innovation, a good site for a transportation center, or much else" [41]. Hence the problem of growth is extremely complex, demanding a whole package of complementary theories rather than a single, universally applicable one. However, there is no general agreement about the theories to be included in the package.

For Lewis, the central one must be the theory of distribution, because this will provide incentives and savings. Among the others are the theories of government, of training, and the class struggle, of the firm and entrepreneurship. "Thus, a theory of the growth of the economy as a whole brings together what we know of its parts." But it is not enough merely to explain growth, or to have a model that produces growth. Countries may grow strongly for a short while, then growth slackens or decline may even occur, so that "one must also be able to explain why some countries fall out of the line while others keep up the pace" [41].

Attention must also be paid to the problems arising from "self-sustaining" growth, which should be analysed with regard to both resources and leadership (public and private). As regards the first, a country can be said to enjoy self-sustaining growth when it is "more or less self-sufficient in savings, in its managerial cadre, in skilled workers, and in other infrastructure. The physical part we can quantify, even if rather arbitrarily" [41]. As regards the second, there is no way of predicting or prescribing the qualifications required for leadership; all that can be done is to observe that for the moment the developing countries lack leaders of sufficient quality to deal with the tasks of a self-sustaining economy.

After this survey, Lewis maintains that his subject is still just as much alive as any other branch of economics. "If conflict and dispute are indices of intellectual activity, our subject seems adequately contentious. Development economics is not at its most spectacular, but it is alive and well" [41].


What conclusions can be drawn from this long debate? Let us first acknowledge with W.A. Lewis that the life of the discipline is not in danger. Nobody can deny that there have been set-backs in some of the efforts to promote development, causing bitterness among the various partners involved. But the existence and survival of an academic discipline do not depend entirely on the success of policies recommended or inspired by its specialists, let alone their unfailing success in dealing with problems. In social sciences, failure may be a source of vitality, since it shows that the problem still has to be solved and therefore the business of analysis and research must be pursued further.

Development remains one of the crucial topics in economics: the functioning of any economy means that it generates and experiences change. The main aim of development economics is to identify the laws, causes, forms, and manner of these changes. Another aim is to study the direction and nature of these changes: are we witnessing "the natural movement towards opulence and improvement" (Adam Smith), a decrease in poverty (W.A. Lewis), or a growth of entitlements (Sen)? What should be done to trigger, speed up, or control this trend?

All economic systems have to cope with these problems, but development economics is concerned above all with studying them in the context of the former third world. Now, however, there is greater awareness of the diversity within different regions and countries, each with its own culture and its own experience of change generated by development in particular conditions and at varying speeds. The recognition of this variety has disturbed some development economists, as it means that universal remedies are misleading and useless. The critical analysis of these set-backs should be conducted with perseverance and clear-sightedness, and should make us less ambitious: let there be no more talk of "miracles," since they threaten to turn quickly into "mirages" [42]. Development is a long and slow process of change. The various stages cannot be rushed without suffering the consequences of trusting in the logic of formal models. And in fact, do these "stages" really exist? We must therefore start work all over again, taking account of the diversity of circumstances and the many dimensions of change, which can be economic, but also cultural, social, and political. Hence the need for constant recourse to multidisciplinary methods of analysis.

We should also not forget the prime importance of global, multinational, not to say imperial, economies in the process of development. This aspect has been highlighted above all by the work of the dependency school, and to neglect it would be to leave gaps in the analysis and in our understanding of the phenomena being studied.

Lastly, we must also stress the importance of the political dimension. In practice, any experience of development is simply the illustration of a development strategy, drawn up and carried out by a political authority. It cannot therefore be assessed without reference to the political context of its conception and implementation. Those development economists who like to think of themselves as development strategists and thus become "the Prince's advisers" should not be surprised to find their names on the list of those responsible for any given development catastrophe, figuring among those with "dirty hands," suspected of having helped the creation and growth of bloody regimes.

How can one be political without working for the "unenlightened despots" of the developing world? Development economists find themselves faced with Max Weber's dilemma of the scientist and the politician. In order not to collapse under the weight of "disillusionment" after rude awakenings, which also recall the well-known "white man's burden" caustically described by those with now-fashionable anti-third world views, development economists must ensure that their analysis is always a critical one. If they do, development economics will not become, as some fear, a branch of knowledge dedicated to the maintenance of the status quo, but rather one that helps "individuals to dominate chance and circumstances" [33]. The story of development thinking is no longer circumscribed by the intellectual weight of the most industrialized countries. No longer is it captured by economic references alone. It will continue as long as disparities between nations delineate an unbearable frontier of poverty and injustice. And thus, it will continue as long as it is a matter of both scientific research and political struggle that transcends the understanding of economics per se, as well as the heritage of the "Northern/Western" paradigm.


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(introductory text...)

Jan Annerstedt

The Earth is round, but it does not appear perfectly spherical if we examine the worldwide distribution of resources devoted to research and experimental development (R&D) - defined to include fundamental and applied research. Far from being evenly distributed throughout the world, these resources are concentrated in a small number of countries. In the early part of the 1970s less than 3 per cent of the world's R&D expenditures were made by the developing countries, and just a little more than 11 per cent of its researchers its R&D scientists and engineers - were employed there [1].

According to more recent, though less complete, data to be presented later in this chapter, changes influencing this North-South relationship have occurred, but the overall pattern has remained much the same through the 1970s and 1980s until today. The highly industrialized countries have kept their dominant position while strengthening their R&D capabilities. But notable shifts of positions have taken place within the developing world as countries like Brazil, India, and the Republic of Korea have increased spending on R&D, while, in the same period, a number of other developing countries have been forced to reduce their science and technology base.

On the basis of this crude statistical picture, it is no exaggeration to claim that not all countries are able to undertake the scientific and technological activities that they desire. As regards resources, the majority of the nation-states in the world are a research desert, and the remaining countries can still be looked upon as a small number of R&D oases, some of which are very large [3].

To government policy makers and corporate managers in the highly industrialized countries, the global distribution of R&D resources may appear quite attractive. In their countries resources seem to be abundant. The social production and diffusion of knowledge have turned into specialized professional activities, financed and performed by many different firms, institutions, and other organizations throughout society.

In principle, science and technology could play similar roles in the economies of all other countries as well. Lack of resources, low levels of skills, few training opportunities, inappropriate curricula in higher education, weak technology-supporting institutions, etc., may prevent some of them from exploiting all of the nation's innovative capabilities. "Science and technology can only take root in a given society if their structures and goals are well matched to prevailing modes of thinking and of doing, in particular to local traditional technologies" [20, p. 52].

At the end of the twentieth century only a small number of developing countries have been able to create and maintain comparatively strong national R&D capabilities. Most developing countries do not possess the scientific instruments and other highly specialized equipment needed for advanced research in many fields of study. Instead of scientific research, they have to rely heavily upon other varieties of organized knowledge to better utilize and further develop their productive potential.

Typically, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the industrial firm wanting to innovate has no choice but to copy or simply accept incremental technical change for the renewal of its products and manufacturing capabilities. Indigenous technological capabilities at the level of the firm do exist - and local engineering and advanced consulting services are actually expanding in most developing countries but technologically significant inventions are generally generated outside the company or industry. Science-based technical change in these countries is rarely indigenous.

At a lower technical level than in the industrial part of the world, economically significant inventions in the developing countries are more frequent. As these countries innovate, and they certainly change technologically, the sources of innovation seldom include endogenous R&D. There are examples of industrial firms and even branches of industry that have proved their capacities to renew and innovate without access to a specialized and multifaceted scientific and technological base.

Strong R&D capabilities are in fact not the same as strong innovative capabilities at the level of the firm. There may be a correlation, but - apart from scientific results and laboratory practices- it should be emphasized that there are many sources of invention. Nor is the effective diffusion and application of new inventions caused by strong capabilities in R&D. However, since new innovations in industry are increasingly science-based or high tech, the relatively scarce and scattered R&D activities among the developing countries have to be complemented by a steady stream of information and ideas, new goods and services, production methods and "best practices," patents and licences created elsewhere.

The growing need for R&D and innovation indicators

Since the early 1960s, basic data on resources devoted to research and experimental development have been collected by an increasing number of countries. R&D is by far the best measured category of innovation and may even be integrated as such into the UN System of National Accounts (SNA).

Some 140 countries have succeeded in producing statistical maps of their national R&D landscape (Unesco 1991 [55] includes only 128). By no means are all of the maps up to date. A few are just listings of government budgetary allocations for R&D with estimates of other R&D expenditures. We must remember, however, that the majority of today's developing countries have reached independence only since the Second World War; well over 100 nation-states have emerged on the political scene since the late 1940s. When they achieved political independence, most of them had only rudimentary R&D capabilities.

By aggregating national statistics, it becomes possible to make regional and even global aggregates of resources devoted to R&D. But these summaries cannot be better than the often fragmentary data available nationally. In order to produce statistically sound descriptions of the global R&D effort, more detailed and standardized data are needed.

Regardless of their position or general outlook, planners and decision makers in both the industrial and developing countries have a common need of R&D data that are more suitable for fully fledged descriptions and appropriate analyses of the international or global changes in the economy. Less and less are R&D statistics regarded as an independent category of data: since they measure a crucial part of society's innovative activities, they are seen as only one component of several significant sets of data on innovation and economic growth.

At present, and at least for some sectors of society, R&D statistics are being re-examined in a wider context of innovation and adjusted to fit better into national and international surveys of innovation under different socioeconomic circumstances. Especially among the industrialized countries, further details are being asked for, e.g. on the flow of R&D funds between countries - in general and between companies located in different countries but within the same economic zone or region. Given the predominant role in overall R&D activities of large industrial firms operating in several countries, figures describing national R&D resources alone lose some of their value. They are gradually being supplemented by internationally comparable data at the company or industry sector level.

Such general pictures cannot be painted without an extensive use of reliable indicators. It is not enough just to order categories of basic figures and draw simple conclusions from unrefined tables. True, it may be of value to highlight important, though elementary, comparisons between countries and regions, but to become analytically useful, the statistics will have to be shaped into indicators that are defined within - or at least closely related to a specific conceptual framework or analytical model. R&D and innovation statistics may serve several such models; and the models could change over time and still exploit the same series of data. The models may also link data on R&D and innovation with existing statistics on other economic and social activities, thereby creating new, more sophisticated indicators.

Step by step, over the past 10 years, there has been a move from input indicators towards output and impact indicators. Examples from the latter category are combined data on high-technology investments and trade; patents taken out at home and abroad; cooperative agreements on the transfer of know-how; strategic "technological alliances" between firms; and imports or exports of components and services with a significant technology content. For a developing country such output indicators could serve important purposes in the assessment of innovative capabilities and of technology gaps between countries or between branches of industry. Although significant, the move towards output and impact indicators has been slow and the statistics produced are still fragmentary, even among the industrially most advanced nations.

From macro-phenomena to innovation processes

Among policy makers as well as economists and other social scientists there is a widespread consensus that current R&D statistics should be further extended and developed by way of broader "innovation surveys." This widening of the statistical realm should improve the understanding of the role that R&D plays in innovation and help explain differences in performance between firms, sectors of industry, and (even) national economies.

However, differences in the level of development between countries may easily cause measurement problems. The same set of R&D and. innovation indicators could give rise to different interpretations in different economic contexts (see Madeuf [21]). Probably? as among the industrialized countries statistical analyses within a specific developing country grouping - with common economic characteristics may prove to be more analytically fruitful. For instance, a developing country government that promotes export-oriented industrial strategies may understand technology-transfer data very differently from a government that supports inward import-substitution strategies. Likewise, countries operating similar economic policies are easier to compare.

Until recently, internationally comparable R&D statistics have been collected and processed only for macro-phenomena in the economy. Except for an increasing number of case-studies in industry, relatively little is known about innovation processes at the level of the firm or in subsectors of industry. Now, however, policy interests have stimulated R&D statistical studies of the linkages between the macro- and micro-levels with a view to assessing the flow of resources and evaluating the relative economic impact of investments in R&D and related activities. Ongoing international statistical efforts may help to overcome the current lack of transparency and compensate for the imperfect knowledge of the processes of innovation.

In both government and industry, policy makers and analysts have expressed a growing need for more sophisticated and usable R&D and innovation indicators. Such indicators should reduce uncertainties and help advance plans and decisions regarding national and sectoral science and technology efforts. By way of international comparisons, the specific conditions for innovation in areas such as industry and trade, education and training, public health and social security, could be further elaborated. But we are still far from viable international comparisons even among the highly industrialized countries, e.g. between Germany, Japan, and the USA.

For the developing countries, the relevance of available R&D output indicators varies. Output data commonly used in industrialized countries such as rates of publication and the number of citations in internationally available journals, as well as statistics on patents and licences - are not easy to interpret in a third world setting. This is due to the lack of uniform and nonbiased data in relation to publication and other communication practices. More importantly, the structural features of each developing economy demand a different framework for the analysis. The diversity among developing countries in organizing a national R&D system, in linking endogenous research to international (or Western) science, in improving the techno-scientific infrastructure, in furthering manpower development, etc., make output indicators complicated and even controversial, particularly for comparisons between industrial and developing countries [20, p. 53]. "There are no adequate, comprehensive indicators of development, which can reflect the complex cultural, social, economic, and political factors at play when the concept of 'development' is considered with all of its multidimensional implications. At best, there are some indicators of the penetration of western patterns into different societies" [20, p. 52].

As regards the particular needs of developing countries, R&D and innovation indicators should not only permit systematic international comparisons, but also provide information in order to assess the efficiency of science and technology capabilities, measure the flow of technology through various channels, and help analyse the contribution of both foreign and domestic sourcing of science and technology. Ideally, these and similar indicators should further the analysis of R&D and innovation policies aiming at balancing foreign and domestic sourcing of technology and enhancing the local science and technology base [21].

There is a general need to develop more sophisticated methods of surveying the diffusion of technology and other kinds of innovative activities, particularly methods to be used for advanced international comparisons.

Towards a worldwide standard for R&D surveys

Since the 1930s, and particularly during and after the Second World War, a dominant attitude among policy makers in the industrialized countries has been that of a necessary mobilization of science and technology for economic purposes as well as for national security and related strategic objectives. In the larger industrialized countries, the building of strong sectoral R&D capabilities responded to the needs of the military and, later, also to the reconstruction and economic recovery during the first 15-20 years of the post-war period [17]. Accordingly, the emphasis by statisticians was very much on the "supply side" of the national R&D system.

The first national surveys were based on approximated expenditure data for science and technology and on crude numbers of scientists and technologists in government and industry. "Looking through the various national statistical yearbooks, one is impressed by how many countries have felt the need to count their donkeys and how few their scientists," Stevan Dedijer wrote in a summary of the 1950s [11-13]. He and other pioneers of R&D statistics had to draw upon all kinds of primary data to quantify the resources devoted to R&D while attempting to make international comparisons. There were, in those early years, no serious attempts by intergovernmental agencies to provide quantifications of the global R&D effort. Instead, examples were set by individual scholars like John D. Bernal, who calculated national "budgets of science (and technology)" for several countries as early as the 1930s [8]. (Dedijer mentions Soviet studies of the mid-1920s with similar ambitions.)

In its study of science policy for the 1960s, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) found existing R&D statistics "grossly inadequate. Most countries have more reliable data on their numbers of poultry and their egg production than on their numbers of research scientists and engineers and their output of discoveries and inventions" [24, p. 21]. During the second half of the 1960s and in the early 1970s, the situation improved significantly. This was a period when statistical resources were activated all over the world in the quantitative study of R&D. All tables and charts that quantified the resources of the national R&D systems were dominated by rather simple data on given inputs into science and technology, only rarely supplemented by easily available output data of the system such as scientific papers, patents, licences for technology, etc. But advances were on their way.

Among the industrial countries the interest by the main users of R&D statistics had shifted to the "demand side" as opposed to the "supply side" of the earlier period. The market pull of technology, know-how, and other specialized knowledge was coming into focus after the long period of reconstruction of the national economies. Industrial innovation had become a competitive advantage. Accordingly, several of the national efforts by R&D statisticians were initiated by the drive towards better international comparisons (see, for example, Freeman and Young [18]). The relative economic performance of the different R&D systems had come into focus along with the growing interest in the role of science and technology for industrial innovation.

Still, while R&D statistics improved in certain highly industrialized countries, other countries approached the tricky problems of sources and methods with "quick-and-dirty" solutions in order to be able to present national R&D statistics with at least some of the required international comparability.

Among the first regionally based organizations to advance R&D statistical methodology and to promote comparative studies of R&D efforts was the OECD. Already in 1963, at Frascati in Italy, the OECD had convened a group of experts that soon developed a standard practice for surveys of research and experimental development, officially termed the Frascati Manual, which has been revised and updated ever since [25, 30].

In line with the Frascati Manual, statisticians of other regional organizations, such as the European Community and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, formally dissolved in early 1991), have developed separate survey techniques and other analytical tools for national surveys and for cross-country comparisons. With early assistance by OECD experts, the Organization of American States (OAS) specified a standard for Latin America. Over the years, several such statistical endeavours have converged towards an international norm or standard for R&D data. But there is still no detailed, worldwide guide for R&D statisticians. Only a limited number of countries, most of them highly industrialized, have fully harmonized their statistics in this field.

For many years, Unesco (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was a prime mover in the attempts to create a worldwide standard for R&D surveys (a comprehensive version is given in [51]; see also [52] and its later versions). Many developing countries have followed the suggestions by the organization not to design their own statistical methodology, but to accept that of Unesco. However, the problem of harmonizing already existing country standards and relating them to internationally accepted statistical methodologies has not been easily resolved. Moreover, the focus by Unesco on developing countries has fostered survey techniques that are not always suited to the specialized policy needs of the highly industrialized countries. These latter countries were discouraged from using the Unesco R&D statistical methodology simply because it produced statistics that were too crude.

Subsequently, during the 1970s and 1980s, the industrialized countries settled with their own standards. In fact there were two: a western one for the OECD member governments (cf. [25]) and an eastern one for the CMEA members [10]. Nevertheless, without adopting a common standard, the two country groupings came close to matching their R&D statistical methodologies, although some basic statistical categories remained unrelated. Following the changes toward a market economy in eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union and its successors, it is likely that the Frascati Manual will be adopted by all industrialized countries.

Despite continuous efforts, neither Unesco nor any other international agency has yet been able to implement, through the many national statistical units, a world standard on how to collect R&D data and further specify the kinds of innovative activities that should be measured as well. What has been agreed through Unesco is a general recommendation concerning the statistical categories by which data should be collected, processed, and presented. Agreeing on a general methodology is one thing; implementing it has proved to be quite another.

With or without a worldwide standard for R&D surveys, the majority of countries have regularly provided the Unesco statistical office with basic data on their R&D manpower and related expenditures. Most of this material has been published in the Unesco Statistical Yearbook. Other national data have been further processed for regional summaries and even global estimates of resources devoted to R&D (for the most recent global survey, see [55]; regional surveys have been conducted for, e.g., Latin America, Africa, and the Arab countries).

Following several revisions of the Frascati Manual over the last 10 years, the OECD secretariat has become a clearing-house for both national and international advances in R&D statistical methodology. Most importantly, the OECD has provided a permanent forum for expert consultations and responded actively to new statistical requirements. Its large unit of professionals engaged in the development of indicators have spent lengthy periods of exploratory work, involving the collaboration of national agencies and international organizations such as Unesco. Consultations and week-long seminars for R&D statistical staff of non-member countries, i.e. from eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and selected developing countries, are a relatively new feature among its activities.

For the OECD member countries, the benchmark source of R&D data is the biennial survey, conducted by national statistical agencies using the Frascati Manual's detailed questionnaires. These nationally collected data are fed into a "main science and technology indicators" database containing the variables most widely used over the past 20 years correlated with other data such as that of industry and trade. A data exchange system is operated in collaboration with national agencies and with the "Eurostat" of the European Community. Close relations are maintained with other international agencies as well. To meet specific policy needs, this exchange system should permit the design of special data segments.

Quantitative descriptions and qualitative assessments

Among the industrialized countries, it was not until the second half of the 1970s that the methodological work resulted in a deliberate push towards comparable "science and technology (S&T) indicators." Policy deliberations on industrial competitiveness in a new economic context and conflicts around the place of organized knowledge in society created a strong demand for this kind of internationally comparable data.

More importantly, the specific needs of actual and potential national users were better articulated. For the first time, R&D statisticians were placed in the centre of economic policy-making and forced to produce much more timely and appropriate indicators. In the OECD member countries, comprehensive sets of S&T indicators were generally available already by the end of the 1970s, following national attempts by, for instance, the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). The OECD indicators included inputs to the R&D system and outputs such as detailed patent statistics and the technological balance of payments, as well as impact indicators, which quantify trade in R&D-intensive products and give productivity indices, etc. (Representative indicators can be found in refs. 26, 27 and the STI Indicators Newsletter.) Many more innovative activities than before were brought into the realm of quantitative analysis.

This new type of more comprehensive indicators, produced by national agencies as well as by regional organizations such as the OECD, became more widely used during the 1980s. Nevertheless, the new indicators only pointed out the salient similarities and differences among countries and economic sectors. They made possible a more thorough analysis of patterns and trends in both overall and specific innovative activities. They did not, however, bring about what was later to be called innovation indicators.

According to Christopher Freeman, a participating observer, the first stage in the development of today's variety of R&D indicators emphasized the efforts to expand the national R&D system "without too many questions about output and efficiency" [17, p. [15]. In the second stage "accountants, economists and managers began to ask more awkward questions about performance and responsiveness to the needs of the market," but mainly in terms of controlling expenditure and preventing waste. Now, in the third stage, the focus is put on more direct ways of stimulating economic growth and competition in world markets while combining technical change, industrial modernization, and trade strategies.

Differences between the three stages should not be exaggerated. Elements of both "supply-side" and "demand-side" economics have been present in the policy communities over the last 50 years. "Nevertheless," Freeman claims, "anyone who goes through the various reports of national science and technology advisory bodies - or of parliamentary debates on science and technology or of economic policy documents - cannot fail to be struck by this change in emphasis and focus over the post-war period" [17, p. 115]. The three stages in the production and use of R&D indicators can also be described as a move from quantitative descriptions by way of broad categories of data towards more qualitative assessments of R&D capabilities for industrial innovation and competitiveness.

Lately, and this is a new feature, government authorities in several OECD countries have reduced or even terminated a number of these surveys, while other statistical services have gradually been farmed out [34, p. 25]. The reasons are several. The rising costs of comprehensive statistical analyses have been increasingly difficult to reconcile with the need for budgetary restrictions. And the policy needs for general - or very particular surveys of science, technology, and industrial innovation to be carried out by public agencies are not always clear to top government decision makers.

Although the field of R&D statistics is young, and innovation studies even more recent, routine procedures by government statistical agencies make it difficult to initiate new surveys, implement them, and then rapidly analyse the findings in order to answer urgent questions posed by planners and policy makers. As a result, quite a few surveys and other studies are now being carried out under flexible, short-term contracts by academic institutions or, more often, by companies that operate commercially.

As firms start producing politically and otherwise important analyses based on R&D and innovation indicators, the information may become a private rather than a public good. Availability is restricted or delayed; some statistical studies are made secret to all but those who finance them. This new situation causes problems for the quality and international comparability of R&D and innovation indicators. If the local customers find it more convenient to design surveys for their own particular purposes, the chances are limited that collected data will be processed in a way that would serve other potential users or the international statistical community.

As R&D and innovation indicators develop locally, while the internationally standardized survey techniques change only slowly, some countries have already expanded their range of indicators and adopted concepts and definitions without waiting for improvements at the international level.

The overall scope of R&D statistics among developing countries

The major problem in international R&D comparisons that include the developing countries is not the intricacies of statistical methodology but the simple question of reliable sources.

The evolution of R&D and innovation indicators among the developing countries does not follow the same trajectory as that of the industrialized part of the world. Several developing countries were among the pioneers in national R&D statistics and, since the late 1960s, many more of them have begun producing. Until now, however, only a few developing countries have followed the more ambitious R&D statistical path set by the OECD countries. Useful summaries of S&T indicators for a whole developing region have been provided by GRADE, a centre for development studies in Peru (see ref. 42, with the revised figures for the early 1980s in ref. 41).

For a number of national statistical agencies, R&D and innovation are not among the top priorities. In dozens of developing countries the status and quality of R&D statistics have even deteriorated. During the 1980s some governments simply stopped publishing internationally comparable R&D data, while others provide only fragmented R&D statistics on an ad hoc basis. In fact, Dedijer's characterization earlier of national statistical priorities is not outdated, although many more statisticians have been trained to produce R&D data. These professionals have had few chances to improve their skills.

Today, the universe of R&D statistics in Africa, Asia, and Latin America ranges from crude summaries of the total number of formally trained scientists in a given country to very detailed data, describing in full-time equivalents the number of scientists engaged in R&D activities and the current expenditures available. Most developing countries have low statistical ambitions in the field of R&D and innovation.

Given the relatively poor state of R&D statistics in developing countries, no general diagnosis can be made of the more than 130 "national R&D systems" in that part of the world, neither of their efficiency nor of their economic and other effects. And no demarcation lines can be drawn between scientific research, technological development, and other innovative work. Anyone interested in detailed international comparisons ought to be concerned about the deplorable fact that "science and technology," "applied research," "experimental development," and similar notions refer to slightly different activities in different countries and are usually performed by different organizations with different objectives. Using currently available R&D statistics, little can be said about the strength and relative performance of R&D activities in what was once called the third world.

For a developing country it is not enough to count the stock of resources currently available for innovative activities. It has become increasingly important to measure the R&D potential and also - by way of statistics - to reveal immediately available R&D resources such as highly qualified manpower not involved in R&D activities. In order to lay a basis for change, the flow of resources over time should be included.

Even if statisticians of all countries can agree on the feasibility and usefulness of a detailed world handbook of R&D and innovation statistics such as Dedijer proposed [14], many elementary problems of a common methodology remain to be solved. Unesco experts in the developing countries do not lack work opportunities. Due to the differences in the availability as well as the quality of data, one cannot be careful enough in drawing empirical conclusions from international R&D statistics, especially when comparing industrialized and developing countries.

My intention has not been to criticize R&D statistics in general, but to underline the differences in quality and, hence, the problems of reliability and validity in international comparisons. Everyone should be aware of the elementary state of the art. Later in this chapter I shall discuss the opportunities. With limited resources and relatively simple means, much more professional statistical work could be done in the developing countries and useful comparative data on both R&D and other innovative activities would become generally available.

In the following pages, I concentrate on basic input data such as resources devoted to research and experimental development and tackle a much-debated issue: Is the relative position of the developing countries in science and technology improving? Are the developing countries actually spending more on R&D than they did 20 or 30 years ago? As a key indicator, I use their expenditures on R&D, comparing them with the industrialized countries.

Has R&D spending by developing countries increased?

During the first two "development decades" proclaimed by the United Nations, one set of figures was frequently used to describe the international division of labour within world science and technology. The numbers 70 - 28 - 2 were quoted in most documents dealing with global science and technology policy. The figures showed that 70 per cent of total R&D funding was spent by the USA, 28 per cent by the other market economies, and, so it was claimed, only 2 per cent by the developing countries. This set of figures was widely quoted by the United Nations and others, simply because there were no other data available.

This uneven relationship in R&D between the three major groups of countries was a fact in the first half of the 1960s. But the figures of those years did not project a global picture of all R&D resources. The centrally planned economies - what were then the socialist countries at different levels of development - were not included. Moreover, R&D statistics did not even exist for a number of developing countries and were of poor quality in some developed market economies. But still, for many years, these figures for R&D funding were the best available.

Table 1 Distribution of R&D expenditures (estimated in billion US dollars [current prices] and in percentage of annual totals) among selected industrialized market economies and developing countries in 1963/64, 1977, and 1988




United States of America




Other industrial market economies (except Australia and New Zealand)




Developing countries (sample)




Total (%)




Total (billion US$)




Sources: The statistics for this chapter, including the data presented in this table, are drawn from four major sources: (1) An OECD Development Centre study of the world distribution of R&D resources (refs. 1,2), which was subsequently up-dated (ref. 3); (2) R&D data collected and processed by regional organizations such as the OECD (refs. 26-28, 31, 47. 6, 42, 41, 37); (3) Unesco's Statistical Yearbook and R&D data processed for comparative purposes (refs. 49, 50, 54, 55); (4) National R&D statistical publications and selected independent studies (refs. 8, 11. 12, 18, 23, 22).

Nearly US$29 billion was spent on R&D by the countries included in the 1963/64 UN comparison (for further details see ref. 2). Thirteen years later, in 1977, the same country grouping spent about US$97.5 billion. In 1988, nearly a quarter of a century after the first estimate, their R&D spending was about US$340 billion (all dollar values in current prices). Not only has the magnitude of the R&D efforts changed, but so have the relations between the country groupings and within the group of developed market economies.

During the past 25 years, as shown in table 1, the share of global R&D spending by the USA has decreased from 70 per cent to 40 per cent, while the other Western industrialized countries, which were included in the original sample, have doubled their common share to 56 per cent of the grand total. Since 1980 the redistribution of the financial R&D inputs among the industrial nations has continued. In particular, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and some of the small, highly industrialized countries like Sweden and the Netherlands have expanded their gross domestic expenditures on R&D more than the average OECD member country.

During the late 1970s and in the 1980s some of the western European countries did not expand their gross expenditures on R&D as much as the largest industrial countries. In relative terms this was a decline in European R&D activities.

During the same 25 years, the R&D position of the developing countries evolved a little differently. (Here the "developing countries" are those in the original sample from 1963/64 only.) In the 1960s their share of total R&D expenditures grew from 2 per cent to 3 per cent. In current US dollars, R&D spending went up more than three times over a 10 year period, to US$1.7 billion in 1973. Towards the end of the 1970s, it is estimated that the same grouping of countries spent a little more than US$3 billion on their R&D activities. This was 3.1 per cent of the grand total. Mainly because of a decline in R&D spending among the OECD countries, the relative share of R&D funds available among the countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America grew to about 5 per cent of the grand total during the first half of the 1980s.

None the less, improvements in the relative position of the developing countries in the late 1970s and early 1980s were not the result of a general increase in R&D spending. First and foremost the countries with the largest R&D systems in Asia and, to some extent, in Latin America increased spending on R&D. So did a few, but not all, of the Arab states. These enhancements were big enough to affect the position of the developing countries as a group. Then came a relative decline. By 1988-1989, the developing countries had a little less than 4 per cent of total R&D funds, and preliminary estimates for the early 1990s show a further decline.

Yet, before concluding that the North-South division of labour in R&D proved to be rather stable up until the late 1970s, and that changes then appeared that implied a better, but far from enduring, position of the developing countries, we should delve a little deeper into available statistical data. A more representative global picture, based on both national and regional statistics, is presented in table 2.

In which regions are the world's R&D resources concentrated?

If all countries - and not just the previous sample of countries - that have recently produced R&D statistics are included in a world total, they devoted about US$435 billion to R&D in 1988. More than 96 per cent was spent by the industrialized countries, while the developing countries accounted for the remaining 3.9 per cent of global R&D finance. In current prices, the developing countries - still taken as a group- had a 1988 R&D budget that was nearly six times that of 1973. Their R&D growth rate was significant in the late 1970s and continued to grow for a few years in the early 1980s, but it has since declined.

Table 2 Distribution of world R&D expenditures (estimated in billion US dollars [current prices] and in percentage of annual totals) among major groupings of countries in 1973, 1981), and 1988




Developing countries




Latin America and the Caribbean




Africa (except the Arab states and South Africa)




Arab states




Asia (except the Arab states, Japan, and South Korea)




Industrial countries




Japan and South Korea




Australia and New Zealand




USSR and Eastern Europe




Western Europe




North America




World total (%)




(in billion US$)




Sources: Table 1; percentages are calculated and rounded within each grouping of countries.

In a global perspective, until the early 1980s, the R&D position of the developing countries greatly improved. Using only 2.8 per cent of all R&D money in 1973, and even a somewhat smaller share during the rest of the 1970s, the share came to 6.5 per cent in 1980 and higher in the next few years. However, during the rest of the 1980s most developing countries did not expand their R&D budgets relative to the industrialized countries; they contracted. The industrialized countries, particularly those with large market economies, regained some of their lost positions from the developing countries.

It must be remembered that the developing world is a heterogeneous entity. In 1980, nearly two-thirds of their R&D dollars were spent by countries in Asia, particularly those with relatively large R&D systems such as China and India, but also by Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Other countries with small or medium-size R&D systems, e.g., Pakistan and Malaysia, have also expanded their R&D finance, although not as much as the largest of the emerging industrial countries of Asia. For 1988, it was estimated that 3 out of 4 R&D dollars in the developing world were spent by East and South-East Asian countries. Today, more than six out of ten developing country researchers are Asians. Latin America and particularly Africa lost their previous strengths in R&D finance during the 1980s.

As a region with more than a quarter of R&D funds among the developing countries in the early 1980s, Latin America with the Caribbean has lost ground to other regions. But the countries with the largest R&D systems, e.g. Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, seem to have kept relatively high rates of expansion even in the years with severe fiscal problems. In the early part of the 1980s, two of the three countries mentioned were spending more on R&D relative to other economic activities than the average developing country. In the last few years, however, the situation seems to have changed. By the early 1990s, the average Latin American country was not following the pace set by leading Asian countries; the continent as a whole is now lagging behind in R&D spending.

If the Republic of South Africa is excluded from comparisons, Africa south of the Sahara is still very much part of the old third world R&D desert. In all but a few African countries, R&D resources are comparatively scarce. Still, as a region, there are signs of change. Measured in percentages, sub-Saharan Africa's share of global R&D expenditures more than doubled between 1973 and 1980, then dropped to the earlier level by the end of the decade. There was no growth of expenditures; in fact, in the average African country there was a decline during most of the 1980s.

Among the industrialized regions of the world, the country grouping with the highest growth rate is Japan and South Korea. During the last seven years of the 1970s their annual R&D budgets nearly trebled (in current US dollars). By 1980, these two countries in East Asia together accounted for considerably more than the whole third world R&D spending. According to more recent statistics, their yearly R&D inputs have grown even further. As shown in table 2, their gross domestic spending on R&D in 1980 represented a tenth of total R&D finance in the world; eight years later it was more than 19 per cent.

In the 1970s, the western European countries were nearly as fast-growing spenders on R&D as Japan. Their investments in R&D grew by nearly 2.5 times in current US dollars and their international position went up from 21.6 per cent in 1973 to 24.2 per cent in 1980. More recent statistics show a steadily high average growth rate for many of the European countries. But now, the growth is not as significant in relative terms. Western Europe kept its strong position during the 1980s, but only with some difficulty.

On the other side, the eastern part of Europe and the USSR - here still presented as a single bloc of countries - have weakened their position as big spenders on R&D. In 1973 their gross national R&D expenditures were estimated to represent a third of the global total, while they spent only 27 per cent in 1980. With much less than a fifth of the world total by the end of the 1980s, the decline has continued.

In the aftermath of the 1989-1991 revolutions in eastern Europe and the former USSR, it has been revealed that R&D spending in the 1960s and 1970s may have been estimated and officially reported higher than it actually was. So far, however, there are few data available for better founded international comparisons [22].

In relative terms, the North American region, primarily the USA, also declined during the 1970s and into the 1980s. In seven years the share of world R&D fell from about 34 per cent to 31 per cent, while in absolute terms, in current US dollars, the R&D budgets doubled. The following seven years proved to be a period of stabilization, even growth. By the end of the 1980s the two countries accounted for nearly a third of the world's R&D expenditures.

In conclusion, financial resources devoted to R&D in the 1970s grew substantially faster among the developing countries than among the industrialized ones. But for the 1980s, it is fair to say that the highly industrial countries of the North regained nearly all of the lost ground. To the average industrialized country, R&D has become a much more significant element in the build-up of innovative capabilities.

Because of fluctuating exchange rates, variations in local purchasing power, and other problems of measurement, international comparisons of R&D expenditures do not always reflect the magnitude of available resources. Our North-South picture changes somewhat, though not dramatically, if we look at R&D manpower data.

By the end of the 1980s, the developing countries employed 18-19 per cent of the world's researchers (scientists and engineers engaged in R&D). This is a much larger share than for R&D expenditure, but differences between industrial and developing countries remain great. For instance, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, average overhead costs for laboratory equipment are relatively small. The typical third world researcher in the 1980s did not have similar or the same working conditions as a scientist or engineer in an industrial country. The productivity of the R&D activity is affected.

Table 3 Distribution of the world's researchers (scientists and engineers engaged in R&D; estimated in full-time equivalents) among major groupings of countries at the end of the 1980s


Developing countries


Latin America and the Caribbean


Africa (except the Arab states and South Africa)


Arab states


Asia (except the Arab states, Japan, and South Korea)


Industrial countries


Japan and South Korea


Australia and New Zealand


USSR and Eastern Europe


Western Europe


North America


World total (% )


(in full-time equivalents)


Sources: Calculated from Westholm [56] (which is based on Unesco, OECD, and national manpower statistics), supplemented by selected national data. Percentages are calculated and rounded within each grouping of countries.

Table 3 provides a global estimate for 1988-1989 of 4.1 million researchers in full-time equivalents [56]. The industrialized countries (including countries like South Korea) employed about 82 per cent of these. Leaving behind both the manpower indicators and the crude and simple R&D expenditure data, a science and technology-related typology might be more useful in discriminating among the developing countries. Their strengths and weaknesses will be more visible if we look at their relative position in R&D-related technical change. Such a typology could reflect several criteria, such as the economically active population; the sectoral distribution of specialized manpower in relation to science and technology; and the size and structure of the domestic product (GDP), including the share of R&D (see, for example, ref. 20, pp. 55-77). Given the current state of international statistics, such a worldwide typology could not relate resources and capabilities in science and technology directly to the country's economic performance nor to the competitiveness among its main industries. Anyhow, by grouping all countries according to a set of available indicators, it will be easier to identify countries with (a) no science and technology base, (b) fundamental elements of a science and technology base, (c) a science and technology base well established, and (d) an economically effective science and technology base, notably in relation to industry. The last grouping is identical with the highly industrialized countries, while the three others belong to the developing world.

The first grouping of developing countries numbers about 55, including most African countries. These are countries with no science and technology base, still in the initial stage of development, with low GDP per capita, low science and technology manpower potential, and a low share of manufacturing of total production.

The second grouping of countries, which have essential elements of a science and technology base, are in the process of industrialization. With moderate GDP per capita, they have developed a limited endogenous industrial production. Some of them may have a relatively high percentage of science and technology manpower that could be activated in R&D, but the potential is low in absolute terms. This second group represents nearly 40 developing countries and includes Algeria, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Malaysia, Paraguay, and Sri Lanka.

The third group of countries, with a high percentage of potential science and technology manpower, have a solid science and technology base and a functioning industrial system. Their GDP per capita is relatively high. This grouping covers about 40 developing countries, including the "newly industrializing countries" (the NICs) in Asia and some Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela.

Two developing countries are difficult to fit into any of the above categories or groupings of countries. China and India have to be treated separately: they both have a low GDP per capita; at the same time, due to their size, they have a huge science and technology manpower potential in absolute terms, but low as a percentage of total population or in relation to the economy. However, manufacturing represents a large share of their total production.

This science and technology-related typology of countries does not necessarily correlate with economic performance. As discussed earlier, innovative capabilities may develop from many different sources. And the linkages between the economic actors, including government agencies, in a national, regional, and international setting might prove crucial for industrial competitiveness.

In the final sections of this chapter, I examine the intensity among these linkages or couplings at the regional level of the world economy and consider how they are being measured.

Science, technology, and new economic patterns

Following the emergence of not just one but of several major centres of science and industrial technology, the world economy has become much more integrated and interdependent. But there seem to be limits even to the processes of internationalization

Over the last two decades, data on R&D, innovation, and trade patterns in high-tech products make a distinction possible between three dominating regions of the world economy. Each of them forms a separate supply base for industrial development and production, although related to the other two and to other regions of the globe. There is an East Asian industrial space with Japan at the centre; a North American one with several industrial zones in the USA as its core; and a western European economic space with a handful of technologically important national economies. Based in these regions, about 1,000 major corporations control more than half of the world's manufacturing and almost two-thirds of international trade, much of which is in fact intra-regional trade. The three regions have been further consolidated in the last few years.

R&D and related economic statistics, which reflect both the diversity and integration of these regional supply bases, are available but not always beneficial for detailed comparisons. "The data collected systematically at the international level has until now primarily addressed international trade, patent applications and, to a lesser extent, capital movements (in a relatively aggregated form). In addition, private data banks have recently been developed for data concerning different categories of inter-firm cooperation agreements" [34, p. 10]. More is being done, especially through the OECD, to further develop data into sets of comprehensive indicators that could better describe the changing regional and national conditions for innovation.

From a statistical point of view, little is detectable of the "global reach" of large industrial corporations that operate from the three major industrial supply bases. There are no indicators at the firm or at the branch level of industry revealing the role of science, technology, and innovation in the expansion into other regional markets for products and services. Nor are there statistics of the transfer of technology and other knowledge in their quest for foreign supplies and new sources of production. The operations by corporations on patent protection, licence agreements, and royalty issues are not recorded in any databases.

In the polycentric economic context - with corporations based in three high-technology regions as the principal players - "globalization" refers to a set of emerging conditions in which value and wealth are produced and circulated by way of both regional and worldwide communication networks. The transnationally managed firms operate concentrated, even oligopolistic, supply structures by way of modern technology. For banks and other credit institutions as well as for large manufacturing firms and many service producers, modern communication technologies make it easier than before to manage intracorporate information networks on a global level. Directly or indirectly, some of the small and medium-size firms in the three regions are linked to the same systems. As product and technology life cycles become shorter, this helps in the functional integration as well as in the economic fortification of the three dominating industrial regions.

Whether big firms or small, technological strengths and competitiveness are not determined solely at the level of the industrial firm, but also by the economic environment in which firms operate. Today, more than earlier, managers and entrepreneurs need to combine indicators in the economic environment that influence technical change and industrial innovation.

The developing country firms have similar needs, but face different challenges at home and, more importantly, in the international market-place. The pressure on them from abroad has increased tremendously. Technical change of their industry is very much needed. But the deterioration of the terms of trade, in particular the overall decline of prices of primary products over the past 10 years, the ups and downs of energy costs, the worsening balance of payments caused by the rise of interest rates on loans and credits, the repatriation of foreign investments, etc., have forced countries in the developing world to eliminate research projects, reduce experimental development, and downgrade or close R&D laboratories and related institutions.

To develop policies that could avoid further marginalization in foreign investment and technology transfer, the developing countries need much more detailed and statistically grounded analyses of the role of science and technology in the globalization process. We should not forget that most of the currently available R&D and innovation indicators were created in a specific national or regional context. Although they have been further developed out of broader policy needs, they do not take into account the current internationalization of the national economies. Available R&D statistics do not capture well the new forms of technology-based competition or contemporary economic interdependencies.

Innovation indicators in the making

Over the past three or four years, R&D statisticians in the industrialized countries have speeded up the improvement of indicators describing the role of technology in industrial innovation, human resource development, industrial performance, and international competitiveness. Similar work is done to reshape indicators of scientific research and of R&D performed within the public sector with government objectives. The reasons are obvious.

At present it is not possible to quantify such important tendencies as direct international investments by sector or product area, international flows of technology (licences, patents, know-how), interenterprise and intergovernmental technical cooperation agreements, and the international diffusion of high technology incorporated in goods. Data are available on various forms of localized R&D, but the level of aggregation is usually too high for detailed analyses. Typically, changes concerning different forms of relocated R&D are not very well described in current statistics. The same is true for detailed data on transborder flows of researchers or, more generally, of scientists and engineers.

For a developing country, these kinds of R&D and innovation statistics may become strategic for situating the country's economy and its industrial firms in the changing regional and global contexts. Data on technical standards and the protection of these, access to specific technologies, intellectual property rights, and competition policies in different regions and countries could be fundamental ingredients in government policies and corporate strategies.

The uneven performance of national economies sometimes leaves room for doubt as to the possibility of a balanced sharing of gains from trade among the industrialized and the developing countries. To shed light on specialization patterns and the changing international division of labour, more statistics in the form of economic and technical intelligence is needed. Subsequently - as in the highly industrialized countries - models for interpretation should first be constructed and, following this, the most relevant indicators be defined. Then the corresponding primary and secondary data should be processed with the most significant policy objective or corporate strategy in mind.

Data should be functionally organized to form indicators that could help describe dynamic situations involving a cluster of firms and other organizations involved in innovative activities. A "techno-economic network" to take one illustration out of this context may be defined as a coordinated set of heterogeneous actors such as public laboratories, technical research centres, firm laboratories, financial organizations involved in industrial investment, intermediate and final users, as well as public authorities that participate actively in the design, development, and production/distribution of production processes, goods, and related services, some of which may entail a commercial transaction. The developing relationships between these actors in the innovation process may centre around the following three poles of attraction.

The first may be labelled the scientific pole. It consists of research centres, university laboratories, and company research units, where knowledge is generated. Here, activities are measured by bibliometric indicators, contracts between firms and research centres, training of personnel, migration of skilled labour, etc.

The second pole of attraction could be called the technical. Here new goods and related services are produced, i.e. prototypes, pilot projects, models, patent descriptions, etc. Activities are measured by surveys of major innovations, patent applications, the creation of new high-tech or science-based firms, licence agreements, and other forms of cooperation between technically advanced firms.

Thirdly, there is a market pole that focuses on the demand for goods and services by users and customers. Indicators here should measure and describe the main characteristics of the distribution system, provide information on user participation in the design of goods and services, particularly quality control and definition of standards.

In some developing countries, and definitely in most of the highly industrialized countries, the tendency now is to see R&D and innovation indicators as advanced tools for evaluations and assessments as well as for analysis and policy formulation. At the same time, there is widespread agreement that the traditional "factors of production" measured in relation to science, technology, and innovation - do not help much in explaining the dynamic interplay between technical change, industrial competitiveness, and economic growth. Recent advances in economic theory have to be clearly manifested in new R&D and innovation indicators, particularly concerning the place of science and technology in both macroeconomic and microeconomic models, and in the interaction between tangible and intangible investments.

Among intangible investments, R&D is by far the best measured economic activity. But existing data on patents and licences, design and engineering, manpower training, information flows, and organizational structures are seldom defined in such quantitative terms that would allow for a more detailed, comparative understanding of the preconditions and driving forces of industrial innovation. A more de tailed breakdown - by product rather than by branch or product group - is usually needed.

The complexity of such measuring tasks should not be underestimated. Already, rather simple quantitative analyses give rise to a variety of interpretations. And it is not enough to settle for existing indicators; the combinations of old and the creation of new innovation indicators must be placed at the top of the agenda, and substantial work is needed to reach a generally accepted quality in the statistical analysis [29].

The ''second-generation'' statistical manuals

At this point, the shopping list of R&D and innovation statisticians, recently itemized by OECD at a meeting on "Consequences of the Technology Economy Programme for the Development of Indicators," is becoming even more intricate and sophisticated. In addition to the ongoing fourth revision and subsequent expansion of the OECD standard practice for surveys of R&D (the Frascati Manual), three new statistical manuals are being launched by the OECD in close cooperation with national statistical agencies and professional user groups. Experts from the European Community and Unesco are participating as well.

First, at the international level, there is a proposed standard method of compiling and interpreting technology balance-of-payments data. Following the statistical deliberations on dynamic trade relationships, the "TBP Manual" [32] can be looked upon as a forerunner in a series of "second-generation" handbooks on the measurement of scientific, technical, and other innovative activity. These new handbooks link together input, output, and impact indicators in order to better describe and situate innovative activities, in this case the international transfer of technology. Various existing measures of output (e.g. patents and the technology balance of payments) and of impacts (trade in science-based or technology-intensive products and productivity indices) are combined with both economic statistics and new types of R&D data that are drawn from, e.g., bibliometric studies and innovation surveys. Experimental studies of this kind have been conducted by national statistical agencies, but the "TBP Manual" should make possible cross-country studies based also on long time series of data.

Secondly, a manual dealing with surveys of innovative activity in industry is in the making (the "Oslo Manual": [36]). This manual goes far beyond the scope of the Frascati Manual by including a whole set of the indicators discussed earlier in this chapter.

Thirdly, with a more limited scope, a science and technology human resource manual is being developed to facilitate internationally comparable statistics on highly qualified manpower.

On top of this, as an extension of the Frascati Manual, a guideline for the interpretation of bibliometric data is being improved by OECD consultants. Bibliometric methods such as publication counts, citations, co-authorships. and co-work analysis are used for analysing the output of the R&D system. Hence, bibliometric techniques may be useful in evaluating the productivity of individuals, teams of researchers, laboratories, or even national R&D institutions, but they may also be relevant for the tracing of linkages between fields and/or researchers and, combined with other indicators, between science and technology.

For the further development of R&D and innovation indicators in a standard format at least four criteria must be used. The first criterion concerns the real demand or significant importance of the proposed indicators. Will it permit analysis and policy conclusion over and above what can already be done through existing indicators? The second criterion is quality, which is based on theoretical soundness, validity, and operational value. If the indicator is to serve as a basis for policy decisions it must also be reliable and, maybe also, internationally comparable. The third criterion is linked to appropriateness for the users and adaptability to the relevant socioeconomic objective or the development stage in relation to the innovation process. The fourth criterion is availability, which links resource efficiency in the processing of data, timeliness, and realizability of the statistical task [34, table 2].

Taken together, the three international manuals of R&D and innovation statistics should help to improve a "second-level" analytical database to provide a comparative "scoreboard of indicators" of scientific, technological, and other innovative activities in relation to economic performance. This database, which is being created and maintained within the OECD "structural analysis programme," referred to as the "STAN Programme," is to become operational in the early 1990s. It should allow for internationally comparative measurements of links between science, technology, competitiveness, and structural change. Such analytical studies could examine determinants of international competitiveness, the contribution of technology to productivity, and growth patterns at the level of industrial branches or subsectors [33]. Nevertheless, much remains to be done to achieve international comparability.


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(introductory text...)

Part 2 marks the road from history to current challenges. Andrew Jamison puts modern science in perspective and discusses in what ways it bears the imprint of the civilization in which it emerged. Is there a Western bias built into the methods and uses of modern science and technology? There is a general lack of agreement about what Western science actually is, though clearly it has several dimensions: philosophical, including both cosmological issues and epistemological questions; sociological; and technological. Among the critiques, the author distinguishes the romantic critique, which has rediscovered the critical writings of poets and artists about the "single vision" of Western science, as well as reinterpreted the significance of mystical and occult science; the technological critique, taking its point of departure in the range of problems - from environmental destruction to structural unemployment and military escalation - that have been associated with science and technology; and the growing feminist critique of science that has emerged during the past 20 years, focusing on the gender biases at work in both the institutions and concepts of scientific research. The search for alternatives is marked by conflicts over the most appropriate way to develop "non-Western" ways of doing science: a traditionalist approach that has sought to revive the pre-colonial past in a more or less unadulterated form, and an integrative approach that has sought to combine elements of indigenous traditions (e.g. Islamic science). Finally, Jamison takes India as an example to illustrate how this tension between critical assimilation of Western science and a dogmatic reconstruction of non-Western tradition has played itself out.

Hebe Vessuri examines the historical process of institutionalization of Western science in developing countries, both as an instrument of the interests of the most advanced countries and as a result of active attempts by underdeveloped nations to master the knowledge that was the promise of modernity. Illustrating her argument with many examples, the author shows how at different times the major colonial powers and the new independent nations established science and technology institutions, giving rise to a variety of modes of institutionalization, with active government support and a wealth of cultural responses to Western learning. Nevertheless, it has been difficult for science to take root, particularly since it was expected to produce economic growth. Through all the differences of national contexts, Hebe Vessuri points to the tension present in developing countries between the assertion of national identity and autonomy and the socio-psychological feelings of peripherality, marginality, and invisibility.

Jacques Gaillard picks up and develops one specific dimension of the institutionalization process: the emergence of national scientific communities and styles of sciences in developing countries. The concept itself of "scientific community" has a variety of meanings, and most studies tend to conclude that none of the developing countries has a genuine scientific community and that there is a widening gap between the "least developed countries" and the "newly industrialized countries." The main conclusion of the survey carried out by the author on the origins, behaviour, and conditions of scientists in 78 countries is that scientists from developing countries find themselves faced with a dilemma: whether to participate in solving local problems or to follow the models and reference systems more or less imposed by the international scientific community. Third world scientists face several disadvantages compared with their colleagues in scientifically more advanced countries. Important handicaps relate to the visibility and the recognition of their scientific production in mainstream science. The challenge today for scientists is to gain in legitimacy, to find their place in a scientific community that has its own acknowledged place in society. Wherever scientific communities are emerging, the debate henceforth centres on the professionalization of their scientists, on the conditions under which scientific activities are performed, and on the capacity of the scientific communities to reproduce themselves and sustain their activities. Thus, Gaillard highlights a number of conditions that should be fulfilled for supporting the emergence and reproduction of endogenous scientific communities in developing countries

To address the economics of technological change, innovation, and production organization in countries of "late industrialization," Jorge Katz starts by underlining the drawbacks of conventional neoclassical growth models and points to an emerging heterodox theoretical paradigm. With these analytical tools, he then studies the way in which firms, markets, and institutions behaved in relation to the generation, diffusion, and utilization of technological knowledge during the import substitution industrialization of the 1960s and 1970s - a successful process of economic development - and how their behaviour has changed in the 1980s as a consequence of macroeconomic stabilization policies, the de-regulation of markets, and the opening up of the economy to foreign competition. Structural unemployment, an extremely adverse impact upon income distribution, equity, and welfare standards, increasing and more complex forms of social conflict' etc., appear as consequences of the continuing socio-economic restructuring process. The impact this process is having upon the rate and nature of technological change and the functioning of the national systems of innovation calls for: (i) sound macro-policy management; (ii) explicit industrial and technological policies capable of dealing with market failure; and (iii) addressing questions of social equity and political governability.

Sanjaya Lall argues that the development of national technological capabilities is the outcome of a complex interaction of incentive structures with human resources, technological effort, and institutional factors, mediated by government interventions to overcome market failures. It is the interplay of all these factors in particular country settings that determines, at the firm level, how well producers learn the skills and master the information needed to cope with industrial technologies and, at the national level, how well countries employ their factor endowments, raise those endowments over time, and grow dynamically in the context of rapidly changing technologies. The experience of eight industrializing countries is described to assess the validity of the proposed framework, illustrating the multiple models of industrial development based on varying combinations of incentives, capabilities, and institutions, and that each carries its own set of concomitant interventions. For the author, a large role remains for government policies, carefully and selectively applied, in promoting each of the three determinants of technological industrial development.

To conclude part 2, Ignacy Sachs examines the current environmental challenge. At the root of the first debate on environment and economic and the unconditionally ecological. The "middle path" development, or ecodevelopment - attempts to harmonize the three concerns of social equity, ecological prudence, and economic efficiency. The variables of the harmonization game are situated at both the demand and supply levels, as well as in the location of productive activities. The 20 years that separate the UN Stockholm Conference in 1972 from the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, though marked by slow progress towards ecologically and environmentally friendly development, reveal some progress conceptually, in particular with regard to the planners' and managers' toolbox, the debate on the ambiguity of sustainability, the emergence of a new paradigm in ecology and the global change. The author argues that at this stage little will be gained by pursuing the conceptual discussion of sustainable development; priority should be given instead to designing transition strategies towards the virtuous green path, taking into consideration the diverse configurations in the North and in the South in terms of wealth, technical capability, lifestyles, and compelling social problems. In this search for ecosystem, cultural, and site-specific responses to global problems, science and technology appear as a major, but by no means unique, variable capable of speeding up or delaying the transition. As the signposts for the future, Ignacy Sachs concentrates on four examples chosen because of their importance for a meaningful transition strategy, offering many opportunities for innovative use of resources: a one Kw per capita society, a modern plant (biomass) civilization for the tropical countries, the way this might be applied to the development of the Amazon region, and strategies for cities to be made livable in the twenty-first century.

(introductory text...)

Andrew Jamison

Modern science and technology have developed within Western civilization, and they are the results, or products, of particular historical events and cultural conditions. But what, if anything, does the fact that modern science developed in a Western context mean for the knowledge that is produced and not produced - in non-Western developing countries? In recent years, it has become a matter of some importance and no little controversy to determine in what ways modern science bears the imprint of the civilization in which it emerged. Is there a Western bias built into the methods and uses of modern science and technology? And are there alternative, non-Western, traditions of knowledge production, long neglected and all but forgotten, that are in some sense more appropriate for developing countries?

What is Western science?

There is a general lack of agreement about what Western science actually is. For some critics, the "Westernness" of modern science lies in what is purported to be its characteristic world-view, its fundamental attitudes to Nature, reality, and knowledge; for others it is the social system and/or institutional framework within which knowledge production is embedded that is seen as being most Westernized; while for still others the problems lie in the technological applications and more general economic development strategies that are in some way seen to be derived from, or intertwined with, science. It may thus be useful at the outset to attempt to characterize the various dimensions of Western science before turning to the criticisms that have been levelled against it. Part of the problem with the critiques of Western science is that they have been partial critiques and have failed to provide what might be considered workable alternatives to the totality of Western science. The alternatives, like the critiques, have all too often been too narrowly focused to be effective.

The philosophical dimension

Let us begin with what might be called the philosophical dimension, which includes both cosmological issues (that is, discussions of dominant worldviews and attitudes to Nature) and epistemological questions: methodology, truth criteria, etc. Indeed, it is sometimes considered to be characteristically Western to separate the two: to divide philosophers from scientists, to distinguish those who are concerned with the nature of reality from those who are concerned with discovery of true knowledge about reality [58]. From the early nineteenth century, when Auguste Comte saw in the rise of the "positive" sciences a new rational basis for society that supplanted religion and metaphysics, positivists have seen philosophy and moral issues in general as being irrelevant to the production of knowledge. The "spiritual crisis" of the West is, at least in part, to be seen as the ensuing separation between facts and values and the more deep-rooted secularization of society and knowledge that came with it: what the German sociologist Max Weber called "disenchantment of the world."

While not every scientist working in the Western world has shared the same philosophical assumptions, there has none the less been a characteristic Western approach to Nature, derived from Judeo-Christian traditions and applied to most areas of scientific investigation. The central components of this attitude are objectification and reductionism. Non-human nature is seen as existing for man, and Nature is viewed as a realm of objects for man's potential use and benefit without any inherent subjective interests of its own. Against all vitalist and animist teachings, Western science has come to represent an objectifying, mechanizing way of knowing and doing. Furthermore, it has sought to reduce an understanding of reality down to its basic elements, namely the atoms and subatomic particles- as well as genes - that are seen through scientific instruments to exist in the invisible world of microscopic reality. Epistemologically, Western science can be said to be a deconstructive way of knowing: knowledge of reality is derived through analytical deconstruction of Nature into its component parts. At the same time, the identity of Western science is of a kind of knowledge that has no higher metaphysical or religious justification. It is an intrinsically instrumental knowledge, neither moral nor immoral in its ulterior motivation, in that morality as such is irrelevant to its mode of operation. By objectifying Nature and reducing reality to its component parts, the defenders of Western science have claimed to be able to provide a knowledge that is superior to, and more useful than, knowledges based on more speculative or holistic philosophies [66]. Even though the "truths" of Western science are intrinsically limited to those processes that can be investigated in the form of experiments or experiment-like operations, the knowledge that is produced has a reliability - and, most crucially, a verifiability - that knowledge produced by other means does not possess [103, 48].

Reductionism - literally the reducing of Nature to experimental demonstration - has been the dominant methodological doctrine since the seventeenth century scientific revolution did away with holism and organicism in the name of objectivity. Since that time, the epistemological criteria by which Western science can be said to produce a distinct form of truth have been based on experimental, or "objective," methods of discovery and rational, or "logical," criteria of verification. In this respect, Western science is one possible way of ordering reality, with particular ideas of what is to be considered true and accurate.

From the seventeenth century onwards, science in the West has been largely defined in terms of its methods, although different philosophers have emphasized different aspects as being central. For some, following an inductive, or empiricist, tradition identified with British philosophers such as Francis Bacon and John Stuart Mill, science has been defined by its use of observational and experimental procedures, i.e. by the manner in which its practitioners go about discovering or constructing the empirical "facts" of reality. For others, following a deductive, or rationalist, tradition more associated with continental philosophers such as René Descartes and Immanuel Kant, science has been defined by its use of mathematically based logical reasoning. In this tradition, it is primarily through its rational methods of argumentation that science is seen to be able to produce true knowledge, procedures derived from mathematics and logic rather than from any necessarily observable external reality. Science, from this vantage point, is an adventure of the mind: the uniqueness of the modern, Western variety is due to the rigour of its logic rather than the quality of its experimental techniques. Western science is thus most properly seen as not one but at least two different knowledge traditions, one associated with experimentation, the other with mathematical logic [37].

In the twentieth century, as the philosophy of science has itself become professionalized, a number of philosophers have attempted to combine the two epistemological traditions; one of the more influential efforts has been Karl Popper's theory of falsification, which seeks to depict a "logic of discovery" in the relationship between experimentation and theory building. Theories, according to Popper, are conjectures that are formulated in order to lead to refutations by experimental testing. Scientific knowledge is thus not the same thing as truth, but is better viewed as a process of growth toward ever closer approximations to truth. It is the process that is objective rather than any one particular result, a process that Popper has characterized as falsification [67].

A theory, for Popper, is always provisional; his view of science reflects a reaction to the dogmatic ideologies of his youth, the totalitarian Marxisms and fascist teachings with their absolute truth claims in both science and politics. Popper's philosophy of science depicts scientific research as an ongoing, living process, rather than a set of finished statements; science was a part of what he came to term the "open society" with a sceptical and critical attitude to truth [68]. His philosophy has the ambition, which is shared by many contemporary philosophers, to articulate the way in which scientific knowledge is actually produced, rather than an idealized vision of what science should be. For Popper and his followers, science progresses by continually subjecting its findings to criticism. And even though Popper's critical empiricism has come to be seen as ideological in its own right - for how many scientists really act the way Popper says they should? - it has helped to open the philosophy of science to a closer relation with sociology, history, and science itself.

In the 1960s, Imre Lakatos reformulated Popper's empiricism to take into account some of the background assumptions and "research programmes" that also affect the research process [38], and in recent years, philosophers have come to focus more on the process of experimentation itself rather than Popper's somewhat idealized portrayal of experimenting [26, 29]. Popper's empiricism, which seems to exclude a good deal of modern science from its exacting criteria (many theories simply cannot be experimentally falsified), has also come to be challenged by what might be called neorationalism, a kind of common-sensical view of science that limits epistemology to the semantic reconstruction of scientific statements [70]. While some philosophers have moved closer to the actual research process, others have taken what has been termed a linguistic turn and have come to concern themselves with the way in which scientific theories are constructed, formulated, and expressed [23].

Whatever their differences, however, both modern day rationalists and empiricists usually consider themselves "realists" and tend to close ranks against the various relativist philosophies that have been developed in recent years and that form, as we shall see, part of the contemporary critique of Western science. Where relativists or constructivists see scientific methods as context bound and the resultant findings as limited in their applicability, realists stress the operational, even universal, nature of scientific truth. Because of the particular methods of science, especially their reliance on experimental investigation and thus repeatable interactions with reality that produce verifiable data, science provides the most objective and unbiased knowledge that humans are able to produce. The realist truth claim is thus limited but none the less universal in its range.

It seems safe to say that almost all philosophers of science - and even most scientists - have shared a common "scientistic" faith; whether inductivists or deductivists, empiricists or rationalists, they have taken more or less for granted the superiority of scientific methods over other systems of knowledge or belief. Scientism, in this sense, is an outgrowth of the positivism first systematized by Auguste Comte in the nineteenth century, who contended that the growth of science marked a decisive, historical break, a huge cognitive step forward beyond metaphysics and religion [33]. According to positivism, science is to be distinguished from religion, metaphysics, even philosophy itself, by its reliance on impersonal, rational, objective methods. Even more than any particular epistemology or attitude to Nature, it is the positivist legacy, which in our day has taken the form of a scientistic mentality or belief system, that most of the more philosophically minded critics of Western science are attempting to challenge.

The sociological dimension

In contrast to the philosophical discourse, which locates the Westernness of modern science in its epistemology and world-view, there can also be said to be a distinctly Western sociological or organizational dimension. What makes science Western at this level is the way it has come to be organized in society and the corresponding social ethos or norm systems that it has built up [85]. Modern science, now international and global, took on much of its present character in western Europe in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the period that has come to be known, among other things, as the time of scientific revolution. In the transition of European societies from feudalism to industrialism - or capitalism - the modern scientist emerged as a kind of synthesis of the medieval scholar and the traditional artisan, with precursors among the artists and engineers of the Renaissance and Reformation [77].

The scientific academies of the seventeenth century, such as the Accademia del Cimento in Italy, the Royal Society in England, the Académie des Sciences in France, provided some of the first organized social spaces anywhere in the world for carrying out scientific research and communicating scientific results. No longer was scientific experimentation confined to private or secret laboratories; instead, experiments were carried out in public, with new, often state-financed instruments and under the auspices of royal, state patronage and support. Already in 1928, Martha Ornstein wrote that "it cannot be sufficiently stressed that it was the experimental character of science which encouraged the creation of scientific societies" [63, p. 67]. Recently, their crucial importance in providing "experimental spaces" has been discussed by a number of social historians [86, 30].

The academies were the first institutions of modern science, although museums, schools, and observatories in classical Greece and Rome, as well as in China, Africa, and the Islamic Middle East, had earlier provided temporary homes for the development of systematic technical and natural knowledge [45]. The difference can be seen as one between collecting information and producing knowledge, or, more colourfully perhaps, between hunting-gathering (and speculation) and conscious cultivation (and accumulation). Science, in its Western guise, has been characterized by a particular institutional and organizational form, a distinct "social relations" of knowledge production [49].

With the seventeenth century scientific revolution, science in the West came to be identified with experimental practice, mediated by technical instruments; the conscious development of instruments and experimental apparatus to accumulate what Francis Bacon termed "useful knowledge" is an important part of Western scientific identity, as is the conscious combination of practical skill and speculative thought [76]. What remained separated in other parts of the world, divided into the separate realms of scholarly endeavour on the one hand and practical learning on the other, was combined in Europe in an academic scientific praxis [102]. With the coming of the political and industrial revolutions of the late eighteenth century, science entered the universities and, in the process, what had until then been a relatively marginal societal activity came to be transformed into a profession.

The links with technology and industrial development were intensified during the nineteenth century, in new types of scientific universities, industrial research laboratories, and technological colleges, so that by the early twentieth century, science had become a legitimate and highly significant part of Western culture. It was this institutionalized science that was transferred to, or imposed upon, the rest of the world in the "age of imperialism," supplanting other, indigenously generated forms of knowledge production and dissemination [64]. By the time of the Second World War, modern science had been spread throughout the world, and it is as a global, international science, a shared possession of all mankind, that we know it today. But as a form of human praxis it bears the marks of a particularly Western mode of organization, with certain characteristic institutional imperatives or norms [2].

Modern science, it has been claimed, subscribes to a norm of universalism, by which its findings can be duplicated anywhere in the world by scientists of any race or nationality. In the words of the American sociologist Robert Merton, who formulated the norm in an influential essay in 1942, "The acceptance or rejection of claims entering the lists of science is not to depend on the personal or social attributes of their protagonist; his race, nationality, religion, class and personal qualities are as such irrelevant. Objectivity precludes particularism.... The imperative of universalism is rooted deeply in the impersonal character of science" [52, p. 553]. For Merton, writing in the midst of the Second World War, when Nazi Germany sought to impose a nationalist "Aryan" ideology on its science, the universalism of Western science was a progressive attribute, indeed a central condition of progress itself. Universalism was linked to objectivity, or what Merton called "organized skepticism" and "disinterestedness" to establish a set of values that could ensure a knowledge free from ideological bias and that was central to a Western democratic societal developmental process.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Merton's sociological approach complemented the neoempiricism that Karl Popper was developing within the philosophy of science. Throughout the international academic culture, science came to be identified as the type of knowledge that had emerged in western Europe in the seventeenth century, a combination of experimentation and logic, a "hypothetico-deductive" knowledge linking the worlds of the craftsman/inventor to those of the scholar/mathematician. This science emerged in a particular kind of institutional setting and it established particular roles and functions within the emerging industrial capitalist society [4]. Indeed, as an organizational form, Western science can be defined, since the seventeenth century, as that kind of knowledge production that has taken place in specifically designated scientific institutions: first academies, then research laboratories, and finally R&D establishments. It is thus an expert knowledge, a kind of understanding that is considered legitimate and professional within a certain kind of society. It was to be distinguished from religious knowledge and metaphysical knowledge not only through a more all-encompassing philosophical goal or ambition, but through its organizational structure and the roles it played in industrial society.

The technological dimension

It is particularly since the Second World War, with the rise of so-called Big Science, that the Westernness of science has come to be seen not merely in philosophical or sociological terms; as science has become ever more important in the industrial and "post-industrial" political economy, attention has come to be directed to the productive, economic uses of scientific knowledge. What is seen as characteristic of Western science is no longer merely the internal truth criteria and attitude to Nature nor the institutional norms and social roles: Western science has come to be seen as integral to industrialization itself [39, 75]. There has developed, among economists and engineers, the notion of the innovation chain, by which basic scientific results are transformed into industrial products. It is its place in the innovation process, the capacity of Western scientific ideas to be able to be turned into profitable products, that is now seen by many to be most characteristic of Western science. For those involved in the planning and administration of science, the particularly Western styles of management and application have come to be seen as most significant. Even more, it is the integration of science and technology, the very industrialization of science and the transformation of knowledge itself into a commodity, that is seen as most characteristic of the Western style of knowledge production [72].

The industrialization of science can be seen as having gone through three main stages since the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries [98]. In a first stage, scientific education came to be oriented toward industrial needs by the creation of new scientific universities and technical "high schools" and the infusion of science and laboratory teaching into university curricula. The new technologies also led to new scientific discoveries and theories, in thermodynamics, electricity, organic chemistry, geology, etc. From the second half of the nineteenth century, industrial research laboratories started to be established, in both Europe and the United States, and, in this second stage, engineering grew closer to science in its organizational and conceptual identity. The final stage, which is more recent and still developing, involves a more systemic process of integration, connecting science, engineering, marketing, and management into a more all-encompassing technostructure or techno-science. The industrialization of science is thus a pattern of interlinkages and mutual influencing, so that science in the late twentieth century is no longer the same thing that it was in the seventeenth century. It is now ever more difficult to separate science from its technical uses, or to extract it, as some kind of pure ideational essence, from the innovation chains and corporate strategies in which it has become enmeshed.

Of course, this particular dimension is no longer geographically confined to the "West"; indeed, the economic application of science is, if anything, more actively pursued in East Asia than anywhere else in the world, although it is possible in this age of relativity to view Japan and Korea as the - extremely - Far West, and thus their development of the economic dimension of Western science can be seen as an extension, rather than an alternative. The Asian countries are not challenging the underlying logic of science and technology; they are, on the contrary, following that logic with a dedication and commitment that seems to be weakening in many of the originating Western countries.

However we are to view the Japanese assimilation of science and capitalism, the economic dimension involves the ways in which scientific knowledge is linked to the commodity form characteristic of the historical development of Western industrial capitalism. It was in the age of what Karl Marx called modern industry, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, that economic development has come to be based on the results of systematic scientific investigations into the properties of natural phenomena and, increasingly, the functions of man-made artefacts. Western science is thus that form of knowledge that is "oriented" to technological use and application [36]. It is also, and perhaps most centrally for many of those who have criticized it, that form of knowledge production that has lent itself to technocratic visions and developmental strategies. It is, as such, indistinguishable from Western technology, which in its "neo-imperialist" pattern of transfer to non-Western societies is often identified as one of the main contributors to underdevelopment itself [74].

The critiques

There is nothing particularly new about criticizing either the objective methods or the societal uses of Western science; there have been critiques of science as far back as one wishes to go. It falls outside the scope of this chapter to say much about these earlier critiques, however. For our purposes, what is significant are the ways in which alternative scientific traditions have come to be rediscovered in recent years and applied to contemporary concerns. At least since the publication of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962, the contemporary view of Western science has undergone what might be called a contextual revolution, as scientists and their discoveries have ever more come to be viewed in their historical and social contexts (for representative articles, see ref. 3, and for reviews, see ref. 12). Among anthropologists and other social scientists, as well as among philosophers and scientists themselves, the truth claims of Western science have been relativized (perhaps most dramatically and influentially in Feyerabend [21]), and for the past 15 years, it has become increasingly respectable to contrast Western science to other belief systems and ways of knowing [50]. Western science provides a kind of knowledge that works, but does it lead to wisdom or enlightenment? The relativization of science involves an enquiry into its underlying premises and motivations [46] and into its psychological and more personal, subjective meanings [93].

On the one hand, there has been a rediscovery of the various spiritual and holistic sciences and pseudo-sciences that have been based on different philosophical points of departure [18, 91]. Both alchemy and astrology, for example, have in recent decades come to be studied not merely by mystically minded initiates, but they have also been re-evaluated by historians and philosophers seeking to unravel the various crises of modern society [22]. There has also been a growing concern with the limited capacity of Western science to address moral and ethical issues and fulfil what might be considered the ideal of self-enlightenment that has often been traditionally associated with the pursuit of knowledge. In general, from the 1960s onward, there has been-a marked "return to cosmology" and a rather widespread questioning of the previously hegemonic world-view assumptions of Western science [92].

Particularly influential have been the re-examinations of the role that magic, religion, and alchemy played in the formation of modern, Western science [101, 30]. The historical record has come to be rewritten with increased emphasis given to figures like Paracelsus and Bruno, who had sought to give early modern science a far broader and more spiritual orientation than it ended up receiving. The hermetic and gnostic texts of the early modern period have come to be re-examined, and they have been seen to have played an important role in developing the more visionary, utopian sides of Western science [44]. Even Isaac Newton himself, the father of the mechanical philosophy, has been shown to have been a much more complicated personality than had earlier been imagined, as historians have investigated his alchemical research and his concern with Biblical cosmology.

Historians of later periods have also come to direct attention to the alternative undercurrents within Western science and philosophy. The history of Western science has, as it were, been broken up into distinct historical periods characterized by debates and even struggles between different approaches. Thus, Paracelsian medicine, Goethe's science of colours, and Whitehead's organicism have been reevaluated and shown to offer explanations and approaches to natural phenomena that challenge the dominant approaches of Western science. Particularly with the advent of feminism, there are many who actively work to show that Western science has been limited and biased in significant ways, and the critiques that have emerged have come to exert a substantial influence in several scientific fields [94]. What has been at work, according to feminist critics, is a particularly masculine way of conceptualizing reality, which has superimposed socially constructed patterns and relationships onto natural processes [41].

It may be helpful to group the critiques in three main thematic categories, corresponding to the three dimensions of Western science that I discussed above. On the one hand, there is what might be termed a philosophical or romantic critique, which has rediscovered the critical writings of poets and artists about the "single vision" of Western science, as well as reinterpreted the significance of mystical and occult traditions. Here attention is directed primarily at what I have called the philosophical or cosmological dimension of modern science, the worldview assumptions and methodological precepts that are seen as characteristic of modern science. A second category of critique can be labelled technological, taking its points of departure in the range of problems from environmental destruction to structural unemployment and military escalation - that have been associated with science and technology. In relation to the discussion above, this category of criticism focuses more on the technological uses - and misuses - of modern science than on the scientific research activity itself. Thirdly, there is the growing feminist critique of science that has emerged during the past 20 years, focusing on the gender biases at work in both the institutions and concepts of scientific research. The feminist critique is the most vocal, and probably the most significant, kind of criticism directed against what I have termed above the sociological dimension of science, the ways in which research is organized and institutionalized in modern societies. In reviewing the feminist critique, I will briefly mention some of the other critical voices within the sociology of science.

Within each category, we can further distinguish between what might be termed "internal" and "external" types of criticism, the first coming from within the scientific community and thus proposing alternatives that fall within the overall framework of scientific thought and behaviour, the second coming from outside the halls of science and thus much more open to and supportive of non-scientific even anti-scientific, paths to knowledge or wisdom.

The romantic critique

In this category, there are those who have sought inspiration in the alternative traditions of Western civilization, as well as in the spiritual approaches of non-Western traditions. Important sources have been the writings of Joseph Needham and his collaborators on the history of science in China and the works of S.H. Nasr on Islamic science. Both projects - and the further developments that they have encouraged- have shown, in impressive detail, how Western science of the modern era is based on the findings and the insights of non-Western scientific traditions. According to Needham, all the world's civilizations have contributed to modern science; it is a world science that needs to recognize the crucial importance of the contributions of the non-Western peoples for its development [60]. Needham has never sought an alternative to Western science; his ambition has rather been to correct the sense of omnipotence and omniscience, in short the scientism, that has been part of a certain philosophical interpretation of Western science [61].

For Nasr, Western science has narrowed what was a far richer and more spiritual scientific quest in the Islamic world [59]. Western science is, for Nasr and other spiritual critics, a pale reflection of what was, in other cultures, a more integrated social activity based on an attitude of harmonious contemplation rather than exploitation of Nature. In the 1960s, the works of Nasr and Needham, and of Frances Yates and others, on the mystical and magical roots of Western science helped inspire the international "counterculture" with its rather substantial interest in Eastern religions and other modes of consciousness. Also important were the explorations of magical and mystical traditions in the scholarly writings of Mircea Eliade [16] and the extremely popular books of Carlos Castaneda.

Theodore Roszak's Where the Wasteland Ends [78] is a good example of this genre of critique in combining a rejection of the mechanical universe with a resuscitation of romanticism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's glorification of Nature and later William Blake's critique of the industrial spirit - as well as Goethe's holistic science - all contribute to Roszak's project. Romanticism, for Roszak, is not a lost historical tradition but a necessity for spiritual survival in a technological age; in Roszak's words, "romanticism is the struggle to save the reality of experience from evaporating into theoretical abstraction or disintegrating into the chaos of empirical fact.... Whatever we must leave behind of the Romantic style, we can scarcely afford to abandon its steady determination to integrate science into a greater vision of reality, to heal and make whole the dissociated mind of its culture" [78, pp. 256, 258]. The counter-culture of the 1960s, which had a profound influence on many literary intellectuals and artists, such as Roszak, can be seen as a kind of romantic renaissance, leading to the revival of occultism and mysticism that is such a noticeable presence in the world today. Much of what is left of this revival is degenerate in that it turns critique into sectarianism and a kind of escape from society; but, particularly in some of the so-called "new age" formulations of, e.g., Fritjof Capra [11], attempts are made to apply holistic and romantic approaches to physics and economics.

For the purposes of this chapter, the most significant contemporary versions of the romantic critique are those that have been directed against the (high) technological culture. Roszak himself has criticized the "cult of information" that has, through the widespread diffusion of computers in education, sought to promulgate a new data processing model of knowledge upon the Western societies, and increasingly upon the non-Western world as well [79]. For Roszak, the information revolution has imposed a new level of machine dependence in both education and scientific, even humanistic, research, and, even more seriously, information ideal tends to reduce human thinking to machine manipulation.

The romantic critique of Western science builds, of course, on a long legacy of thinkers; and, in their responses to the new advanced technologies, neoromantics such as Roszak and Langdon Winner have drawn on Lewis Mumford's ideas about the megamachine and "authoritarian technics," as well as Jacques Ellul's conception of an autonomous technology that has grown out of human and social control [17, 55, 99]. Other important sources of inspiration have been the critical social theorists and philosophers of the 1940s and 1950s Heidegger in Germany, Sartre in France, Marcuse in the United States - who tried to apply new philosophical approaches to the postwar technological society.

The environmental critique

In the United States, Jeremy Rifkin has published a number of books (and held countless public meetings over the past 10 years) to oppose the technological applications of genetic manipulation. Rifkin has combined the romanticism of the counter-culture - with its poetic imagination and its distrust of modern technology - with a second category of criticism, which can be labelled environmentalism. While Roszak has questioned the information ideal of knowledge as a fundamental challenge to earlier conceptions of human thinking, Rifkin has seen the new biotechnological "products" as a challenge to earlier conceptions of Nature. "Two futures beckon us," according to Rifkin. "We can choose to engineer the life of the planet, creating a second nature in our image, or we can choose to participate with the rest of the living kingdom. Two futures, two choices. An engineering approach or an ecological approach" [73, p. 252].

What is at issue among environmental, or ecological, critics of Western science is not so much the power and control embodied in Western science and technology as the anthropocentrism and species reductionism of much of Western science. Ecology, as both science and philosophy, has been presented as an alternative way of approaching Nature and of managing the various crises of pollution, overpopulation climatic change, etc What ecology offers for its proponents is a systemic view of Nature, derived as much from field biology as from cybernetics [100, 65]. Nature is seen not in a reductionist way, in terms of its component parts, but in its interrelations and underlying patterns. Particularly in some of the newer formulations of the Green parties and groups, a so-called "deep ecology" of empathy for all living things has challenged many practices of mainstream Western science, such as animal experiments, genetic manipulation, and nuclear power. The alternative is a "kinder" science that draws on the organismic and even animistic philosophies of the past while making use of the feedback and systemic understandings of computer science [14]. An influential source of inspiration is Gregory Bateson, whose attempts to delineate the "ecology of mind" among both the Balinese and contemporary Western scientists, has provided insights for biologists, anthropologists, and psychologists.

In Norway, the philosopher Arne Naess has, under the influence of environmentalism, developed a new kind of ecological philosophy, based on the idea of species egalitarianism. Naess and the Australian Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation, and the American anarchist Murray Bookchin, have been among those who have sought to take the environmental critique of Western science to what might be called a new metaphysical level [90, 9]. Also significant in this domain is the propagation of the so-called Gaia hypothesis [42], by which the Earth and its inhabitants are seen as part of one overall process of life. In our terms, they have criticized the philosophical dimension of Western science, while most environmental activists have criticized the particular technological uses or applications of Western science. Animal rights and the preservation of virgin natural regions are concerns that require a new attitude to Nature, a non-exploitative worldview that, in many ways, is similar to pre-modern and non-Western attitudes (for a critical review, cf. ref. 10). For many deep ecologists, American Indians and other "primitive" peoples offer alternative modes of interacting with the natural environment, both practically and cognitively. And, as we shall see, the rediscovery of more "ecological" traditions is also becoming significant within environmental movements in developing countries.

The environmental critique is not alone in opposing the uses to which modern sciences are put. After the Second World War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many scientists and ordinary citizens took to the streets to protest the new destructive weapons and try to "ban the bomb." The British philosopher Bertrand Russell was for many years a leader in the international efforts to oppose the increasing militarization of science and technology and the consolidation of what, in the United States, was labelled a "military-industrial complex." The criticism of military technology remains significant in the 1990s; it reminds us of the fact that modern science is by no means a universally positive phenomenon. Compared with the other social and environmental problems that are, in part, caused by science and technology, military escalation has proven to be one of the most difficult to counteract. Indeed, many argue that science and technology are so thoroughly connected with military or aggressive intentions that only a moratorium on research or a slowing down of the rate of innovation would make a significant impact on world peace. On the other hand, the critique of military research has stimulated the development of science itself by spawning a number of peace research institutes around the world and thus generating a kind of "internal" process of reform or conversion of at least some portion of modern science from military and aggressive purposes to more idealistic or peaceful objectives.

The feminist critique

A third category of critique is associated with feminism and has come to exercise an ever growing influence on scientists, particularly women scientists, throughout the world, but perhaps especially in the United States. At issue here are both what is called the "gender bias" of Western science, as reflected in the concepts, theories, and even experimental methods of many sciences, and the overall philosophical or epistemological criteria that are used to validate scientific findings [27]. On the one hand, feminists claim that Western science portrays and investigates Nature in particularly aggressive and exploitative ways, following Francis Bacon in articulating a "masculine" conception of science and using a particularly sexist kind of rhetoric to portray both the natural world and technical artefacts [32]; on the other hand, Western science as such is seen as following a particular masculine form of logic, being competitive rather than dialogic, monopolistic rather than pluralistic, individualistic rather than collective [41]. The feminist critique thus becomes both epistemological and sociological and supports attempts to develop a social epistemology whereby the verification of truth claims is seen as dependent on the social contexts in which scientific results are produced or "manufactured." In this way, feminism has both fostered and been enriched by the more general social theorizing of science that has been growing among sociologists and philosophers in recent years.

In this social theorizing or sociological critique, attention has been focused on the professional or institutional systems of modern science. Science and technology have been criticized for their hierarchical or authoritarian social relations, with a small number of leaders or managers dominating the majority of scientific workers [25]. Science has been seen in terms of its production organization or labour process, and, particularly in the 1970s, when Marxism regained popularity within many academic fields, science and technology came to be criticized in class terms. It was the relations of science and technology to capitalist corporations that were questioned and challenged. In the 1990s, much of this sociological criticism has disappeared, while feminism has taken over and focused the critique on the particular sphere of gender relations.

The critiques of Western science are, of course, not limited to romanticism, environmentalism, and feminism, but the three categories do indicate both the range and the variety of contemporary critical voices. What might have been seen as conventional wisdom among philosophers and scientists themselves some 30 years ago - a more or less common "scientistic" belief that the methods, institutions, and technological applications of modern science were superior to other modes of knowledge production - has come increasingly to be challenged. These critiques have fostered a growing relativism or agnosticism among sociologists of science, who have increasingly come to see science as merely one form of social activity among others. For Latour and Woolgar [40], science is seen as a way of life rather than a path to truth, and for Mulkay [54], science is a kind of language game, constructing concepts and "discourses" like any other literary activity. The dominant sociological view of science today is that of social constructivism, whose practitioners are not so critical of Western science or anxious to provide alternative ways of producing knowledge as they are sceptical of its aims and social implications. The feminist and sociological critics seek to expand the scientific enterprise into something more pluralistic and variegated: sciences instead of Science [13].

The search for alternatives

It is as part of the efforts to achieve independence from foreign domination that non-Western intellectual traditions will be considered. Here it is possible to delineate two main approaches: a traditionalist approach, which has sought to revive the pre-colonial past in a more or less unadulterated form, and an integrative approach, which has sought to combine elements of indigenous traditions in one or another developmental framework. In all of the liberation struggles in the so-called third world, there has been a tension between the two approaches, and in most developing countries there continue to be conflicts over the most appropriate way to develop "non-Western" ways of doing science.

The communist model of development, first put into practice in the Soviet Union and then in China, Vietnam, Cuba, and, to varying degrees, in several African countries, tended to follow and promulgate a weak integrative approach: traditional techniques in medicine, agriculture, and small-scale industry have been tolerated only when they could be combined with Western approaches in the aim of producing a new "socialist" or "people's" science of some kind. Although patterns of development varied from country to country, the standard procedure was to build up formal systems of science and technology based on Western approaches, while allowing some informal systems of training, diffusion, and service in non-Western approaches. The dichotomy has roughly corresponded to the division between the urban and rural economies. The general ideology of socialist development has been modernist, depicting Western science and technology as intrinsically progressive, and traditional belief systems as belonging to a pre-modern past [5, 6].

In many of the non-communist developing countries, the scientistic value system associated with Western science has more explicitly been distinguished from the practice; certain elements of Western philosophy, religion, and belief have been characterized as "colonial mentality" or "Westernization," and attempts have been made to foster and encourage indigenous religions and belief systems. At the same time, the natural and engineering sciences have been developed along Western lines, since most of the leading scientists in developing countries were, at least until independence, educated in Western countries. Usually, non-Western philosophy and art have been encouraged alongside the Western sciences, which has meant that even though the formal systems are modelled on the West, the actual research and education are influenced in many ways by non-Western culture and beliefs. In a very real sense, all science in non-Western countries is non-Western science, since the institutional traditions and cultural patterns are different from those that produced Western science. At the same time, however, the official ambition in almost all non-Western countries has been to copy Western models and apply Western modes of knowledge production [34, 88, 71].


The assimilation of Western science can be seen, somewhat schematically, to have gone through a number of phases since the end of the Second World War. In a first phase that lasted in most countries at least until the second half of the 1960s, there was little concern with developing alternatives to Western science on either the sociological or technological level; it was usually only the Western philosophy that was challenged and countered by reinterpretations of traditional belief systems. In Africa, the attempts of Nkrumah, Senghor, and others to formulate an indigenous African philosophy involved both the reinvention of African tradition and also the conscious application of selected elements of that tradition to contemporary political and social projects: "Africanization" [47]. Such use of the past has been criticized for its irrationality and its confusion of philosophy with myth; for Paulin Hountondji, for example, African philosophy is based on "the myth of primitive unanimity, with its suggestion that in 'primitive societies' - that is to say, non-Western societies - everybody always agrees with everybody else.... African philosophy does exist, . . . but in a new sense, as a literature produced by Africans and dealing with philosophical problems" [28, p. 63].

For our purposes, the attempts to develop African philosophy and revive traditional non-Western religion are interesting in seeking to provide a different cultural framework for the development of science, not a different science. It is also important to note that they are the result, for the most part, of interaction with Western critical traditions; the Western-trained leaders and cultural spokesmen of the newly independent countries of the third world have applied or at least made use of certain tools of Western cultural criticism in seeking to foster the traditions of their own peoples. In Africa, the rediscovery of the past was inspired by Western anthropology [53]. Those who came to formulate African philosophy were influenced especially by the works of the anthropologist Lévy-Bruhl, and they were affected more generally by the cultural relativism that was a rather common feature of European philosophy and sociology between the First and Second world wars.

While some leaders of newly emerging countries thus sought to develop alternatives to what we have called the philosophical dimension of Western science, the articulators of socialist development strategies sought to impose a different agenda for putting science to use. The writings of Franz Fanon, which had a major influence in third world intellectual circles during the first period of independence, can be taken as representative of this socialist position. For Fanon in Algeria, much like Mao in China, Nehru in India, and Castro in Cuba, traditional approaches to knowledge were part of the pre-colonial, undeveloped, and backward society; the starting point was the observation that traditional society had been "thrown into confusion" by the experience of colonization. In his view, the liberation struggle in Algeria had helped solve the problem by taking sides for modern medicine. "Witchcraft, maraboutism (already considerably discredited as a result of the propaganda carried on by the intellectuals), belief in the djinn, all things that seemed to be part of the very being of the Algerian, were swept away by the action and practice initiated by the Revolution.... The notions about 'native psychology' or of the 'basic personality' are shown to be vain. The people who take their destiny into their own hands assimilate the most modern forms of technology at an extraordinary rate" [20, pp. 124, 126].

What liberation and independence provided was thus not a return to tradition but a different way to use Western knowledge, not only to benefit the previous elites and colonial rulers, but to "serve the people," as Mao put it in China. It is certainly no accident that it was Western-trained medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, and scientists who were among the leaders in most of the third world struggles for independence. They were modernists who had imbibed the teachings of Marxism and European positivism and who saw their revolutions, among other things, as a crucial step toward assimilating Western science and technology into their "underdeveloped" societies. Marx, in the nineteenth century, had of course been a critic of capitalism and its commodity fetishism, but his criticism had not been directed toward science and technology; indeed, central to his critique was the belief that capitalism could not make satisfactory use of the new productive forces that it had unleashed on the world. It was rather the task of the working class to put the revolutionary discoveries of modern science to more effective and widespread use. In the twentieth century, first in Russia and then in the colonies, Marxism was disseminated to other groups of oppressed peoples, but its attitude to science and technology was not particularly affected in the process. The revolutionary movements that came to power after the Second World War, many of which explicitly identified themselves as Marxist, were thus propagators of Western science and technology, although traditional methods in medicine and agriculture were tolerated as long as they "worked."

Anti-imperialist movements

A second wave of opposition to Western science began to take shape as part of the widespread questioning of Western-style development that emerged in the anti-imperialist movements of the 1960s. What was at issue was not primarily the Western science and technology that was central to development but the orientation to the imperialist centre, the dominance that the imperialist countries continued to exercise over the newly independent countries of the third world. In order to continue the struggle beyond independence to a true national liberation, it was necessary among other things to take the pre-colonial past much more seriously and to question some of the Marxian and positivist assumptions that had hitherto guided the development of science and technology.

The Vietnam War brought these issues to a head. The United States, now seen as the dominant imperialist power, mobilized a massive destructive force in order to keep North and South Vietnam as separate nations. In response, the Vietnamese mobilized their indigenous skills and traditional knowledge and, in the process, came to stand for a new kind of popular approach to science and technology and military resistance. Mao in China had also come to launch his Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, closing the universities and sending students to the countryside to learn from the people rather than from the "bourgeois" professors who were still supposedly in power in the cities. Where the Vietnamese people were forced to defend themselves by rediscovering methods of guerrilla warfare, the Chinese people were forced to take part in a massive and, it must be said, largely disastrous social experiment. For both countries, the experiments produced a great deal of suffering, wasted effort, and human and natural destruction; and yet they were none the less innovative attempts to impose a new social order of knowledge on large human populations. To speak in Karl Popper's terms, they were massive social experiments, which failed to falsify Western science. Indeed, in both countries, the enthusiasm for Western science and technology has, if anything, been greater after the revolutionary experiments than before [31]. In their time, however, both efforts provided models, at least at the rhetorical level, for other countries to emulate, and contributed to a more general search for alternative or appropriate approaches to science and technology [15, 89].

In the 1970s, appropriate technology - by which was usually meant the creative combination in particular contexts of traditional and modern techniques to meet the problems at hand - developed into a multifaceted movement. In our terms, appropriate technology addressed or challenged the technological dimension of Western science and sought to break the link that had been formed already in the early modern period between the development of science and the development of practical techniques. Appropriate technologists argued for a return to an artisanal technology, a technical ideal that focuses on the craftsman rather than the scientist as the main source of innovation. Appropriate technology tended to be seen as a process of development from below, a non-scientific, locally based technical activity that made better use of the available human and natural resources than a technology development from above, directed by scientific experts with little awareness of local conditions and capabilities.

Appropriate technology had difficulty in meeting the challenges of the new advanced technologies of micro-electronics and biotechnology that began to appear in the international market-place in the late 1970s. These technologies were based on the latest scientific understanding and thus seemed to imply a re-Westernization; appropriate technology, in the course of the 1980s, tended to be marginalized, and now serves not so much as a real alternative to Western science and technology as a nostalgic memory. Part of the problem is that the alternatives quickly grew too specific. Rather than develop a comprehensive set of appropriate technologies and encourage each country to ransack its own traditions and find those ideas and approaches that seemed most fruitful to develop further, all too many appropriate technology enthusiasts wanted to develop immediate solutions, technical fixes to contemporary problems. The units that still survive are primarily those that have sought to stimulate appropriate processes for technological development and training rather than appropriate products. But what was also stimulated was a much more thorough historical reconnaissance than had ever been encouraged before [1, 24, 64].

Particularly important were the efforts made to reinterpret the precolonial scientific traditions. In Latin America, as part of the effort to save the tropical rain forests from extinction, the ethnobotanies of the Amerindians were rediscovered, and, by now, research institutes have been established to carry out agricultural programmes based on the revitalized traditional knowledges [69]. In China, acupuncture and herbal medicine have not only become fully legitimate parts of medical science and treatment but they have been transferred to the rest of the world as a visibly non-Western way to treat - and understand - the human animal. In Africa and central America, the pre-colonial astronomical and cosmological theories have been rediscovered, and some of the mysteries of modern astrophysics are beginning to receive different kinds of explanations when they are filtered through the non-Western paradigmatic and cosmological frameworks.

These ethnosciences have not merely been of interest to scientists; particularly in the Islamic world, they have given support to full-fledged traditionalist movements, which in countries like Iran and Pakistan have tried to develop more or less complete non-Western scientific institutions. Indeed, with the Iranian revolution in 1979, the search for alternatives to Western science can be said to have moved into a third and still unfolding phase. More polarized and explicitly conflictual, the new more fundamentalist tendencies in the anti-Western debate seek to revive a comprehensive alternative at once cosmological, technological, and sociological.

Fundamentalism and the return to tradition

In a recent book, Ziauddin Sardar, a spokesman for Islamic science, has identified four streams of thought among those who would develop an alternative to Western science in the Middle East [84]. One, which he identifies with the Persian scholar S.H. Nasr, is criticized for its reduction of Islamic science to what I have called the philosophical dimension; but even more seriously for Sardar is the tendency that he finds in Nasr's writings to equate Islamic science with a general, occultist interest in "gnosis." All too many spokesmen for Islamic science, according to Sardar, weaken their criticism by not satisfactorily specifying the alternative. Their position becomes merely another restatement of the old debate between religious experience and scientific knowledge that merely seeks to replace one belief system with another.

A second group? composed primarily of people who are both Muslims and scientists, and often leaders within their own countries' scientific establishments, is one that continues to pursue business as usual. The critiques of Western science that have been promulgated over the past two or three decades are simply brushed aside, according to Sardar, and the scientists in Islamic countries continue to live schizophrenic lives, Western scientists by day, practicing Muslims by night.

Abdus Salam, one of the leading physicists of the Arab world, can be taken as a representative of this position [80]. His view is that science is universal, but, all too often, Muslims and people in developing countries are excluded from contributing to and participating in its development: "There truly is no disconsonance between Islam and modern science.... What gives one hope is that there are Muslim scientists working principally (though not exclusively) in developed countries who have registered the highest attainments in sciences. This implies that it is basically environmental factors in our societies which need to be corrected" [80, pp. 323, 348].

The third and fourth groups identified by Sardar are, in many respects, more interesting for the purposes of this chapter. They involve those who would establish a new metaphysical starting point for scientific enquiry that would have far-reaching consequences for the actual pursuit of scientific research. If I follow Sardar's argument, the difference is one of degree; the one group would alter the relations between scientific fields, the selection of problems, the depth of moral and religious reflection attached to scientific research; while the other group, to which Sardar himself belongs and which he calls the Ijmali position, would seek to create an entire new science, in which the very "facts" of nature would be different, derived solely from the ethical, value, and conceptual parameters of Islam [84, p. 155].

Islamic science, as perhaps the most ambitious ethnoscience tradition, has thus already spawned internal dissension and, judging from Sardar's treatment of his adversaries, a rather large amount of aggression in an enterprise that claims to be based entirely on a love of God, or Allah, the "one and only God." Indeed, in comparison with his first book, Science, Technology and Development in the Muslim World [83], the programme of Islamic science appears to have increased in rhetoric but lost something in practical achievement and focus. Indeed, in this respect the attempt to develop an Islamic science seems to be repeating much of the same process that the attempt to develop a "science for the people" went through in the early 1970s. In both cases, a critical identification of problems leads to an overly ambitious formulation of an alternative that has proved impossible to realize in practice. While the alternative becomes ever more extreme and absolute in terms of rhetoric, it thus fails to solve the particular problems that were initially attributed to Western science.

The four schools of thought that Sardar delineates can be taken as representative of the different alternative approaches to Western science that have developed, albeit in very different ways in different countries, during the past decade, as fundamentalist religious movements have exercised a growing political influence. On the one hand, there is what might be called a spiritualist position: the particular alternative teachings are not as important as the general ambition to counter materialism and "material" Western science with a revival of spirit, occultism, and religious faith. On the other hand, there are the realists, who continue to practice Western science while professing a set of moral values, as it were, on the side. Science and values continue to be separate spheres of existence for this second group, which still seems to include most of those who actually work as scientists and engineers in most developing countries.

It is among students that one might expect the strongest resonance for the other two, somewhat newer, schools of thought; and, as such, there seems to be a significant generational dimension to the ethnoscientific enterprise. The one, the critical school, sees the development of alternatives by taking the Western tradition seriously, pointing to its weaknesses, both methodologically and practically, and seeing a new ethnoscience as an explicit combination of Western and non-Western approaches. The other, more dogmatic, orientation sees the alternative, Islamic science as a self-enclosed activity that in some way can separate its own ethnoscience from others. In the next section, I look at how this tension between critical and dogmatic approaches has played itself out in India. The tension between a critical assimilation of Western science and a dogmatic reconstruction of non-Western tradition can be expected to increase in importance as today's students grow into the scientific cadres of many developing countries.

The example of India

Let us examine some of the pros and cons of Western science in the context of one particular developing country. India has been chosen not merely for the size and diversity of its population and the richness of its culture, but also because almost all of the themes that have been taken up in the general debates about Western science can be found there. Indeed, it could be argued that India's struggle for independence was, to a greater extent than elsewhere, also a struggle for the resurrection of Indian civilization. At the very least, it can be said that traditional techniques and non-Western beliefs and customs were mobilized in the political struggle more explicitly than elsewhere. Under the inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi the peoples of the Indian subcontinent were encouraged to revive traditional technical practices and even managed to put aside, for a time, some of their religious antagonisms in order to achieve national independence.

Gandhi, of course, was Western-trained and learned about Western philosophy and Western science while studying law in Britain. Perhaps most important for our purposes here is that Gandhi became acquainted with Western traditions of cultural criticism, associated with such names as Ruskin, Tolstoy, and Thoreau. The "experiments with truth" that made up Gandhi's life were, in large measure, a conscious effort to combine these critical Western ideas with a very personal interpretation of Hindu belief. Gandhi embodied an alternative science and technology in his own person, but he was not particularly successful in writing about it or in institutionalizing it. He has served, in post-independence India, as both a legend and personal model; and, as we shall see, his inspiration can be seen in a number of alternative activities in India today.

Gandhi was not alone in his attempts to develop alternative approaches to science and technology in colonial India. although it was his vision that has perhaps been most influential. Ashis Nandy has recently contrasted Gandhi's "critical traditionalism" to the more absolute glorification of tradition represented by the art historian and Buddhist scholar Ananda Coomaraswamy [57]. Where Gandhi made use of Indian traditions in an open-ended, reflective way, Coomaraswamy's "tradition remains homogeneous and undifferentiated from the point of view of man-made suffering.... Today, with the renewed interest in cultural visions, one has to be aware that commitment to traditions, too, can objectify by drawing a line between a culture and those who live by that culture, by setting up some as the true interpreters of a culture and the others as falsifiers, and by trying to defend the core of a culture from its periphery" [57, pp. 121, 122].

Gandhi's critique of Western science was fundamental and comprehensive. He rejected Western science in terms of all three of our dimensions, recombining the romantic or poetic critique of secularization with critiques of the institutionalized elitism and the "technicist" orientation of Western science. It was the lack of morality, the lack of idealism of Western civilization that Gandhi objected to; and Western science was, for him, a central part of that immoral value system.

The double nature of Gandhi's critique is important in understanding the subsequent Indian discourse(s) on Western and non-Western science. Unlike the Marxist or positivist leaders of most other independence movements in non-Western societies, Gandhi sought to develop an alternative way of life in which traditional techniques and non-Western beliefs had a central place. His critique of Western civilization was thus not merely a critique of its immorality, but also of its epistemology. "Traditional technology, too, was for him an ethically and cognitively better system of applied knowledge than modern technology. He rejected machine civilization, not because he was a saint making occasional forays into the secular world, but because he was a political activist and thinker with strong moral concerns" [57, p. 160].

India, of course, did not follow Gandhi's lead in the first two decades of independence. Instead, under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, ambitious efforts were made to implant what Nehru called a scientific temper in Indian society. Nehru's scientism, and that of his leading scientific and political advisers, was deep and unambiguous. "It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people. I do not see any way out of our vicious circle of poverty except by utilizing the new sources of power which science has placed at our disposal" (Nehru, quoted in [35, pp. 7-8])

For Nehru, Indian civilization, with its superstitions and religious strife, was in need of radical change; a "scientific temper" needed to be imposed on Indian society, and his governments did their utmost to develop both scientific institutions and also a popular understanding and appreciation for science. Like other post-independence leaders in the third world, Nehru's attitude to Western science was positive; if there was a "non-Western" component to his science policy, it was in seeking to apply scientific research in a planned, systematic way. From the late 1940s, scientific and technological research were organized roughly along the lines of the Soviet model, with central planning and strong state control over priorities and orientation. In a recent review, Krishna and Jain have written:

The Indian experience of science policy up to the late 1960s, which was based on the close alliance between elite scientists and the political leadership, had the major objective to expand the infrastructural base for science, technology and education. The leadership of Nehru provided the necessary political will and economic assistance to ensure continuous expansion of scientific organisations and funding of science and technology. [35, p. 15]

It would be an oversimplification to say that Nehru's death in 1964 led to a revival of Gandhian thought. But as the 1960s progressed, a number of challenges emerged to the developmental strategies and emphases that had guided India since independence. The wars with China and Pakistan fostered nationalistic tendencies, and a variety of popular peasant movements began to wage struggles against the central and regional authorities. The international wave of student and anti-imperialist protest also played its part, so that, by the early 1970s, India was a society torn by inner conflict. Most significant from our perspective was the revitalization of the Gandhian undercurrent, spearheaded by Jaraprakash Narayan, or JP as he came to be called, with his "total revolution" that aimed to revive village economic life and grass-roots initiatives. The revival of Gandhism was an important factor in the protests against the large dams and government-sponsored social forestry programmes as well as the emergence of environmental movements, especially the famous Chipko "tree-huggers" in northern India. In 1978, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, after having ruled the country through an unpopular State of Emergency, was defeated by the opposition Janata party, which in many ways tried to apply Gandhian ideas during its few short years in power, before being torn apart by internal dissension.

It was in this general spirit of criticism and change that the political scientist Rajni Kothari gathered together a number of Western-trained humanists and social scientists at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi. Kothari had been the chairman of the Social Science Research Council and had been a key actor in the infrastructure building of the Nehru era. In the 1970s, however, Kothari and his colleagues at CSDS grew increasingly disillusioned with the path that Indian development had taken, and began to reconsider the Gandhian intellectual legacy. Indeed, throughout the country, perhaps particularly among science and engineering students, who were finding their knowledge increasingly irrelevant to the needs of their country, the received position about the crucial role of modern science in Indian development began to be questioned. It was particularly among engineering students that the appeal of appropriate technology seems to have been felt most strongly, and in the 1970s a number of different units were established [43].

At the end of the 1970s, three books appeared that served to articulate a new kind of intellectual critique of Western science in India. In 1978, J.P.S. Uberoi, professor of sociology at Delhi University, published Science and Culture, in which he developed an all-encompassing critique of Western science, or, more specifically, of the Western positivist tradition, which he traced back to the Reformation and the separation of subject and object. According to Uberoi:

I am persuaded that so long as the problem of the alternative is seen in India or elsewhere in purely practical extrinsic terms, whether political, social or economic, modern Western science itself will remain a stranger and liable to exploit us for its own ends. Its so-called diffusion, implantation or assimilation in the non-Western world will very properly remain a failure or turn into something worse. On the other hand, if the intrinsic intellectual problem of the positivist theory and praxis of science and its claims come to be appreciated by us, leading to a dialogue with native theory and praxis, whether classical or vernacular, then modern Western science will find itself reconstituted into something new in the process [95, p. 86].

The following year, 1979, the Bombay-based journalist and political activist Claude Alvares, who had gone to Holland to study philosophy, provided what would become a catalyst for much of the new critical thinking in his doctoral dissertation, Homo Faber: Technology and Culture in India, China and the West 1500-1972. Alvares's book opened up an arena for critical reappreciation, among intellectuals, of the non-Western scientific traditions in India. It presented what Alvares called a new anthropological model of technological development, and explicitly called for the integration of ethnosciences, or indigenous scientific traditions, in the development of appropriate technologies and developmental strategies. For Alvares, "the model of social and technological development idealized out of the industrial revolution in England, the United States and certain parts of Western Europe is no longer the sole means by which the Southern countries and nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America can hope to survive" [1, p. 45]. Alvares traced the historical development of technology in India, China, and England and sought to show how cultural traditions and, in particular, the experiences of imperialism and colonialism had affected all three countries in fundamental ways. Such historical relativization was necessary, according to Alvares, if the non-Western countries were to escape their historical dependency on the West. "The displacement of the West in its monopoly over the productive process will be accompanied by the displacement of its monopoly position as the arbiter of what is proper for the Southern nations in the realm of culture, ideas and ideals. The wider dispersal of the ability to produce goods will be accompanied by the wider dispersal of the ability to produce ideas" [1, p. 221].

A third book of the Janata period, Ashis Nandy's Alternative Sciences, brought the critique of Western science down to a micro, or individual, level. Nandy analysed the different ways in which Jagadis Chandra Bose, the plant physiologist, and Srinivasa Ramanujan, the mathematician, had become "alien insiders" in the world of Western science. His was not a straightforward critique of Western science, but rather a more subtle psychological critique that carried a number of different messages. On the one hand, Nandy showed how two Indian scientists had been constrained in their work by their Indianness, but he also indicated how Indian tradition had provided opportunities for creative "dissent" from Western science [56].

The theme of creative dissent has continued to concern Nandy in his more recent writings [57]. His discussion of Gandhi's "critical traditionalism" referred to earlier also stresses the psychological dimension of non-Western science. His criticism, like Gandhi's, has come to be directed ever more to the intrinsic violence of Western science - against Nature and against humanity. While Uberoi has tended to focus more of his attention on alternative traditions in the West - he has recently written on Goethe's "alternative" science [96] - Nandy has continued to explore the psychological tensions and conflicts at work in Indian science. His critique of a "statement on scientific temper" produced in 1981 by a group of distinguished Indian scientists led to a major debate between the proverbial two cultures in India the humanists and the scientists; and the intellectual critique of Western science that Nandy and his colleagues at CSDS have produced [97] can be expected to grow ever more relevant to the future development of Indian science.

Even more significant has been the emergence of a critique of Western science in the various new social movements themselves. On the one hand, there are the so-called people's science movements that have been particularly active in southern India, beginning with the founding of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) in 1962. Here the emphasis has been on critical popularization, linking science in selective ways to popular myths and traditions and bringing scientific expertise to bear on protests against government-sponsored irrigation and forestry projects [19, 35]. The people's science movements are not critical of Western science; rather they are critical of the ways in which Western science has been misused in Indian society. Much like the Red Guard in China during the Cultural Revolution, but with less rhetoric and often, it seems, more popular support, the people's science movements are seeking to develop a socialist science, a "science for social revolution," according to the KSSP's main slogan.

What has emerged in other parts of India, as an outgrowth of the environmental movements in the forests and on tribal lands, has been a very different kind of alternative. Here the various critiques of Western science developed in the West have been "recombined" in the praxis of environmental activism. As articulated by the physicist turned Green activist Vandana Shiva, "maldevelopment is intellectually based on, and justified through, reductionist categories of scientific thought and action. Politically and economically, each project which has fragmented nature and displaced women from productive work has been legitimised as scientific by operationalising reductionist concepts to realise uniformity, centralization and control" [87, p. 14]. In her book Staying Alive, Shiva combines an ecological and feminist critique of Western science and discovers alternative "feminine" principles and a feminine attitude to Nature in traditional Indian thought. "Contemporary Western views of nature are fraught with the dichotomy or duality between man and woman, and person and nature.... In Indian cosmology, by contrast, person and nature (Purusha-Pakriti) are a duality in unity" [87, p. 40].

Shiva's argument is that social forestry and the Green Revolution in agriculture have been masculine, reductionist projects that have separated women (and men) from their natural roots as well as destroying valuable natural resources. In the protests of rural women, especially the Chipko movement in northern India, Shiva sees the "countervailing power" of women's knowledge and politics:

Women producing survival are showing us that nature is the very basis and matrix of economic life.... They are challenging concepts of waste, rubbish and dispensability as the modern West has defined them.... They have the knowledge and experience to extricate us from the ecological cul-de-sac that the Western masculine mind has maneuvered us into. [87, p. 224]

Shiva and other scientists who have joined forces with the environmental movements in India have, by the end of the 1980s, developed a range of research institutions and alternative organizations for the dissemination of their ecological alternative. Particularly significant has been the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, which has produced widely read reports (in 1983 and 1985) on The State of India's Environment and produced a large number of magazine and newspaper articles through its press service. Together with the appropriate technology groups that still are dotted around the Indian countryside, the environmental movements represent a practical critique of Western science in India. Here, as elsewhere, the critique is Western-inspired and the critics Western-trained; but it has produced an ongoing dialogue with Indian traditions that is likely to grow in importance in the years ahead.

The significance of the alternatives

Until now, alternatives to Western science have tended to be partial and often self-defeating. One aspect of Western science has been criticized or challenged while other aspects have been accepted even utilized - in mounting the critique. This is to be expected. Western science has developed its contemporary form and its impressive power through a long historical process and it is thus only to be expected that it cannot, in a short time, be replaced by a new form of knowledge production that is as effective and all-encompassing. On the other hand, the problems with Western science do not mean that the entire tradition is in need of overhaul. Very few of the critical viewpoints that have been discussed in this chapter reject the general ambition of modern science to provide a verifiable, even universal, kind of knowledge about Nature. Rationality itself is not the issue as much as the uses to which rationality is put and the institutional contexts in which it is organized.

In an article published in 1979, the German philosopher Gernot Böhme contrasted alternative approaches to science with alternative traditions in science [7]. For Böhme, the alternative to science is irrationalism or obscurantism; there had been, throughout modern history, sufficient alternative traditions within science to sustain visions of the good society. The difficulty was in realizing the good science while avoiding the "bad" applications and priorities. Over 10 years later, the situation is not much changed. There has been a much greater movement to address environmental issues in developing countries, and the rediscovery of non-Western idea traditions has, if anything' grown more intense. While the level of rhetoric has been raised, however, it is far too early to see a full-fledged alternative to Western science emerging in the efforts currently under way.

If the search for alternatives to Western science can lead to a more modest, even more humane, science, or if it can encourage a more open dialogue with other traditions of knowledge production, then much will be gained. At the very least, the critiques of Western science have raised some fundamental questions about the ways in which human societies make use of their creative resources, and out of that questioning, it is perhaps not too optimistic to think that the world's citizens might obtain a more variegated, even pluralistic, range of approaches to deal with the problems that confront them.


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(introductory text...)

Hebe Vessuri


In the process of transplanting Western science into developing countries, the scientific institutions of the most advanced nations became "models" to be reproduced. The presence of Western-type scientific institutions in the developing world has been widely accepted as an indication of modernity. But this notion, embodied in endless projects of institutions created throughout the modern history of developing countries, has been accompanied by very unequal success and, in general, by difficulties of consolidation. It has often been argued that the social weight of scientific institutions in developing countries is very small, derived from the low prestige and marginality of science in those countries; that scientific institutions tend to suffer from premature obsolescence; that it is very difficult for them to survive their creators; that they have difficulties in adjusting to the transformations of society; that their excessive bureaucratization detracts from their original aims. In short, scientific institutionalization in developing countries as depicted in the literature frequently appears as characterized by fragility, fragmentation, and incoherence.

How true are these generalizations? What was the historical process of scientific institutionalization in developing societies? Did different (national) Western models lead to different "styles" of scientific institutionalization? How did receiving cultures perceive and respond to Western science? What was the local scientific structure, if any, that received it? How was it used in the knowledge transfer, or was it disregarded as simply backward? What is specifically "European" about Western science [45]? India, Japan, China, and Islam had well-developed scientific traditions, elaborate and firmly established theories of life, and rich traditions of education that drew the admiration of many in the West. The high cultures of Latin America, like the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations, also surprised Westerners because of their achievements. Australia, North America, and most of South America and Africa, with smaller populations, had their cultures pushed aside and destroyed by Europeans. The enormous differences in the frequency and nature of the contacts between the West and what eventually came to be categorized as the developing countries and the recent renaissance of historical scholarship about the non-Western world invite a reassessment of prevailing approaches to the institutionalization of science in developing countries. However, received opinion about the spread of Western science has been so one-sided and prejudiced since the heyday of the European-centred world of the nineteenth century [10] that comparatively little progress has been made towards the resolution of the Western science-backward cultures dichotomy.

Within the larger disciplines of history or sociology, the subject appeals to only a handful of devotees - most of them practitioners of a still unfashionable social or institutional study of science. Most existing literature merely sketches the terrain, using scientific institutions as markers and identifying significant social forms upon which more interpretative studies may be based. What follows is a reconnaissance that highlights some of the themes and concepts that have received attention from scholars.

Scientific institutionalization in the present analysis is the process by which modern national scientific traditions have emerged in the varied social contexts in the post-colonial nation-states, and where scientific institutions have represented at different times the multifarious manifestations of specific patterns of cultural and economic response to the complex combination of ideas and developments identified as Western science. Stress is laid on the diversity of forms in the social organization of science, on the contextual definition of norms and of the establishment of social control, and on the provisions made to ensure the continuity of scientific activity in peripheral settings lacking scientific traditions or in cultures that accommodated Western science with rich, non-Western traditional sciences.

The Pandora's box of ''colonial science''

"Colonial science" is a blanket term, supposed to cover a variety of situations. It has been described as "low science" (limited to data gathering, while the theoretical synthesis was supposed to take place in the metropolis); "derivative" (working on problems set by savants in Europe); "dependent" on metropolitan recognition [44, p. 221]; "a lodge in the wilderness," the product of expatriate Europeans for European consumption [62, pp. 1-16]. The term has even been used to refer to an indigenous population that was itself European in culture and outlook, like French Canadians and the Irish, but who for different reasons left the cultivation of science in the nineteenth century to the colonizers of British stock [39, p. 339].

The question of colonial science is relatively new, dating back only to 1967, when Basalla wrote his by now classic paper on the global spread of Western science [11]. He proposed a simple three-phase evolutionary model, very much in tune with the conceptual framework of developmentalism and international cooperation of the 1960s. Not only has this model been very much discussed and disputed since its publication, but its "colonial phase" in particular has attracted a good deal of attention in recent years, stimulating a continuous flow of empirical research that reveals that the phenomena involved are much more complex than originally thought. The question may be more profitably looked upon as a complex power relationship involving a metropolis, a colonial or semi-colonial territory and social structure, scientists of European descent living overseas, and non-Western people involved in scientific research. Western science developed a most powerful assemblage of social devices for validating knowledge and indeed for moving knowledge among localities. The key dilemma of modernity for those who do not belong merely by birth, primary socialization, and intellectual training to some version or other of the hegemonic culture of the modern world, is, in Dunn's words [23, p. 5], how to distinguish those aspects of the culture that genuinely exemplify the capacity to know better from those that exemplify instead only its brazen and deceptive claim to do so. For it is the ability to draw this distinction, continues Dunn, that alone makes it possible to discriminate an extension of cognitive capacity that no human agent or human society could have good reason to reject in itself from a cognitively arbitrary erosion of personal or social identity by the action of alien force. The problem comes, of course, when - as is usually the case - culture contains unmistakable elements of both. There has been continuous negotiation and redefinition over who gains local control over useful knowledge institutions. If controlled from outside the national boundaries, then local knowledge and local interests are condemned to marginality. If controlled from within, there are potentialities but also dangers of other kinds.

It is worthwhile keeping a double approach to this subject. On the one hand are the strategies of the major powers for the export of Western science to their colonial outposts and zones of influence. There has been substantial variation among the strategies and at different periods. This chapter examines only the last 150 years, although of course colonialism goes back much longer, but such delimitation makes it possible to consider processes that have a direct bearing on contemporary arrangements. A characteristic figure of "colonial science" linked to colonial administration was the individual or institution that was basically a "gatekeeper" of colonial science, actually blocking the advancement of scientific research by keeping an image of "low science," for activities useful to the colonial administration, although the picture would be incomplete without mentioning the "scientific soldier," for whom the work ethic was of paramount importance and who did his best in the given circumstances [40, p. 58]. On the other hand are the views and interests of individuals in societies other than Western ones towards scientific developments occurring beyond their frontiers and/or towards the emergence of national scientific traditions in the new nations resulting from the often traumatic experience of colonialism. Typical figures in this other perspective were the groups of scientists - mostly non-European but also some Western settlers - who were basically part of the emerging nationalism and who were also partners in the freedom movement in colonial outposts and in semi-colonies or zones of influence. Let us look first at the metropolitan powers.

Strategies and styles of the major powers

Academic, administrative, and commercial interests were involved in different combinations in colonial science as practiced within British, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Belgian, and American frameworks. More is known about the role of science in British colonialism than in the other colonial powers. MacLeod has made a sweeping overview of the evolution of scientific institutions and research in their relationships to imperial rule and the distribution of power between Great Britain and other parts of the British Empire. His theoretical construct highlights the function of empire (a moving metropolis), selecting, cultivating intellectual and economic frontiers. "In retrospect," he says, "it was the peculiar genius of the British Empire to assimilate ideas from the periphery, to stimulate loyalty within the imperial community without sacrificing either its leadership or its following" [44, p.245]. Pyenson [62-64] embarked on an ambitious comparative project between France, Germany, and the Netherlands concerning strategies of scientific expansion in the exact sciences associated with the history of cultural imperialism. In France there is a tradition of colonial history, in which attention was occasionally drawn to the role of science in colonization, but its impact on sociology or the history of science has been minimal. Since 1984, the REHSEIS (Recherches épistémologiques et historiques sur les sciences exactes et les institutions scientifiques) team has been working on the subject of science and empires, and has organized an international colloquium on the topic that resulted in the most recent addition to the literature [57].

On reaching the culminating stage of imperialism in the early twentieth century, the major powers had evolved their international strategies in line with changing policies of colonial development. Conveying scientific practice from metropolis to periphery grew more intense and was marked by rivalry. It had two main aims: cultural influence and competition with other nations, although formally it was possible to identify the need to support science as an inherently international activity [82]. In the period preceding the Second World War, similar agencies and policy instruments were established in the major countries.

Probably one of the better known examples of colonial science is the one resulting from the actions of the British in India. Britain organized scientific activity in India from the time the Crown took over the country from the East India Company (1857), in an effort aimed primarily at meeting the strategic needs of the empire - army, trade, and the welfare of European inhabitants. The social structure of "colonial science" seriously discriminated against natives. For a long time Indians were denied access to scientific departments. At the end of the nineteenth century a Board of Scientific Advice was constituted in India to coordinate the activities of various scientific services, but its purview was limited to the governmental sphere and thus kept separate from Indian society. The requirements of colonial government made science dependent on the British metropolis and limited the scope of the board in India [44]. The characteristic British policy was not to encourage technological development but to increase the productive resources of the country through the agency of imported technology. Whatever information Indians gathered regarding the technology was therefore a result of their quest for it [80, p.222].

In the nineteenth century, France revamped its overseas empire. The "functionary" style scientist, in terms of nineteenth-century science, evokes the behaviour of the French scientist, for a French scientist was a federal civil servant, usually employed as a teacher in a secondary school or institution of higher learning, and his assignments could turn out to be anywhere in greater France or the colonial outposts. He operated within a state bureaucracy. Pyenson argues that this kind of scientist intended to interweave his research institution into the social fabric of his setting. The institution, such as it might be defined by either local or metropolitan directives, was paramount, and the criteria that determined progress up the ladder paid little attention to scientific research. To secure new territories in such places as China, Madagascar, and the Near East, France relied on the enormous resources and organizational talents of French Catholic missionaries. It can be argued, as indeed Pyenson does [62, p. 391], that the most successful overseas French research institutions in exact sciences were those conceived and staffed by Jesuit functionaries.

The beginning of the twentieth century saw a new awareness by the French state of the importance of science and culture for international relations [52]. The "Groupement des Universités et Grandes Ecoles de France pour les Relations avec l'Amérique Latine," created in 1907 at the initiative of French scientists, for example, was aimed at developing university cooperation and at competing with Germany in a strategy of "intellectual expansion" [54, pp. 428-442]. It led to the establishment of French institutes in several Latin American capital cities, and of the journal Revue d'Amérique Latine, through which the notion of "latinité," as opposed to North American panamericanism, was pushed forward. Probably the most important Latin American institution in whose creation and early years the French were involved was the University of São Paulo, founded in 1934. A considerable number of first-rate European scientists and intellectuals gave shape to its central unit, the Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras [55, pp. 339-362].

The Dutch colonial expansion began during the first half of the seventeenth century. Only with the last quarter of the eighteenth century, however, did scientific institutions come to Batavia, the commercial centre of the principal overseas colony. Particularly from the middle of the nineteenth century the colonial ministry pushed ahead to transform Java into a vast tea and sugar plantation. Those who supervised the extraction of natural resources for the needs of European markets subsequently set up institutions shadowing metropolitan models. The dominant interests in nineteenth-century Indonesia related to geographical botany and ethnology. New institutions of higher learning emerged over the next decades.

The development of the Batavia observatory illustrates that the practical demands placed on colonial scientists related directly to commerce and agriculture. Rainfall had to be measured, weather predicted, and the time of day established. Planters and merchant princes went beyond supporting research into practical problems. They believed not so much that pure science would solve the colony's practical problems, but rather that pure science could bring lustre to them and their bourgeois confederates in the metropolis [63, p. 183].

In their struggle for the partition of the world, the European powers tried to penetrate China from an early date. Specialists usually recognize two main waves of introduction of Western science there: first through the Jesuit missions in East Asia from the sixteenth century on spurred by the Portuguese and later French Asian expansion; then in the nineteenth century, when Britain was the leading colonial power in the opening of China to international trade, through the Protestant missionaries, whose tools of conversion were mainly institutions of higher education and Western medicine [43]. It is interesting to note that by the late seventeenth century, scientific activity in China evinced many characteristics of a continuous and systematic social activity, although it remained weak with respect to the social perception of its value. Unlike Europe, science in China did not achieve the momentum of a radical social and intellectual movement within the larger social system. One answer to why a sustained scientific movement began in China only when the West again intruded in the nineteenth century is provided by Porter [59, pp. 529544], who refers to the broader political and ideological climate prevailing in China after the midseventeenth century.

Although American imperialism, in its early phases, concentrated on ensuring US control of the North American continent, it was never exclusively continental in outlook. From the beginning it looked out across the Pacific to Asia. This expansive imperialism that recognized no geographical limits brought the US into contact, and often into conflict, with the other major powers of the nineteenth century. Prominent American private foundations were instrumental in creating and maintaining an economic and political order of international scope, increasingly interconnected, with the US in its centre. Among them, the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford foundations invested in the growth of institutions of higher education, think-tanks, and research centres all over the world. They were the main architects of international networks of research and agencies involved in the production and diffusion of knowledge, networks connecting talented individuals and their institutional bases among themselves as well as with their benefactors. They stretched from colonial China (the Peking Union Medical College) and Argentina's Institute of Physiology led by Nobel prizewinner Bernardo A. Houssay to W. Cannon's lab at Harvard University, which received scores of Latin American physiologists.

Patterns of metropolitan involvement in scientific cooperation in the early twentieth century did not necessarily reflect historical usually colonial relationships or were circumscribed by the language the recipient country adopted for "higher culture." The example of German cultural imperialism reflects the convergence of a rich flowering of science and governmental policies to acquire territories and influence abroad. The dominant style for intrusion in foreign lands in this case seems to have been the actual production of scientific knowledge, following the tradition that had characterized its wandering scholars, far in excess of the numbers that could be absorbed at home and thus seeking their fortune abroad, through the tangible proof of their scientific talent: scientific publishing [62]. Thus in a society like Argentina, with extensive cultural and economic influences from Spain, France, Italy, and England, strikingly German interests became prominent in several sectors, such as education, the army, and the electrical utilities firms around Buenos Aires. Between 1904 and 1913, the Prussian Kultusministerium (that is, the Prussian Ministry of Spiritual Affairs, Instruction, and Public Health) planned and staffed the Instituto Nacional del Profesorado Secundario in Buenos Aires, which had a lasting impact on the training of secondary school teachers [61]. With the active support of the imperial foreign office, German learning was implanted in the new University of La Plata in open competition with North American interests, and the German tradition in exact sciences came to dominate twentieth-century Argentine research until mid-century.

Other small European countries, like Spain or Italy, which at the beginning of the century were experiencing a renaissance in science and the arts, also endeavoured to reinforce their linkages with the colonies or the post-colonial nation-states. Thus the Institución Cultural Española, created in 1914, had as its goal to diffuse Spanish learning in Hispanic America, through the establishment of chairs to be filled by Spanish intellectuals and the development of other activities directly related to the intellectual exchange between Spain and the region [70, pp. 217-260].

Cultural responses to Western learning

The implantation of Western learning as an integral part of imperial strategies had its counterpart in a multiplicity of cultural responses by which such learning was assimilated or rejected. From the nineteenth century onwards, strong feelings of cultural nationalism sometimes expressed in social movements like the 1899-1900 I-ho t'uan Movement in China (known in the West as the Boxer Rebellion), were apparent throughout the colonial and post-colonial world? including in some cases the revaluation of traditional modes of understanding. In this respect, distinguishing colonial from national periods of a scientific tradition has once again proved to be of doubtful validity. Not only is there usually a considerable overlap between the supposedly colonial institution and the supposedly national institution? but also colonial science is seldom in any significant sense transformed into national science following political independence [16]. The metropolitan-colonial dialectic is a complex process, which by no means moves through logical stages to a preordained denouement. In some instances the formation of a sense of identity may well precede independence, but in others, as in Canada, the search for identity may follow rather than precede effective emancipation [26, pp. 4-5].

The very concept of "identity" in a colonial society is fraught with ambiguity [27, 18]. Whose identity is at issue and what determines it? No culture, no society has ever possessed a single and comprehensive identity. In this essay we are basically concerned with the development of a selfimage among the colonial elites. But it is possible to recognize the development of a sense of identity and even other scientific traditions among the less privileged groups in a colonial society. In Mexico, for instance, there existed at least two distinct cultures: that of the criollos and their descendants, and that of the Indians and mestizos, whose aspirations first emerged in the Hidalgo-Morelos revolt of 1810 and then again, with more lasting results, in the revolution 100 years later [51, pp. 51-93]. Western science? often adopted by the cultivated elites in search of "modernity," helped to reinforce an identification with European culture, which in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries often assumed the guise of "cosmopolitanism," variously regarded positively or negatively in the political struggle for self-assertion of the new nations [79]. Probably the feeling of distinctiveness, a lack of identification with Europe, was present very early, most among the Blacks and the children of miscegenation, those for whom the colony was the only "mother country."

Colonial societies, like all societies, were in a constant process of defining and redefining themselves. But, owing their existence to a distant mother country, they found themselves trapped in the dilemma of discovering themselves to be at once the same and yet not the same as their country of origin. The dilemma was made all the more acute in that metropolitan contempt for provincial cousins seems to have known no bounds. The continuous bombardment of calumny to which settler communities were subjected gave them an early and powerful incentive to develop a more favourable image of themselves, if only in self-defence. Where the settlers lived in the midst of an allegedly "barbaric" native population, as in Ireland or Mexico, this meant in the first instance differentiating themselves from these alien peoples, to whose characteristics they were assumed by misguided Europeans to have fallen victim. But the actual relationships between the various social groups making up the new societies told a complicated history of the triangular relationship of mother country, colonists, and subject populations. European ethnocentrism was present not only in the knowledge of the man in the street, but also in the "scientific" knowledge that Europe presumed to have of non-Western cultures. And as such it is to be found in the action of government officials, "experts," and businessmen in their encounters with cultural diversity [53].

The weaknesses of colonial science can be illustrated by the example of the egg-laying mammals taken from the history of Australian zoology during the nineteenth century [22]. Data from the periphery, transferred to Europe by colonial collectors and observers, was interpreted within a theoretical framework provided by European professionals. It took more than 85 years after the first platypus specimen arrived in Europe for European scientists finally to accept that the monotremes laid eggs. The delay reveals the weaknesses of the system of collecting information in colonial science and the resistance of the European scientific community to evidence that violated their theoretical preconceptions. European biologists made a serious mistake and for a considerable time persisted in it. Australian scientists were more easily convinced by European authority than by the empirical evidence available in Australia. Yielding to the scientific judgement of renowned British biologist Sir Richard Owen, most Australian scientists agreed that monotremes gave birth to live young. Meanwhile, aborigines and other Australians not educated within the European scientific tradition had the necessary knowledge but they were not heard by the scientific community because of the blatant racism of colonial science.

By the mid-nineteenth century, Indian zeal for the learning of European sciences was explicitly demonstrated through actions such as the opening of the Anglo-Indian College in Calcutta by local inhabitants for the promotion of the teaching of European science in India, "in a manner, forcing upon the British" [80, p. 217]. Many of the country's leading scientific and technical institutions were established from the late nineteenth century onwards, at the height of colonialism, by Indian philanthropy. In 1876, as a reaction to British colonial science by the Indian political and scientific intelligentsia, the Indian Association of Cultivation of Science (IACS) was inaugurated, thus giving birth to "national" colonial science. Among its aims, it was explicitly stated that Indians "should endeavour to carry on the work with [their] own efforts, unaided by government. [It ought to be] entirely under [their] management and control. [They wanted] it to be solely native and purely national" (M.L. Sircar, quoted in [41, p. 6]).

By the 1920s, as part of an emerging nationalism, the efforts of eminent individual Indian scientists such as J.C. Bose, C.V. Raman, and C.P. Ray led to the creation of basic research institutions in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and plant physiology, which were the genesis of Indian science. A common platform for the small teams and scientific societies spread all over India was provided by the launching of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), in 1914. Mathematical and engineering societies were established in the 1920s. During the next quarter-century, about 10 professional societies were established, along with scientific periodicals and professional journals. Current Science from Bangalore and Science and Culture from Calcutta, and two scientific weeklies patterned on Nature were launched in the mid-1930s. By the 1940s there were at least six universities established by Indians and more than one hundred colleges where science and technical teaching was introduced. The demand to Indianize the colonial scientific organizations was an important plank of the political agenda to mobilize mass support. Thus, when India achieved its independence in 1947, Nehru could launch an ambitious programme in science and technology.

If in the contacts that China had kept with the West since the sixteenth century, Chinese interest in Western science was linked to a renewal of "concrete studies" within the Chinese tradition, by the end of the nineteenth century, the learning of Western science and technology had become a necessity because they were regarded as a key to military power by a country in havoc after facing the successive attacks of Britain, the United States, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, and Italy [38, p. 86].

The Japanese adoption of Western science and technology with the Meiji Restoration offers a case-study of historical discontinuity [36]. It would appear to be a strong argument in favour of the peripheral nature of science in Japanese society prior to industrialization, at the same time that there was a social ability to respond to new influences coming from outside. The presence of forces exogenous to the nation was significant, and the receptiveness of Meiji society and the economy to those external forces helps to explain the radical nature of the social transformation. Among the external forces that stand out are foreign teachers of new technologies. The most prestigious scientific centres were serviced by foreigners. There were also foreigners employed as technicians and applied scientists or general advisers. One Japanese publication cites 1,392 as the number of foreigners employed by Japanese industry and government between 1860 and 1912, at least 900 of whom were invited. Many young Japanese officials and businessmen were sent to Europe during the early Meiji years. Scientific and technical works in Western languages were published in Japan, and foreigners dominated the major science-cum-technical associations formed for the diffusion of knowledge, such as the Tokyo Academy or the Electrical Society [36]. Thus the resulting Japanese science involved a discontinuity with regard to its own past and to past European experiences of industrialization. The scientific community in Japan, in contrast to Europe at the time, had a "planned character," planned for the set purpose of catching up with the Western standard of science as quickly as possible [50].

However, the institutionalization of science and technology by government initiative, which was very efficient for transplanting and introducing foreign science and technology, was not good for the purpose of fostering original creative activity. The Meiji government paid little attention to scientific research. From 1886 a reorganization of institutions took place, accompanying the maturation of the industrialization process. Up to the 1880s, the scientific institutions created by government were mostly of the geophysical kind for survey work, typical of a non-industrial modern state. Starting in the 1890s, however, many national research institutes were established for fostering industrial development. The war mobilization of research in Europe and the USA during the First World War led government and scientists in Japan to think about financing scientific research. The creation of the Riken(Institute for Physical and Chemical Research) in 1917 was a landmark of this change, since the major source of funds was the industrial sector (85 per cent) rather than the government. During and after the First World War, several private firms, notably in the chemical industry, established their own industrial laboratories. Another unique arrangement was the creation of university-affiliated research institutes and of government research funds [49].

The pinnacle of the colonial hierarchy was reserved for Europeans, and even in the nations that achieved independence in the nineteenth century, the arrogance and rigidity of European teachers often created conflicts with the nationals who wanted to make a career in science [74, p. 427]. This the Argentine evolutionary palaeontologist Florentino Ameghino learnt bitterly in his confrontation with German creationist zoologist Carl Burmeister in Buenos Aires during the last decades of the nineteenth century [46, 9, 71]. Burmeister never recognized Ameghino's value as a scientist and tried to block his career. Even at Burmeister's death, Ameghino was prevented from being appointed to the directorship of the Buenos Aires Museum because the German professor had left it in the charge of another European, Carl Berg. However, Argentine palaeontology as led by Ameghino had managed to constitute a critical mass, creating an original disciplinary approach in evolutionary studies. Among the signs of maturity was the presence of an interconnected disciplinary group, the control by Darwinians of two first-rate local museums, the support of the Ministry of Education, and broad contacts with the European research front. The earliest works by Ameghino were published in France and the United States, and he kept intense contact (even an active collaboration with Henri Gervais) with the great figures of French transformism. Ameghino attracted to his cause nationalist forces that helped to rally support and at the same time to reduce the efficacy of traditionalist opposition [30].

The disciplines and institutions of colonial science

By the end of the eighteenth century, agricultural and mineral sciences were employed more systematically to exploit the resources of the colonies. New soil conditions, surveying, pests, weather conditions, transportation, and communication required scientific inputs. Economic and geobotany acquired enormous importance. Every new plant was scrutinized for its use as food, fibre, timber, dye, or medicine. Among their central tasks, professional botanists sought the best techniques for transplanting commercially viable species from one part of the world to another. Their technical work was closely linked to the establishment of plantation economies on conquered land, as reflected in the history of sugar, cocoa, coffee, tea, rubber, quinine, and sisal. These activities were best carried out on institutional locations in situ. There was a proliferation of institutions from the last quarter of the eighteenth century onwards in many different latitudes. Botanic gardens consciously served the state as well as science, and shared the mercantilist and nationalist spirit of the times. Initially intended for the introduction and acclimatization of plants, like the Real Hôrto of Rio de Janeiro, many grew into institutes for serious experimentation and study. Kew Gardens, the Calcutta Garden, Peradeniya Garden on Ceylon, and Buitenzorg Garden on Java became important research centres [12]. Major agronomical research institutions also emerged in the colonies and other tropical nations in the second half of the nineteenth century, as in Campinas in Brazil, Buitenzorg on Dutch Java, and at Amani in German East Africa.

Other institutions that witnessed significant growth throughout the world during the nineteenth century were the museums of natural history. Successful metropolitan museums served as inspiration and example, not only for materials but also for architectural designs, organizational models, and qualified personnel. In Africa, museums of natural history were concentrated in the extreme southern portion of the continent. South African and Rhodesian museums survived only in centres with large White populations, such as Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and Grahamstown. A common feature was the exclusion of Blacks every day but Thursday, when admittance depended on wearing boots or shoes. In India, museums are said to have counted for little, were meagrely supported, and few and far between. As in Africa, widespread illiteracy, extreme poverty, and patterns of rural settlement made museums irrelevant to the vast majority of the populace [86]. Elsewhere, however, the museum movement was more successful. A handful of active, enthusiastic men directed museums located in the principal urban centres of Canada, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. South American museums tried to function both as research institutions and as instruments of popular enlightenment. Supported by national and provincial governments, important museums could be found in every capital city of the new republics. Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, and Montevideo built autonomous museums of natural history. While not reaching funding equivalents to that of the top museums in the world, their budgets rank with those of the better European institutions.

In Mexico, as mining was the principal source of income for the Spanish Crown, this activity received special attention in the context of social and economic renewal of the late eighteenth century. An impressive Royal School of Mining was founded in 1792 as part of a larger project, sponsored by Charles III of Spain, with the purpose of preparing individuals to direct the work of the mines and the exploitation of metals in those metal-poor minerals normally thrown away [l, pp. 137-146]. In Brazil, the School of Mines, built in the colonial town of Ouro Preto, close to the country's richest mineral deposits, was created only in 1875 [14, 85]. Alongside mining and engineering schools, we find astronomical observatories and meteorological stations. The scientific instruments available in some of those institutions suggest an interest in the basic sciences that occasionally went beyond practical concerns.

The intense competition between European colonial powers in seeking cures for the major tropical diseases that hindered the further colonization and exploitation of the tropics led to the emergence of tropical medicine as a distinct scientific specialty around the turn of the century, first in Britain, then in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and, somewhat later, in the USA. European doctors were posted to the four corners of the world to service the imperial outposts that secured markets, trade, and raw materials for the imperial economies. A School of Tropical Medicine was needed to increase the quantity and quality of Colonial Medical Officers as an integral part of late-nineteenth-century British imperialism, the strengthening of political control, and attempts at more systematic exploitation [197, p. 93]. However, tropical medicine became a legitimate metropolitan scientific specialty and not merely a satellite activity instrumental to general public health in the colonies. Also in the French case, although relatively little attention has been paid yet to the export of pasteurianism to the tropics and around the world (an exception being Arnold [7]), it has been argued that the scientific imperialism of the Pastorians cross-reacted with colonial imperialism without being absorbed into it [47, pp. 307-320].

In the educational division of labour between metropolis and colonies, little importance was usually placed on developing local training and research capacities beyond those in applied fields, but differences were remarkable. In cases like that of the backward Portuguese Empire, timid, unstable, and bureaucratized attempts were made simply to train cadres for the state administration and the discovery of new wealth in the huge possessions of Brazil. But there was an absence of a social sector with greater interest in the development of education and science locally [85]. One may ask to what extent, for example, did the absence of universities in Brazil or the West Indies, and their continuing dependence on the home country for higher education, reduce those societies' chances for establishing a firm sense of their own identities in comparison with Mexico or New England, which had their own universities [26, p. 12]. In Africa, too, the establishment of governmental scientific institutions usually preceded the founding of universities in many countries by several decades [24].

By contrast, universities arrived in Spanish America with the Spanish conquerors as a conscious administrative expression of the will of the Crown and the Church. Thus they remained linked from their very inception to the powers of the audience and the viceroy or of the Church and the monastic orders. Until independence, the 33 existing universities led a precarious existence, mainly devoted to the training of priests, lawyers, and administrators. Current systems of higher education have little to do with colonial institutions. Instead, there is a more direct genealogical linkage with the public universities created during the nineteenth century, when the classic Latin American "lawyers' university" emerged, exemplified by the University of Chile, created by Andrés Bello [91]. With the advent of the new republics, being a lawyer became the main socialization and access channel for the national political elites, ensuring at the same time the necessary training for positions within the state apparatus, to which normally one arrived through family or political patronage. The University of Buenos Aires was founded in 1821, the Republican statutes of the Central University of Venezuela were approved in 1826; the University of Chile was established in 1842, that of Uruguay in 1860, Asunción in 1889. In Mexico, after independence the old colonial university was suppressed by government on the grounds of its being "useless, irreformable and pernicious," and it was reopened several times (1833, 1857, 1861, and 1865), reaching consolidation only after 1920 [13, pp. 13-106]. However, higher education continued to be relatively simple until 1950. By then, in half the 20 countries total enrolment did not reach 5,000 students, and in seven of them was less than 2,000. Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico accounted for 64 per cent of the regional enrolment. The total number of students in Latin American institutions of higher education in 1950 was less than the number of students currently enrolled in just one of the region's universities, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM).

Throughout the nineteenth century, Americans expanded all levels of their educational system. Typically, four-year residential colleges provided education to a growing portion of the population. A few of the colleges were associated with professional schools of law and medicine. Conventional wisdom equated the first two college years with the work in the gymnasium, the grammar school, and the lycée, and the last two years, hopefully, with the European university level. Elevating the entire college course to university level often appeared to be beyond attainment. The assumption and reality was that hardly anybody would attend a real university. For that reason, the colleges had to provide what society required in the way of both cultivation and preparation for selected occupations. The motivation of some of the US professoriate for higher courses and for research opportunities is usually stressed in the historical literature [67]. Apparently around 1900 the United States had surpassed Germany, at least in numbers; quality was another question [66, p. 17].

In Australia, the government supported most scientific and technological research. The second half of the nineteenth century saw the establishment of a number of higher learning institutions that provided technical or practical information. The first two Australian state universities were established in the early 1850s, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Four other universities were created before 1914. The incumbents of chairs and directorships often came from England. They did little research or practical work. With the waning of European interest in this natural wonderland, there was little in the local scene to sustain intellectual endeavour. Indeed, almost everything was against the development of science: isolation from Europe, the small size of the population, colonial economies based on the exploitation of readily available natural resources, as well as the export of a narrow range of staple commodities, and an emerging egalitarian and anti-intellectual tradition more intense than in North America. As late as 1937, the various Australian governments and even the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), created in 1926, hesitated to finance pure research into anything beyond local knowledge, for it was believed that it would "be made available by close liaison between Australian scientists and the great overseas laboratories," meaning those of Britain [81, p. 188].

Institutional growth in the moulds of ''national science''

Development patterns of the former colonial world have been enormously varied, making generalization difficult. Whatever the origin of the ambitions of different colonized groups, by the mid-nineteenth century the nation-state had become the only acceptable frame of reference. After that, self-perception was a question of nationhood and of very little else. Nevertheless, the idea of the nation in the twentieth-century movements aimed at liberation from colonial domination had specificity's that force us to look at them separately from the independence movements of the Atlantic world, both from British and Spanish domination, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. But relevant differences are not only those of a temporal kind. A recent classification produced on the basis of the most readily available indicators of S&T capabilities distinguishes between three broad groups of developing countries:

1. Those with no S&T base, with an extremely fragile economy, and where much of the population lives in extreme poverty. The low level of provision for education and training is both a cause and a consequence of this situation. (Most African countries are included in this category.)

2. Those with the fundamental elements of an S&T base thanks to past (mostly foreign) investment. Little attention is paid to domestic economic problems, often resulting in serious imbalances. They have established a certain industrial basis, with moderate GDP per capita. Some have a relatively high percentage of potential S&T manpower, but absolute numbers are low. (Includes countries of various sizes and ranging from East Asia to the Middle East and North Africa.)

3. Countries with an established S&T base. This highly heterogeneous group has an industrial basis with a higher percentage of potential S&T manpower and relatively high GDP per capita. Because of past achievements, and because they are more integrated into international trade than others, most are highly vulnerable to international trends. (Includes some Asian countries, including Pakistan, India, and the newly industrialized countries, and most Latin American countries, particularly Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.) [35]

Typologies such as this - although they permit comparisons between different areas - have a number of limitations for understanding the dynamics of science in specific national contexts. A scheme is needed that successfully contains both the local and the metropolitan factors operating in developing country science, rather than a static descriptive set of indicators. A comparative treatment of the scientific enterprise must account for differences between and within typical groupings [37].

For example, if we take the so-called areas of recent settlement, a restricted category that includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, by the end of the nineteenth century all were characterized by an abundance of land relative to labour and capital, and they all managed to develop capitalist economies that were highly integrated into the world market through the export of staples. It might also be said that the development of the scientific enterprise in these areas falls into some pattern that allows us to speak of a common "type" of scientific community, on account of the presence of three factors common to all of these countries: immigrants of primarily European origin, foreign capital, and a reduction in the cost of ocean transport. However, the history of Canadian science is not precisely that of Argentine science, not even that of Australian science. Features of the socio-economic bases of such nations emerge as of prime importance, operating on different levels of the scientific enterprise, from the societal support base to the scientific community itself.

The most striking contrast within this group is between Argentina and the others [58, 89]. During the twentieth century, most of these countries became modern industrial societies. In Argentina, however, economic and political performance since the 1920s has clearly differed from the achievements of the other countries, making of it a remarkable case of failed development. That is, although it possessed some requisites for becoming a modern country - not the least being its high rate of economic growth between 1880 and 1930- those conditions did not suffice. Government policies during the 1940s were short-sighted, and the political instability that followed made matters worse. Moreover, past economic growth helped raise expectations that could not be met. Among the complex subjects that still await further analysis are the characteristics of the Argentine dominant landowning class and of the scientific community that grew, sometimes supported by government patronage, sometimes persecuted by it. But also the different economic policies and factor endowment relative to other countries of recent settlement require deeper study.

One might thus begin to explain national scientific institutionalization as a product of both local conditions and metropolitan relations. Changing conditions are differentially absorbed within the socioeconomic base for science and are transmitted to the scientific enterprise through the medium of the institutional infrastructure, in which the activity developed during the colonial period may have left a strong imprint. The debate in Nigeria about the reorientation of higher education after independence in order to respond to changing demands related to manpower and economic development is illustrative of the difficult balance of forces. The 1960 report of the Commission on Post-School Certificate and Higher Education in Nigeria the well-known Ashby Report - was the point of departure for analysis and conceptualization [3, pp. 1-20]. Based on the theory of human capital [32], it argued that the economic development of every country is ultimately the result of the trained effort of its citizens. Therefore, the building of a broad reservoir of highly educated persons was the key to Nigeria's development [8]. These ideas, however, ran against the deeply rooted colonial tradition according to which the schools and colleges that emerged in Nigeria were developed as much as possible into replicas of similar institutions in England, i.e. "emphasizing in standard and curriculum, the thin stream of excellence and narrow specialism. In social function . . . [they were] restricted to an elite" [17]. The initial optimism and enthusiasm of the early days of independence obscured the signs of conflict that. emerged from the effort to change the much criticized but highly revered system of higher education. The traditional "classical" orientation of Nigerian higher education has, in effect, been maintained, to the dismay of the initiators of reform. The preexisting curriculum of higher education, with its primacy of academic subjects over science and technology, has been preserved.

The persistence of colonial relations and/or institutional networks, or the excessive bureaucratization of the scientific enterprise as the result of its close bondage with government in search of economic development, may hamper the ability of developing country science to adapt to changes at the local level. Scientific institution building in India from independence up to the late 1960s was based on a close and easy alliance between elite scientists and the top political leadership, represented by Nehru. In contrast to Gandhi's anti-modern technology stance, Nehru's modern, secular image and most of all his ideology of "scientism," made him a "messiah" for Indian science [41, p. 12]. The importance of the personal linkage between Homi Bhabha in Atomic Energy, S.S. Bhatnagar and H. Zaheer in CSIR, P.C. Mahalanobis in the Planning Commission, and J.C. Ghosh with Nehru was crucial. The locus of scientific research shifted from the private research institutions characteristic of the previous period to government science agencies [5].

The shift in the locus of science also meant a shift in the power base of scientists and their career structure and status in a socially and culturally stratified society. Science agencies became subordinated to overarching political structures. Major decisions on science came to be determined by or within the political structures. A very narrow elite made up of the heads of government agencies and departments has played multiple roles, keeping control over a large and fragile scientific community [88, pp. 575-594]. Although in theory representatives of the scientific community, they turned out to be servants of government and part of its hierarchical system. The power base and career path that draws more and more power and status has been located in the mission-oriented science agencies sector rather than in the academic, university sector, which is marginal to decision-making processes.

With the emergence of local scientific communities in developing countries, the assertion of a national identity in science grew at different times, assuming specific features in each case. In Australia, for instance, during the 1920s the imperial ideal predominated, the vision of a self-sufficient British Empire of which Australia would be a leading part as an exporter of commodities and an importer of surplus labour and capital. Australian scientific resources were to be mobilized and linked with British science in pursuit of the economic integration of the empire [81, p. 104]. By contrast, the arguments of the anti-dependencia scientists in Latin America emphasized the global nature of development and underdevelopment, placing them in the context of the "centre/periphery" model. Among the most commonly cited economic features of "dependency" were several connected with technology. These included the presence of heavy foreign investment and foreign capital-intensive technologies, which forced countries to specialize in exporting raw materials or labour-intensive manufactured goods; consumption patterns among the elites that were determined by the "centre," unfavourable exchange terms, and an increasing concentration of wealth and growing unemployment, particularly in the cities [94, p. 527]. The challenge was to find alternative courses of action for Latin American science in order to respond effectively to the problems of poverty, malnutrition, disease, and the increasingly unequal terms of international development [93, 33, 72, 75].

With all the differences of national contexts, the fact remains that a tension was always present in the developing world between the assertion of national identity and autonomy and the socio-psychological feelings of peripherality, marginality, or invisibility. That local science and metropolitan science share the same institutional model, while being widely separated (mentally and spatially), has led to ambivalence and tensions. Real or perceived intellectual isolation, a felt lack of recognition, debates about standards and quality of results, the claims to design alternative indicators for the scientific production in developing countries on account of the contextual variables that condition and determine their potential productivity - not the least important being the fact that developing country science is usually understood as "science for development" - these are all elements that have characterized the debates in the process of scientific institutionalization in the national "mould" in recent decades.

The groups of developing country scientists, engineers, and government officials who, at one time or another, managed to put their projects for autonomy into practice also achieved something else in the process. For a while they managed to change the conditions of the competitive game by their unexpected achievements [19]. The development of local capabilities in science, technology, industry, management, and labour skills introduced significant changes in the local social structures, created new sets of actors with technical and managerial skills, and gave them a better understanding of the art of negotiation. But the changes they produced have been usually insufficient to alter the background of social and economic conditions characteristic of underdevelopment.

The role of government science policy

The history of developing country science is full of examples of attempts at institutionalization followed by collapse, unbounded optimism followed by pessimistic indifference, and a lack of public trust in long-term intellectual endeavour. In general, government support for science on a significant scale by formation of concrete institutions and programmes was provided by the different countries in the context of changing conditions in the international markets.

Important cases of technological development in Latin America and South-East Asia illustrate the crucial role that tactical alliances have between the scientific elites and the state. The state has time and again revealed itself the most important factor in developing countries' successful or failed use of S&T for industrial development. Recent research contributions show the systemic and comprehensive state intervention in the economies of the newly industrialized countries, as well as the state's strategic guidance of the performance of national and multinational companies located in their territory [15]. The "developmental state" has been a fundamental factor in creating the conditions for economic growth in South-East Asia, as well as ensuring the transition of their industrializing economies to each of the different stages in their evolving articulation to the world economy [28].

At different times since the 1930s, but more systematically since the 1950s, most countries established national councils of science and technology or specialized units in planning agencies; the numbers of research centres grew, accentuating the fragmentation of the scientific and technological effort; new public institutions were created to promote and carry out scientific and technological activities, as were government units to regulate the importation of technology and to provide service to industry, mining, and agriculture. The rapid industrialization of the largest Latin American countries produced a demand for science and engineering graduates to handle operational and service problems of the new assembly industries; research funding mechanisms, which so far had operated according to the "little science" model, began to be transformed. New demands forced the emergence of intermediaries in the form of research managers, project administrators and negotiators in the funding agencies, with increasing formalization of research activities. The mechanisms and criteria adopted were not always compatible with the experience and tradition accumulated until then through isolated and small group efforts. Indeed, in the 1970s the bureaucratization of the state apparatus was visible in a country like Brazil. Active lobbying by groups of technocrats and intellectuals succeeded in convincing policy makers and then in creating the bureaucratic apparatus and the financial devices to enable the idea of autonomous scientific and technological development to prosper. Brazil's economy has been a mixture of market mechanisms, state intervention, and planning. The state has played an important economic role through guidelines and planning, incentives and controls - establishing the objectives and the means to achieve progress [29]. Nevertheless, the recent difficulties of the Brazilian economy and therefore of its S&T base show the fragility and vulnerability of the whole enterprise.

Recognition of the role of government science planning in developing countries should not give the impression that results were always positive. In fact, national experiences have been subject to strong criticisms on various accounts. As a result of vigorous promotion by Unesco of "science planning" in the 1960s and 1970s, many African countries also created national science units, but most of their objectives have not been achieved [21]. Several such units have been abolished in recent years. Others have been absorbed into ministries of education. Most surviving science policy units engage in such activities as passing on requests for the clearance of foreign research workers who wish to work in the country. A few national units have acquired important but more modest functions: the Kenyan National Council on Science and Technology administers a fund that supports university research.

A rearrangement of the international system eased the transition to a new world order in which international cooperation with the third world contributed to shaping the modern process of scientific institutionalization in the developing countries. Until the 1960s, a high degree of congruence between the policies of industrialized country donors, as they came to be called, and the needs articulated by developing country recipients characterized international educational and scientific assistance. The most influential (Western) studies of the day demonstrated the productivity-raising effects of investments in education [e.g. 84], and showed that the magnitude of effects increased with educational level. Major Western universities were "twinned" with developing country "sister institutions" in a pattern closely resembling the affiliation of colonial institutions with metropolitan ones, as in the case of the London University network for British colonial dependencies and the Université de Bordeaux for the French ones. A large number of industrialized country universities and other institutions became involved in institution building overseas. But results often differed significantly from the international technocratic rhetoric. For example, the purpose for which universities were established in Africa was the indigenization of educational, technical, scientific, and administrative services, to contribute to economic development. Progress was measured in terms of the supply of trained manpower chiefly to the public sector. However, what did expand, generally speaking - because it lay within the power of politicians to create them - were not industrial jobs as expected of "high-level manpower planning in practical subjects," but appointments in the public services. Surely, technological imperatives arise from localized socio-economic forces and are not especially subject to pressure emanating from scientists. An increased number of graduates was what politicians wished to see so that they could fill the civil service. What the graduates studied was of less interest to them than the fact that they had academic degrees. An effective demand was thus created (although not the one served by public rhetoric) and African universities responded accordingly.

Regional institutional collaboration has been recommended as one of the most effective ways to build up rapidly a better S&T base, but the actual concentration of advanced scientific training in regional centres has often been resisted. Regional centres of scientific training and research have been moderately successful when institutions are supported by international organizations and by foreign governments in bilateral arrangements with particular governments. Instances of such successes have been the Latin American Centres of Mathematics in Buenos Aires, of Physics (CLAF) in Rio de Janeiro, and of Biology (CLAB) in Santiago, or the international agricultural research institutes established in Africa, like that of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria, the International Livestock Centre for Africa in Ethiopia, and the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Disease in Kenya. However, their connections to national scientific institutions, especially with African universities, have always been fragile and have been weakened in recent years by the declining research efforts of many countries. When a developing country government and its universities are asked to share the costs of regional institutions, or to contribute to the development of institutions outside their country, these efforts have usually failed.

The economic crisis that affected most of the developing world in the 1980s increased the difficulties of the best research institutions. A growing flow of diagnostic studies confirm the deterioration of working conditions and the increasing alienation of researchers as a result of greater financial restrictions and physical and intellectual isolation. In a world in which academic networking is rapidly expanding, developing countries remain as poorly connected areas. Marginality in science and technology is increasing, both in quantitative and in qualitative terms in many developing countries. Given the difficulties in which academic science is immersed in Latin America and the serious threat of an intensified "brain drain," several countries have tried to implement programmes to minimize this process. Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil have implemented programmes to supplement the salaries of the elite S&T cadres, aimed at preserving the core of the national stock of researchers and fostering their improvement and productivity and the participation and self-evaluation of the research community.

The interface between higher education and research capabilities

As with other elements linked with the idea of modernization, like technology, economics, and the values of progress, the force of science lay for some developing countries more in its abstract symbolic power than in its actual practice. It has been argued that often attention was placed on collateral features of this science rather than on the means of producing it, that is to say, it was a science devoid of its crucial research component. The founding of schools for the training of engineers, medical and pharmaceutical doctors, and other specialists without the provision of specific institutional space for research has been common.

Even after independence, no provision was made in most new African nations for training in research as part of the work of the universities [87]. A research capability came to be demanded when governments decided that they could not endogenize their teaching and research staff without providing local graduate training. Master's programmes began to be hurriedly introduced in the most advanced developing countries in the late 1960s and 1970s. Brazil and Mexico are the Latin American countries that have developed the most this educational level, with over 1,500 M.A. programmes each, although doctoral programmes continue to be few and unproductive. In fact, graduate professional training was overwhelmingly a prolongation of undergraduate courses, with accreditation being linked to the access to and/or promotion in bureaucratized labour markets or with conspicuous cultural consumption, having little to do with scientific education for the preparation of researchers.

The introduction of research in the professional universities of developing countries was often the result of technical assistance received from the more advanced countries or of professional and scientific training obtained by individuals abroad. A forceful description of social conditions, which could be easily extended to many a national tradition in the developing world, has been given by Araújo e Oliveira with regard to Brazil: "in such a turbulent and hostile environment, where constancy, quality, excellence, seriousness, obstinacy and the disinterested search are of little or no value at all, those scientific groups that are implanted, prosper, and bear fruit, can best be considered as islands of competence" [6]. Such islands of competence are found particularly in countries like India, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, or Mexico, which at one time or another seemed on the verge of making the last leap forward to become truly independent centres of scientific creativity but have not quite made it. Although the historical record reveals examples of research groups or isolated scientists who managed to do competent science in the most difficult conditions, our subject of institutionalization of science refers to social conditions of receptivity and stimulus for the modern scientific enterprise. The emergence of scientific communities (of relatively autonomous scientific fields in developing countries), as we have seen, has had unequal results, and it is an area that still poses more questions than it answers.

For all the diversity of institutions and national and cultural contexts, developing country universities share a number of problems:

1. High cost.

2. Explosion of numbers. Latin American higher education experienced an unprecedented expansion from 1950 to 1980 increasing 20-fold, from about 250,000 students in 1950 to 5,380,000 in 1980. In most African countries, too, enrolment has increased enormously since independence, but the total number there is still comparatively small, less than 20,000 Part of the reason is that universities are unable to absorb more students because, being residential institutions, they have reached the upper limits of their intake capacity.

3. Scarcity of trained human resources. In some African countries such shortages had serious consequences for the operation of government scientific services. Sometimes one hears the criticism that a developing country has "over-invested" in or has "overqualified" its human resources. But in societies that combine mass cultures in an accelerated process of formation with a weak, heterogeneous, and dependent base of externally conditioned prosperity and crisis cycles, the relationship between education and work posts becomes loose and tenuous.

4. Poor quality of instruction at all levels.

5. Privatization of higher education. The developing world shows almost the maximum possible range in the private sector's proportion of total enrolments by nation. In many countries, most private growth has occurred in recent decades. In terms of its impact on the whole system, the performance of privatization in Asian and Latin American higher education to date leaves considerable room for debate [42].

Concluding remarks

The institutionalization of Western science in the developing world proceeded as both an instrument of the interests of the most advanced countries and a result of active attempts by underdeveloped nations to master the knowledge that was the promise of modernity. At different times the major colonial powers and the new independent nations established S&T institutions, but it has been difficult for science to take root, particularly since it was expected to produce economic growth.

Emphasis on organizations and institutions has forced us to focus attention on scientific and technical elites. Scientific institutions were seen as the formulated and communicated outcomes of thought, as manifested in institutional ideologies, roles, and functions, "carriers" for particular collective understandings [2]. Specific scientific institutions represent ideals in operation, serving as channels for the realization and transmission of personal and intellectual will. At different times and places, institutional leaders have provided the beliefs, expectations, and goals that show the way, a particular way of identifying problems and their solutions. Of course the summation of individual scientific institutions does not necessarily result in the institutionalization of science in a particular country. They are necessary, albeit not sufficient, conditions for success or failure.


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(introductory text...)

Jacques Gaillard

There is a relatively large storehouse of documents and reports on science and technology policies in the developing countries, often prepared for international conferences such as the United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development in 1979 in Vienna. That said, it must be recognized that these official documents mainly contain statements of intent and that our knowledge of science, scientists, and scientific communities in developing countries is very incomplete. There is also a fairly abundant literature on third world science scattered through numerous journals, seminar reports, and proceedings, but there are far too few empirical studies. The late Professor Moravcsik [61] provided one of the most complete bibliographies on this subject, which covers literature up to the early 1970s, but research on science in developing countries is still an unexplored and fruitful area [62]. A decision was taken in October 1990 at the International Conference on Science Indicators for Developing Countries in Paris to create an international association interested in science in developing countries; one of its tasks would be to update Moravcsik's bibliography [5].

Generally on the basis of national statistics compiled by organizations such as Unesco and the OECD, certain authors have emphasized the shortcomings of the research systems in developing countries and the shortage of available resources [71]. Other authors have matched socioeconomic conditions against the level of scientific development in these countries. In some of his writings, Price [66] gives quantitative indicators for the developing countries. Research by Garfield [39] and his Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia (ISI) points to the low productivity of third world scientists, the difference in productivity levels, and degrees of dependency (articles by scientists from developing countries have greater impact when co-authored by scientists from industrialized countries). Using the ISI database, quantitative analyses of mainstream scientific literature, i.e. articles in internationally read publications, were made at the continental and national levels. One such bibliometric study on mainstream science in Singapore recently showed that articles written by national scientists and published in international journals were very rarely cited [2]. Other authors, such as Frame et al. [30], provide interesting general information on the respective ranking of various developing countries and on the distribution and orientation of scientific disciplines there.

There has also been relatively little research on the scientists who make up the third world scientific communities, or on how these communities are emerging and reproducing. The comparative study made by T.O. Eisemon [26] was until recently among the few exceptions. He interviewed teachers/scientists in the mathematics and zoology departments at the universities of Ibadan and Nairobi in 1978 and concluded that:

the achievements of Nigerian and Kenyan science are primarily quantitative and in the sphere of construction of an institutional framework for scientific research. Science teaching programmes have been developed, scientific societies established, publishing institutions formed. These are not trivial accomplishments in my view. Nevertheless, it is also true that scientific work - in a more substantial sense - has not been much advanced.... Nor have hopes for rapid scientific development been realised. A much longer time will be required before a conclusive judgement can be passed on the effective implementation of the scientific "ethos" in Black Africa.

Thus, most developing countries are still in the institutionalization and professionalization stage. The initial institutional structure has been created, but its material expression - scientific research - has not yet been institutionalized, i.e. has not been recognized as a fully fledged component of society. Another study on science in Mexico suggests that, as in the other developing countries, there are fewer scientists than alleged. The study concludes by saying that the "Mexican scientific community is like an army which has too many generals and too much equipment but which lacks soldiers, particularly well trained soldiers" [73, p. 404]. During the 1980s a number of additional comprehensive studies were carried out and published [50], particularly on Latin American scientific communities, e.g. on Peru [42], a very detailed survey of 218 scientists, unfortunately still unpublished, Brazil [74, 10-12, 16, 17], and Venezuela [1, 81, 4, 69].

In reality most of these studies tend to show that none of the developing countries has a genuine scientific community, not even India, which numerically is among the five largest scientific communities in the world [77], or Brazil [74]. What an Indian scientist had to say about research practices in his country is most revealing: "There is no scientific community in this country.... I meet my colleagues only abroad. I meet my colleagues even from Delhi abroad.... In a well-knit community, where you are exchanging preprints, things are happening and there is excitement. There is no excitement here. Our excitement comes by mail from outside. It depends on the postal system. This is the worst part; the spirit is dead" [77, p. 587]. This dependence on the outside environment, in other words the West, is a constant refrain among many third world scientists. Consequently, since the knowledge formation process in their countries is largely influenced and determined by the West, a considerable part of their scientific output is foreign to the area where it is produced. Another common feature of these scientific communities is the difficulty for many of them to reproduce themselves [35].

These recent studies confirm what Stevan Dedijer wrote in the early 1960s, when he said that,

in the underdeveloped countries scientists suffer from isolation from each other, and thus they do not have the benefits of the stimulation of the presence of persons working in closely related fields. They are in danger, a danger to which they too often succumb, of losing contacts with their colleagues in the international scientific community. They feel peripheral and out of touch with the important developments in science unless they can visit and be visited by important scientists from the more developed countries; they feel inferior and neglected because their own journals and organs of publication, where they exist at all, are seldom read by foreign scientists, seldom quoted in the literature and are indeed often neglected by their own colleagues at home. They have little contact with their colleagues in neighbouring underdeveloped countries. They are in brief not fully-fledged members of the international scientific community and their work suffers accordingly. [25, pp. 80-81]

Close to 30 years have gone by since these words were written, and we have to admit that they still ring true.

Scientific community: A concept open to challenge

The concept of scientific community is today widely used by philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science, as well as, though to a lesser extent, administrators. "It is probably no exaggeration to say that the notion which has been most frequently associated with the social organization of science is that of the scientific community" [49, p. 164]. It is, however, of rather recent origin, appearing in the context of industrialized countries in the early 1940s. Its meaning varies for different authors and in different contexts, and its use, as a methodological tool, has recently been challenged.

The concept of scientific community, as a community in the sociological sense, clearly has a variety of meanings. In its broad sense, it refers to a group of scientists sharing the same attitudes, norms, and values. It is also being used, in a narrower way, to characterize a group of scientists active in a specific field of science. All the scientists active in a country are said to form a "national" scientific community, whereas most scientists claim to belong to the "international" scientific community. Thus, the same concept is used for various levels and with different meanings to describe the world, or international, scientific community and down to small groups of specialists. Furthermore, as correctly stated in an article by Struan Jacobs [47], the existence of scientific communities is assumed without question or argument in the works of leading contemporary philosophers of science (Kuhn, Popper, Toulmin, Lakatos, Hacking et al.), as in many historical studies.

According to several authors, the concept of scientific community was explicitly defined for the first time in the lecture by Michael Polanyi in 1942 to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society [43]. For Polanyi, the members of the scientific community, or "Republic of Science," should be given the maximum of liberty: "The Republic of Science is a Society of Explorers. Such a society strives towards an unknown future, which it believes to be accessible and worth achieving. In the case of scientists, the explorers strive towards a hidden reality, for the sake of intellectual satisfaction. And as they satisfy themselves, they enlighten all men and are thus helping society to fulfill its obligation towards intellectual self-improvement" [65, p. 19]. The concept was then used in the 1950s by other authors (e.g. Barber [6]; Shils [76]; Kuhn [53]) and it became a key concept in the sociology of science in the 1960s [8].

It was also in the early 1940s that the sociology of science started to emerge as a discipline, soon dominated by the functionalism of Robert Merton and his school. The Mertonian "normative structure of science" defines a number of ideal norms and values (universalism, communism, organized scepticism, and disinterestedness) that scientists are believed to share [60]. For Merton, science is organized according to an idealized model. Most of its work tends to view the scientific community as if it were a separate social system, without taking into account its relations with other elements of the society to which it belongs. Most of the works until the 1970s, while criticizing the normative Mertonian approach, have also tended to consider the scientific community as an autonomous entity.

Warren Hagstrom [44] analysed the mechanisms of social control, and particularly the reward systems, acting to ensure the autonomy of the scientific community and its reproduction and growth. It is one of the most important and comprehensive works on the subject. Ben-David [8, p. 4], while recognizing that "science is conceived as the activity of a human group (the scientific community or, rather, communities specialized by fields)," suggests that "this group is so effectively insulated from the outside world that the characteristics of the different societies in which scientists live and work can, for many intents and purposes, be disregarded." I shall come back to this question when presenting some case-studies of developing countries to show that the emergence and the functioning of a given scientific community is strongly influenced by the society in which it takes shape.

Since then the concept of scientific community as defined above has been challenged (e.g. [22, 48]). Bourdieu [13] introduced the notion of the scientific field as a space where struggles for the monopoly of the scientific authority or credit take place. Bourdieu's model has been modified and further developed by Latour and Woolgar [55] among others. Others have gone beyond the credibility model to introduce the notion of networking [84] and translation [18]. While the latter studies have been useful to pinpoint the limits and the irrelevance of an internalist conception of the notion of scientific communities, no appropriate alternative concept has yet been proposed. Thus, it has been used in more recently published works [19, 31, 33, 64] and is still considered as a useful methodological tool in ongoing research programmes (e.g. [83]).

The widening gap and the need for a revised typology

Most of the studies reviewed at the beginning of this chapter tend to conclude that none of the developing countries has a genuine scientific community. Care must be taken, however, to avoid overgeneralizing. The last decade has made it increasingly clear that it was impossible to treat the developing countries as if they were a homogeneous entity. The gap is clearly widening between the "least-developed countries" and the "newly industrialized countries." The latter have reached a fair level of technological and scientific research, industrial capacity, and domestic sales that justifies their hope to better capitalize on new scientific development and technology [85], while most of the least-developed countries have unproductive, inadequate scientific research systems and lack an industrial base, qualified personnel, and capital.

Seven developing countries (Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina) account for almost 90 per cent of the total manufactured exports of the developing world, and the four in Asia account for 77 per cent. Although the development of endogenous scientific communities has not been the impetus for development in most of the Asian newly industrialized countries (in particular in Singapore and South Korea, where steady growth has been supported by acquiring techniques and transforming imported resources, together with staff training), these countries are now trying harder than ever to develop their national science and technology activities. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, when most developing countries were generally devoting between 0.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent of their GNP to research, Korea, for example, was already spending over 1 per cent and is today spending close to 2 per cent. Singapore, which is lagging behind slightly - starting from an average level of spending characteristic of most developing countries in the late 1970s and early 1980s (between 0.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent) - is now spending more than 1 per cent and is planning to catch up with Korea and Taiwan before the end of the century [41]. A similar development might take place in the South-East Asian countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia during the coming decade, although their economies will no doubt remain more dependent on agriculture. The situation is clearly different for the remaining Latin American industrializing countries (Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina), which, unlike their four Asian counterparts, belong in the category of large countries.

The question of the large countries is more difficult because of the size of their scientific communities and because most of them can hardly be considered as single entities but rather as several countries in one. One should, however, distinguish here between the two giants (China and India) and the other countries (Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, etc.). India, which has been described as "excellence in the midst of poverty," has today among the five largest scientific communities in the world and accounts for 50 per cent of the scientific production of the developing countries. China, like India, also has a very high scientific and technological manpower potential in absolute terms due to its huge population, but low as a percentage of the total population. Both countries have vast regional disparities. The development of the scientific community in Brazil, the largest scientific community in Latin America, also illustrates the profound regional imbalance between the southern states (and more specifically the state of São Paulo), and the rest of the country. But large often goes together with fragile [77], and the economic difficulties recently experienced by most of these countries, plus the political events that arose in China, remind us that the future of their scientific communities is far from secure. They still have to struggle to create a space for science [75].

But let us remember that the majority of developing countries are small and very small countries. In 1985, about 67 per cent of all developing countries had a population of less than 10 million, and 52 per cent had less than 5 million. Botswana, Lesotho, Vanuatu, Swaziland, and Chad are typical examples. Although size measured in absolute terms is not an adequate indicator of the prospects of developing a science and technology base, it is more difficult to establish one in the smaller countries. Due to resource constraints, small developing - and developed - countries cannot solve all their problems alone. Major decisions have to be made as to what should be attempted using their limited research capabilities and what can be borrowed from elsewhere. This also requires adequate access to information and participation in research networks.

Thus, it is no longer possible to consider the developing countries as a single entity, and there is an obvious need to establish a typology reflecting the level of development in science and technology and the problems described above. An analysis of the different typologies available shows that the most common are linked to economic indicators, especially per capita GNP, and suggests a classification based on thresholds, e.g. the World Bank typology, which recognizes low income countries (US$0-US$400 per inhabitant per year), medium income countries (US$400-US$1,700), and oil-exporting, high income countries. The United Nations system, especially UNCTAD, makes a distinction between newly industrialized, oil-exporting, and least-developed countries.

But, as correctly stressed by Salomon and Lebeau [72], "purely economic definitions of developing countries tend to be distorting mirrors." Based on science and technology resources, they proposed a classification with five categories of developing countries. A recent report presented to Unesco by the International Council for Science Policy Studies [46] proposes an aggregate typology of "science and technology capabilities." Excluding the industrialized countries, three groups are identified: those with almost no science and technology base; those with fundamental elements of such a base; and those with an established science and technology base. Most African countries belong to the first group.

The latter classifications are the most interesting ones for our purpose, but a number of misgivings suggest that further research and efforts are needed to produce a more dynamic typology that takes account of recent set-backs and fluctuations. The main reason for the misgivings is the lack of reliable, comparable, and recent data on some of the basic indicators, including science and technology activities, in many developing countries. The adequacy of some of the science and technology indicators (in particular output indicators, which are controversial - even for industrialized countries) for measuring or evaluating third world science is also very much open to question (e.g. [5]).

Furthermore, many of the crucial factors that affect a society's ability to take advantage of modern science cannot be measured and translated into indicators. The search for a more "explicative" typology must extend beyond quantifiable indicators to include social structures, political systems, and national history. In order to go beyond the question of indicators, country case-studies are presented in the next section to pinpoint similarities and differences and to show that the conditions surrounding the emergence of given national scientific communities are producing different styles of science [83].

National scientific communities and styles of science

Before illustrating the different styles of science by referring to studies on specific countries, it may be useful to look at the way national scientific communities have emerged or are still struggling to emerge in smaller, lesser-known countries that are representative of many developing countries.

(a) Costa Rica, Senegal, and Thailand

These three countries are representative of a number of small (Costa Rica and Senegal) or medium-size (Thailand) developing countries. All three are agricultural, although the economies of Costa Rica and Thailand have been changing structurally as industry accounts for an increasing part of GNP. They are characteristic examples of young scientific communities. The first traces of research institutes and schools of higher learning started appearing at the end of the nineteenth century and became really visible during the first part of the twentieth century. And it was not until the 1960s and even more the 1970s that national scientific communities started taking root and becoming bona fide institutions.

As universities grew, research activities went through a process of institutionalization, and science policy-making bodies were created. This process started in Thailand at the end of the 1950s, in Senegal in the 1960s, and in Costa Rica at the beginning of the 1970s. Their scientific communities are small and difficult to evaluate. The Senegalese and the Costa Rican scientific communities probably numbered 800-1,000 scientists and the Thai community just over 5,000 in the mid-1980s [33]. The scientific potential is concentrated in universities and focused on agriculture, social sciences, and health. University scientists are the best trained and have the highest qualifications. The number of scientists in engineering is low in all three countries. Unlike the other two, the large number of scientists in Senegal working on what could be called "general advancement of knowledge" is rather unusual and can only be explained by historical reasons going back to the colonial period: the Senegalese scientific community is still heavily dependent on expatriate scientists 30 years after independence [33, 35].

Of the three, Costa Rica offers its scientists, especially those working at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), the best salaries and the most incentives to be involved in scientific activities and to publish their findings. Proposals have recently been made through the UCR internal promotion system to encourage academic staff members to do more research. Obviously there is still room for improvement, and different institutes offer different opportunities. The major devaluation of the colon early in the 1980s seriously affected salaries and lowered their purchasing power. But this situation was not unique to people working in science.

In Thailand despite a political decision to support scientific work and an atmosphere propitious to its research development, there are inherent difficulties in the profession that are far from being solved. In the public sector, Thai research scientists and university teachers are badly underpaid. Promotions and salary increases depend almost exclusively on seniority, with very little credit for educational level, work performance, and services rendered, be it in research, education, or administration. This situation is of course deleterious to normal research schedules, since far too many research scientists and teachers doing research have to supplement their salaries by accepting unrelated jobs on the side.

The status of the research scientist in Senegal is precarious. Since there is no career stability, a future in this profession is fraught with uncertainty. Institute regulations make no allowances for the unique characteristics of the profession. Career paths and positions are very different from each other. The scientists who are classed as civil servants are probably the worst off, since the professional scale in the government civil service does not provide for a Ph.D. level. This means that scientists with a doctorate, a master's, or a bachelor's degree are all in the same category and move up the seniority-driven scale at the same pace. Attempts to provide the research scientists with common professional statutes were nearing completion when the Ministry of Research was dissolved in 1986. In view of the present institutional structures, the economic crisis, and the budgetary restrictions in Senegal, there is little chance that research will be given statutes of its own in the near future.

(b) Different styles of science

How can the profession of scientist distinguish itself in society and how do scientific communities gain legitimacy? The history of science in a number of developing countries shows that the professionalization of third world scientists, the emergence of national scientific communities, and the legitimation of scientific activities are often associated with the creation of an active professional association. This is the case in India, where the launching of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) "afforded a widely scattered scientific community a much needed common meeting ground" [51]. In Brazil, the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC) played a crucial role in the professionalization of Brazilian scientists between 1950 and 1960. In the case of the SBPC, "scientific interests and political legitimacy were closely imbricated" [11]. Modelled on the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Venezuelan Association for the Advancement of Science (ASOVAC), created in 1950, has brought a stronger cohesion to the young, emerging Venezuelan scientific community while legitimating its role [82]. It is also responsible for a distinct, rather academic, style of science.

The charismatic role of leading political and/or scientific figures must also be taken into consideration. Thus, in India, the important role of Nehru - "a passionate believer in modern science" and "the main architect of India's science policy" - is widely recognized (e.g. [52]). Other, lesser known examples are Clodomiro Picado in Costa Rica, Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, and King Mongkut, considered as the father of science in Thailand. All of them are venerated by their national scientific communities; universities, research centres, and scientific awards have been named after them [33]. Conversely, dictatorships and anti-science political systems always have devastating effects on the emergence and growth of scientific communities everywhere. One of the most extreme examples is the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), during which civilian scientific research came to a halt. The situation hopefully changed radically in 1978, when the Party declared science and technology to be one of the four modernizations, but much time had been lost while Chinese researchers were sent to the countryside and isolated from the rest of the world.

The (social) origin of the scientists may also be linked to the emergence of different styles of science. In Africa, for instance, the social origin of the scientist is less distinctive than in the other continents, although many come from rural areas. In Latin America, the scientific communities mainly recruit among the middle classes and in particular among immigrants.

By contrast, in many Asian countries, scientists are often drawn from groups traditionally associated with learning and/or power. In Thailand, as already mentioned, the royal family played, and is still playing, a very important role in the birth, growth, and dissemination of science. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, for instance, who recently received her Ph.D. from Srinakharinwirot University, is considered a symbol and often participates in public scientific events [35]. In India, ever since the British brought Western science to Bengal in the nineteenth century, the scientific community seems to have been dominated by the upper Hindu castes, especially the Brahmans. Kapil Raj describes how the Brahmans in their own way "appropriated occidental ideas and science to give credence to their new dominant - status in the Indian society" [67]. This, according to Raj, explains why Indian science tends to pay more attention to basic disciplines and to be what he calls a "clean" science. Krishna [51, 52] also describes how an Indian national science developed in the 1920s in opposition to the British colonial science around a few scientific leaders, mainly in "pure" sciences, such as physics, chemistry, and mathematics. This may also partly explain why the Indian scientific community is clearly influenced and attracted by the international scientific community and why Indian scientists tend to publish in mainstream journals.

Conversely, Brazil, the second largest scientific community of the third world after India, is characterized more by an "inward-looking" or "inbred" research approach, and the Brazilian scientists tend to publish, particularly within agricultural sciences, in Portuguese and in local journals [78, 19]. The development of the Brazilian scientific community in the field of informatics illustrates how young, jobless Brazilian university graduates succeeded in convincing national banks and the government to launch a national plan to develop a Brazilian computer industry [10]. The future of the Brazilian scientific community is, however, far from secure. "There is certainly more science and technology in Brazil today than only twenty years ago; and yet, it is clear that a space for science, in terms of socially defined, accepted and institutionalized scientific roles, is barely there. What we have at most are islands of competence, niches where science was able to develop for some time, but always precariously, and threatened by an unfriendly environment" [74].

The example of Singapore, where R&D activities are now developing under the influence of a strongly technocratic political approach, is attractive to many developing countries because of its impressive results, but it leaves us with a number of unanswered questions. In a recent article, Goudineau [41] shows that Singapore reached a rather advanced stage of socioeconomic development before thinking of developing a national science and technology policy. This occurred in a context where a technological potential existed but where local scientific elites had not been trained nor had a true national scientific community emerged. This is compensated for by a massive importation of knowledge, experts, and know-how in a limited and carefully selected number of areas (informatics, biotechnology, and new materials). A more and more vigorous attempt to encourage Singaporean scientists to return from abroad is also taking place.

(introductory text...)

The results reported below are mainly derived from a survey carried out during 1985 and 1986. A questionnaire was sent to the 766 scientists in 78 countries who had received research grants from the International Foundation for Science (IFS) between 1974 and 1984. (The IFS, which was founded in 1972 in Stockholm, is a non-governmental organization, multilaterally funded by a number of countries and development agencies. It provides support and guidance to young scientists in and from developing countries. To date, over 2,000 scientists in more than 90 countries have benefited from IFS support.) The results obtained from the questionnaire survey were supplemented by interviews.

All the respondents (489 in 67 countries) are third world scientists, and all are working in their home country. The majority of them (71.4 per cent) work for universities or other academic institutions; 83.4 per cent are men, and 80 per cent are between 30 and 45 years of age. More than 60 per cent of the respondents have a Ph.D. or the equivalent, for which most of them (76 per cent) have studied in an industrialized country. They are mainly working in the agricultural and biological sciences, which are high priority and dominant areas of research in developing countries. The most distinctive feature of the survey population may be that it is composed of internationally selected scientists, chosen according to criteria that have become ever stricter over the years.

The main conclusion of the study [33, 36] is that scientists from developing countries find themselves faced with a dilemma: whether to participate in solving local problems or to follow the models and reference systems more or less imposed by the international scientific community. They are highly dependent on countries in the centre, as well as on the international scientific community. They often rely upon outside sources for education and training, institution building, research financing, etc. To a large extent, third world scientists use international scientific literature as their reference, choose research topics on the basis of essentially the same criteria as their colleagues in the centre, and tend to select the same equipment that they grew accustomed to during their Ph.D. studies in the laboratories of the industrialized countries.

But importing equipment manufactured in the North into the developing countries of the South, even with clear instruction manuals, is not enough to ensure equal quality service [37]. Similarly, scientists who studied in the North often discover that the subject of their thesis, their course curricula, knowledge, and experience are not directly applicable upon return to their home country. It is becoming increasingly obvious that applying major international criteria on scientific communities of the periphery, especially in the developing countries, will not guarantee the latter's integration into the international scientific community. Furthermore, it may detract from the relevance of research to local needs and problems.


Close to one-third of the researchers who responded to our questionnaire come from farming families (many of them from small subsistence-level farms), and one-fifth spent their childhood in a small village. This rural background is even more widespread among the African scientists. Eisemon provided further evidence for these results through interviews he conducted in Kenya and in Nigeria in 1978: "African scientists, like most other Africans with higher education, are usually the first in their families to receive secondary and higher education. Many, particularly in Kenya, come from rural backgrounds" [26, p. 512]. Thus a relatively large number of scientists from developing countries have experienced a rapid social rise, going from a small village to a big (capital) city. At the end of this socio-intellectual adventure, they go on to become members of the intelligentsia, leaving their home village behind them.

For the other categories of social origin, results unquestionably prove that the grade system and then the university system have selection criteria that are hardest on the least favoured classes, albeit without totally excluding them. The intermediate categories (especially crafts and commerce), with approximately one-fifth, are rather well placed. Close to one-tenth have a father in the "office staff" category, whereas the percentage of sons and daughters of "labourers" was lower (3.7 per cent). This last low percentage reflects the inequality of opportunities for the lower social classes; it can also be partly explained by the lower rate of industrialization in most of these countries. The high percentage of researchers (close to one-fourth) whose parents are in liberal professions or senior management positions - a social category that accounts for a small percentage of the population in most developing countries - confirms the inequality of opportunity.

With 16.6 per cent of the overall population, women appear to be underrepresented. However, a quick comparison with the situation in the industrialized countries of the world softens this initial reaction. For example, in 1982 only 13 per cent of the scientists and engineers in the United States were women, and this was a 200 per cent increase over the 1972 figure. In a country like Sweden, which is well known for its efforts in favour of equality of the sexes, women accounted for only 12 per cent of the research scientists in 1982. The use of averages obscures regional disparities and important differences between countries. Women researchers in our population figure as follows: 9 per cent for Africa, 15 per cent for Latin America, and 23 per cent for Asia. The Philippines (36 per cent) and Thailand (33 per cent) had the highest percentages. Some African countries such as Tunisia (27 per cent) and Tanzania (23 per cent) have a laudably high percentage compared to the continent as a whole, while countries like Burkina Faso, Morocco, and Senegal rank far below the average. Our results also brought out a strong degree of disciplinary specialization: women tend to choose disciplines that involve laboratory work and that offer jobs in the capital. Women are often reluctant to live outside urban areas, not only because of their discipline; other factors such as marital status, the number of children to support, and the spouse's profession can also affect the researcher's region of residence.

Compared with the national average in their countries, third world scientists marry late. In our study population, 70 per cent in the 25-29 age group were unmarried, as are close to one-third in the 30-34 age group, and one-fifth in the 35-39 age group. One reason may be that many of them had long years of schooling and extended journeys abroad. Another reason may be the contact with Western models during their studies outside their home countries. The Western standard also seems to have been adopted for the number of children, since two-thirds of the scientists in our population had at most two children. Close to half the scientists in the 30-34 age group and over one-fourth in the 35-39 age group had no children at all. Who do the scientists marry? There is a strong endogamous trend, since half of the spouses are scientists and teachers. The marriage strategy (late marriage, strong endogamy, Malthusian behaviour) seems to characterize a very rational approach to reproduction. Under the influence of the Western model, which holds that small families are more mobile and do better socially than large families, the scientists produce as many children as they think they can establish at a level they would be satisfied to occupy themselves. The investment required for research quite clearly implies postponing marriage and the first child. Since in research the social status that accompanies the profession seems to take more time to acquire than in other professions, scientists have to - and seem prepared to make the relevant sacrifices.

Higher education and research training

Student populations stayed small and relatively few diplomas were awarded by higher learning institutions in most developing countries until the end of the 1960s. During the 1970s student enrolment grew substantially in all countries. By the early 1980s a number of countries, mainly in Asia and in Latin America, boasted a student population comparable with the OECD countries in relative terms (2 per cent or more of the total population). Part of the explanation lies in the creation of many new public universities (most of them outside capital cities) during the 1970s and in the overpopulation of most universities. The proliferation of private universities, mainly specializing in business and administration, also contributed to this spectacular development. The student boom and the large number of graduates produced, combined with the economic crisis and the budgetary cuts, gave rise in the late 1970s to a new phenomenon: unemployment among the intellectuals. This does not mean that all the employment needs have been fulfilled. The situation is quite the opposite. But the key employer, i.e. the state, is no longer able to keep up with the need to create new posts. This is particularly true in Africa, where nearly all branches suffer and where associations of unemployed university graduates have been created.

Until relatively recently - except for certain countries such as India many third world students had to leave their home countries to attend a university and obtain the education needed to become scientists. Studying abroad is nothing new and is not limited to young people from developing countries, but it is noteworthy that the percentages of such students in the total foreign student population has increased considerably in most Western countries since the 1960s [58, 59, 63, 32]. During the colonial period, most of the (very few) students who were sent abroad for their education studied in the colonizers' country. During the pre-independence years, increasing numbers of students applied to study abroad, and the number of scholarships made available by industrialized countries rose considerably. This showed increased awareness of the importance of higher education in development-oriented science; it also reflected the donor countries' desire to maintain - or acquire - political and economic influence in newly independent states.

At the time of independence, there were some universities in the developing countries, but they did not go as far as the doctoral level and did not offer a full range of science and technology courses. In some countries, after the first university was created, change took hold very quickly, especially in the 1960s. By way of illustration, a country like Brazil now offers hundreds of graduate programmes in some 30 independent institutions and universities. Two-thirds of the programmes lead to a master's degree, one-third to a doctorate. At the end of the 1980s, the University of São Paulo alone offered 100 master's programmes and 66 doctoral programmes in a great variety of disciplines.

Although the proportion of doctorates conferred in the developing countries has been constantly increasing since the beginning of the 1970s, research scientists, especially the most active ones, still rely heavily on foreign education. Among the countries that train third world students to the doctoral level, three stand out on the international scene: the United States, Great Britain, and France [32]. A student who has the choice between studying at home or abroad will generally choose the latter. Besides the economic benefits that accompany a stay in an industrialized country, a diploma obtained there is usually rated higher than a diploma from a developing country. The quality of the doctoral programmes in third world universities is also often questioned by the officials of the same countries. It is also claimed that their graduate programmes provide a very slow rate of training; chemistry training in Brazil, for example, requires on average 4.5 years to complete a master's programme and a further 6.5 years to take a Ph.D. [17]. In Thailand, too, it takes an abnormally long time to finish a Ph.D., because many Ph.D. candidates work at the same time, and it is often difficult for them to meet their supervisors, who have many other commitments outside the university [35].

Studying abroad is expensive, though the cost obviously varies depending on the country. In the late 1980s it ranged from US$3,000 per annum in the USSR to US$7,400 in the United States and US$10,800 in Japan. These figures do not include registration and tuition fees nor travel expenses. With US$4,500 as the average tuition fee for a semester in the United States and annual living expenses of $7,440 (adjusted for inflation between 1985 and 1988), two and a half years of study for a master's degree in the United States would cost about $44,000; a doctorate requiring four years of study would "cost" $70,000. By way of comparison, a "maestria" at UCR in Costa Rica would cost only 227,600 colones (including living expenses), which, at the 1987 exchange rate, comes to slightly less than US$4,000, in other words, one tenth of the cost in the United States [68]. For African countries with small budgets, and small developing countries in general, the cost of scholarships for training abroad represents a high proportion of the budget for higher education. Thus, in Mali up to 85 per cent of the higher education budget is spent on scholarships for training abroad [24].

Nevertheless, research training is too heavily reliant on foreign facilities and countries, and training abroad usually does not satisfy the needs of the third world scientists. It would be more realistic, efficient, and, in time, productive to allocate the considerable sums of money now being used to train these scientists abroad to reinforce and establish doctoral programmes leading to a Ph.D. in priority fields within the national universities. Doctoral programmes could also be organized on a regional basis. Strengthening national academia would contribute to improving the structure of scientific communities in developing countries, thanks to added input from both the national scientific potential and the student body. This implies that the countries of the North would have to remodel their educational aid policy, but obviously does not mean cancelling all opportunities for doctoral or postdoctoral education abroad in certain very highly specialized fields. Another important aspect that has to be taken into account is that studying abroad for a long period increases the risk of not returning to the home country.

Brain drain and brain gain

The survey showed that, logically enough, offers for positions abroad were made more frequently to scientists who had spent longer periods of time for training abroad. There is also a clear correlation between acceptance of the job offer and the number of years spent studying abroad. In other words, the longer one has studied abroad, the greater the chance of receiving an offer to work abroad and the greater the tendency to accept the offer. The motives for returning home or remaining abroad after studying there for several years are diverse. The full potential for emigration is not fulfilled, however, because most of the scientists are attached to their country and home environment. As Bernardo Houssay, the Argentinian Nobel Prize recipient, said, "Science does not have a country, but the scientist does . . . the country where he was born, or raised and educated, the country that gave him a place in his professional career, the country of his friends and family" (quoted in [20, p. 450]). This confirms some of the most important findings of a UNITAR study on emigration and return, namely that "the most common pulls back home are family, friends, and patriotic feelings" [40].

Paradoxically, economic and material factors - even if they may influence the outflow of scientists- are not the strongest determinant of a decision to emigrate. The possibility of obtaining a much higher income may, however, cause a scientist to emigrate for a short period of time. Family ties and children's future are believed to play an even stronger influence than salary or working conditions upon an individual's decision to return to the home country or to emigrate. Another important finding of the UNITAR study, which might have direct policy implications, is that students with scholarships or special grants from their home countries are more likely to return home than those who study abroad with a foreign grant or privately [40]. Similarly, having made the decision to go back home, few scientists plan to emigrate again. Out of close to 500 scientists supported by the International Foundation for Science to carry out a specific research programme in their home country, more than 95 per cent were still active within their national scientific communities in 1985, i.e. 15 years after the first grant was given [33]. Racial, ethnic, and political discrimination may also strongly influence the decision to emigrate or to return home.

In addition, the UNITAR study suggests that "in forecasting whether nationals of a particular country might become part of the brain drain, a more important factor than the stage of development is the extent to which a country trains an excess of professionals in a particular field" [33, p. xxvi]. If the country of the scientist is "the country that gave him a place in his professional career," it is at the same time clear that if the key employer, i.e. the state, does not offer him a position, he will not have much choice but to leave his country if he wants to remain a scientist. A heavy load of teaching and administration, not enough time for research, poor equipment and facilities, and isolation from the international scientific community are among the most important factors in a decision to emigrate, particularly among experimental (biological) scientists and engineers. When planning to emigrate, scientists always prefer to go to the industrialized countries they know best, i.e. the one where they studied. Thus, the United States is clearly the favourite, followed by Great Britain, France, Canada, and Australia. But there are also developing countries to which third world scientists migrate: Nigeria in Africa, some oil-producing countries, Singapore, etc.

The situation in the United States has reached such an extreme, particularly in engineering, that a few people are starting to wonder if the presence of foreign graduate students is a boon or bane [7]. Beginning in 1981, and for every year since then, more than one-half of the engineering doctorates awarded in the United States have been to foreigners, nearly 70 per cent of them Asians. Furthermore, foreigners, and particularly Asians, comprised about two-fifths of total post-doctoral employment in 1985, up from one-third in 1979 [63]. Thus, in given scientific fields (chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science) there is a clear shortage in the supply of high quality US applicants and a surplus of high quality foreign (mainly Asian) applicants [21]. A potential reinforcement of the repatriation schemes in some Asian countries and the possible subsequent return of scientists to their home country may pose a threat to the long-term competitiveness of US universities and firms. Thus, a number of countries in Asia and to a lesser extent in Latin America have started to rethink the problem of brain drain and tend to consider that working abroad for a while can represent a gain to the home country, rather than a loss, if the scientist returns with increased skills directly related to the needs of national research groups. Measures should be taken to identify these needs and the scientists concerned. Mechanisms should also be implemented to bring them back home, with attractive research careers and proper professional status.

Research scientists in search of statutes and status

Thus far, research scientists in developing countries long to have a proper professional status; draft texts have often been prepared and then stored away in anticipation of better times to come. Research is often carried out as part of some profession or system designed to uphold professional standards or value systems that are not specific to research. Furthermore, in most developing countries, research scientists do not have high social standing or prestige. Doctors and lawyers and other professionals of that level, with at most the same amount of education as the research scientists, are not only better paid but also enjoy a much higher social status.

Speaking about Venezuela, Roche said, "I know many examples of young people whose rich parents forbade them to major in sciences or to devote themselves to research often because of the low salaries or uncertain career opportunities. The bourgeois attitude to careers in science is much the same as the attitude to professions in the arts; success is reserved to very outstanding people alone, all the others being condemned to a Bohemian life of uncertainty. The profession has probably changed since the Sputnik was invented, but research is still not seen as a fully acceptable profession" [70]. The low wages explain why many of them supplement their incomes by working overtime on side jobs that include anything from working as a consultant, a teacher, or a taxi driver. Anyone who has spent time with third world scientists quickly realizes that a second (or even third) job and income are vital. These additional jobs are of four main types: consultancy, teaching, agriculture, and commerce. Consultancy is nearly always related to the expertise developed in the research activity. Agriculture can mean anything from working on a coffee plantation to raising layer hens. Scientists working in commerce usually help in a family business.

How attractive research can be as a profession depends very much on the country. In Kenya, according to Eisemon, scientists have enjoyed a place of special pride in society since the European colonization period, when close relationships were established between the scientific and the politico-economic circles. Thus, a scientific career, which brings an individual into proximity with the elite, is pursued for social advancement [27]. In India, although the scientific community seems to be dominated by the upper Hindu castes [67], there is paradoxically not much prestige attached to the profession of research scientist; and, like most intellectual positions in the public sector, it is poorly paid [27]. In an effort to better understand the professional choice made by the research scientists in our population, we found out that social status ranked very low, whereas intellectual stimulation and social utility were rated first and second respectively. Actually, an a priori, carefully considered choice seemed to explain a career in scientific research after higher education less than the fact that students were selected or had access to a scholarship at the right stage of their education, even when it meant studying subjects that initially did not interest them [36].

The strategies adopted by the scientists are the result of negotiations carried out in a socio-economic, cultural, and political environment that is not always conducive to scientific perspectives and societal recognition of research science as a profession. Up to the present, science in the developing countries, especially in Africa, has been essentially controlled by government. The first step for the newly independent countries was to build up the state and its institutions. Education was given top priority in order to train civil servants for the state. Careers have, however, often been constructed without considering diploma qualifications. Success in the power struggle has been given more importance than professional specialization. Because of this situation, it has often been difficult to develop research science as a profession, or even as a vocation. As a career, it is not very appealing, and urgently needs statutes.

Choosing research topics and practicing research

The conditions described above affect the way research subjects are chosen and research activities in general are practiced. In an attempt to determine the different factors that may play a part in the choice of research subject, I found that third world scientists have more or less adopted the same reference systems as American researchers working in comparable fields. (For the comparison, I adapted a list of criteria tested in the United States: [15, p. 45].) The leading criterion, "importance to society," takes us back to the criterion that was in second position in the list on choosing research as a profession, namely "social utility." When I asked the scientists what this concept meant to them, they indicated that social utility was more or less the capacity of research to solve the economic and social problems facing their country. The fact that the criterion "demand raised by clientele" is at the bottom of the list no doubt reflects the marginal position of science in developing countries and supports the theory that research scientists and scientific institutions are kept out of the economic and production system.

The findings also confirm the fact that a choice of subject depends more on a series of factors - some of which are external to the science involved than on any single factor. While saying that third world scientists have more or less adopted the same reference systems as their American colleagues, I do not mean that they orient their scientific activity toward research problems defined in the industrialized countries. On the contrary, they do tend to choose research topics that they perceive to be relevant to local problems. This is demonstrated by the fact that a large number of third world scientists who studied in an industrialized country had to change research subjects when returning to their home countries so as to match research work with perceived national needs.

Thus, a researcher who had to work on the problem of nutrition linked to obesity in the United States quite obviously had to change subjects upon her return to Thailand; she decided to work on controlling the thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency caused by consuming too much tea and tannin. The degree of relevance of the selected research topic to local problems may, however, vary among disciplines. While Lea Velho presents evidence in a recent paper that agricultural scientists in Brazil select research topics directly relevant to local agricultural problems [80], this may not be the case for other scientific disciplines such as physics. More studies would be needed on criteria for choice of research topic in developing countries to come to more definite conclusions.

Time devoted to research depends on various factors. One of them is the nature of the researcher's home institution. Obviously the researchers with the heaviest teaching load work in universities. This is the case of the majority of third world scientists. In an attempt to compare the sample scientist population with their American colleagues, I found that American university researchers on average spent less time teaching than their colleagues in the third world (27 per cent as against 37 per cent), and, above all, more time doing research (57 per cent as against 34 per cent). The differences are much less significant for researchers working in research institutes, although American researchers again spend more time (77 per cent) doing research in these institutions than do their third world colleagues. As for the size of their research budget, the differences are of another magnitude. While American researchers in government research institutes have an average annual budget of US$209,000 and their university colleagues have US$68,000, I found that researchers in developing countries on the average have only between US$5,000 and US$15,000 depending on the level of foreign funding. Even if we are dealing with estimates given by the researchers themselves, who very often do not know the precise total of their budgets, the differences observed are such that they require no further comment.

Other disparities also bring out the fact that third world scientists are at a significant disadvantage compared with their colleagues in scientifically more advanced countries. Lack of equipment, vehicles, technicians, and scientific documentation are among the most frequently observed and described. Another disadvantage that is perhaps even more critical and at the very centre of the scientific enterprise is communication. Many scientists suffer from a feeling of isolation, especially when they have just returned from studying abroad and are trying to fit into the scientific community at home. Moravcsik [61] describes how difficult, and in some cases impossible, it is for scientists in developing countries to communicate with their peers and colleagues by drawing a comparison with birds whose wings have been clipped. The feeling of isolation is probably heightened by the fact that these scientists have been trained in a large variety of universities located throughout the industrialized countries. Furthermore, during this early period, when the young national scientific communities are just "taking off," the scientists often have to cope with being the only specialists in their field within their institution, or even within their country. All the authors agree, however, that science cannot exist without communication, and that a colleague's criticism is vital to progress in any scientific endeavour: "an isolated person builds only dreams, claims and feelings, not facts" [54, p. 41]. Here again these scientists are enduring a handicap little known to their colleagues in the industrialized countries. Other handicaps relate to the visibility and the recognition of their scientific production.

(introductory text...)

Developing countries are credited with approximately 5 per cent of the world's scientific production. But science produced there is inadequately reflected in the international databases. International databases, and particularly that of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), are very selective and screen only the world's most prestigious scientific journals, the ones that publish the most frequently cited articles. Thus, the Science Citation Index (SCI), developed by ISI, focuses on what has become known as "mainstream science," i.e. the most internationally visible science carried in about 4,000 scientific journals. Since we know that there are about 70,000 scientific journals in the world, we can measure the ISI's selectivity in building up a database; less than 2 per cent of the scientific journals selected come from the developing countries. In general, journals that are not in English are at a disadvantage.

The place of third world science in mainstream science

The question of adequately representing third world science in international databases was the main issue at a 1985 conference organized at the ISI in Philadelphia. The title of the final conference report, "Strengthening the Coverage of Third World Science," pointed to a glaring gap [62]. The conference participants estimated that only about half of the science produced in the third world that meets international standards of excellence is included in the ISI database.

In fact, as D.J. Frame [29] so correctly wrote, it all depends on what you are trying to assess. "If the purpose of the bibliometric indicators is to help in the building of a national scientific inventory, telling us what kind of research is being performed at different institutions, then coverage of local as well as mainstream publications would seem important. On the other hand, if one is primarily interested in investigating Third World contributions to world science, then publication counts taken from a restrictive journal set would seem most appropriate." Thus, when Garfield prepared his "Mapping Science in the Third World" [39], he was actually measuring the impact of third world scientific output on the international scientific community, using, as his only criterion, the part of the third world scientific output that was cited and used by the international scientific community. For this reason, it is not surprising that the impact was found to be slight.

Mainstream science production is even more narrowly concentrated than is national wealth expressed as GNP. Ten countries produce more than 80 per cent of the international scientific literature. Except for India, which has maintained a steady ranking of eighth place since the beginning of the 1970s, all the countries are members of the industrialized world [30, 14]. Between 1981 and 1985, the developing countries produced 5.8 per cent of the world's mainstream scientific output, of which 3.7 per cent came from Asia, 1.1 per cent from Latin America, 0.4 per cent from sub-Saharan Africa, and 0.6 per cent from the Middle East [14]. Even if we challenge the representative value of these estimates, especially considering the database used, we still have to accept that mainstream science from the third world is marginal compared with the rest of the world.

Fifteen leading developing countries, ranked according to number of mainstream publications produced





Number of publications


Number of publications (annual averages)









People's Rep. China








































Hong Kong





Saudi Arabia





South Korea

















Sources: a. ref. 30, table 4, pp. 507-508; b. ref. 14.

Among the developing countries, India, the uncontested leader, produces five times more mainstream scientific publications than the People's Republic of China. The table lists the top 15 producers of mainstream scientific literature in the third world for 1973 and for the period 1981-1985. This list changed considerably during the reference period. Production in certain leading countries in 1973, like Brazil and Nigeria, rose sharply. Some countries with small - even very small scientific output in 1973 started climbing, e.g. Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. Other countries, like Iran and Lebanon, in the throes of political and military unrest, lost their standing. Most of the countries on the list produced substantially more in the years following 1973, but the per country mainstream scientific production remained small, even in countries at the top of the list, like Egypt, Mexico, and Nigeria.

A comparison with the production of scientific institutions in the OECD countries shows that a country such as Egypt produces less than the Harvard University Medical School [29]. The total production of sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, at present represents about one tenth of the scientific production of a European country such as France [38].

Referring to the ISI and other international databases, recent studies have provided interesting information on the position of the various countries on the mainstream science supplier list and their impact on world science, but the description of how science is constructed in these countries, the researchers' scientific strategy, and their participation in national and international science is incomplete and often inaccurate. These studies, moreover, tend, either implicitly or explicitly, to assign research scientists of the peripheral scientific communities to two distinct categories: scientists who "really count," in other words, who are known to the international scientific community since they publish overseas in influential international journals; and the others, whose "local" science lacks originality and, at best, is published in low circulation local journals.

Mainstream science and local science: A needed revision

Several other recent studies justify a revision of this exaggerated but widely held - caricature of science production in the periphery [19, 23, 34]. They substantiate the thesis that the bibliometric indicators based on an international database do not accurately assess the scientific output from the periphery, especially from the developing countries. International databases do not provide enough information to measure accurately the science produced in these countries and assess the scientific thrust of the countries of the periphery in general. Combining and comparing several international databases can improve the relevance of bibliometric indicators but will not tell the whole story. The international databases need to improve their coverage of science produced in the developing countries, and local databases need to be created and consulted. Databases at the local level, accompanied by periodic production and dissemination of documented analytical bulletins, would not only serve to better measure scientific output in the third world, but would also in time enhance South-South and North-South documentation exchange, as well as both the visibility and accessibility of developing countries' scientific output.

Given these handicaps, it is not surprising that third world scientific production and its impact are slight. The following analysis compares overall figures on numbers of publications per researcher with the findings of the survey of the lists of publications of 213 third world scientists who received grants from the International Foundation for Science [33, 36]. The latter produced on average 0.5 publications per year as sole author and 0.7 as co-author - that is to say slightly more than half that of American researchers working in related scientific disciplines [15]. Furthermore, half (55 per cent) of their total scientific production was published in local journals. Asian scientists tend to publish more than African scientists. In addition, Asian and Latin American scientists publish more locally (approximately 60 per cent) than African scientists (approximately 40 per cent). These percentages are exceptionally high in comparison with industrialized countries: in western Europe, scientists publish 12 per cent of their work in foreign journals, while the figure for Japan is 25 per cent [39].

When reflecting on these percentages we should remember that there are many more local journals in Asia and Latin America than in Africa. Logically, the more the scientists publish abroad, the more they work in collaboration with foreign scientists. Garfield [39] has shown that articles by researchers in developing countries have a greater impact (on the international scientific community, measured in terms of number of citations per article) when they are co-authored by researchers from industrialized countries. Here we come up against the dilemma of the strategic scientific choices that researchers in developing countries, in common with most researchers in peripheral scientific communities, have to make between participation in mainstream science (the most used, most visible, and most frequently cited) and the resolution of local problems through "inward looking" research. Co-authoring with foreign scientists is the most prevalent among scientists who studied or worked in post-doctoral positions abroad. In most cases, however, these publications are produced in the years immediately following the stay abroad; sustained active collaboration with foreign scientists is rare if not reactivated by frequent stay abroad. The fields in which they publish most, such as chemistry, are also the fields in which they publish most abroad. We have also observed a relatively significant difference in productivity by gender, men publishing more than women. Women also tend to publish more in local journals than men.

With very few exceptions, English-speaking scientists publish in English, whereas more than one-third of the publications by Latin American scientists and almost one-fifth of those of French-speaking scientists were found to be in English. A case-study conducted in a French-speaking African country (Senegal) showed that English was increasingly used as a language of publication. I also found a relatively significant use of local languages in certain Asian countries, e.g. Indonesia, where more than half (52 per cent) of the published works of scientists appear in Indonesian languages, Thailand (28 per cent in Thai), and South Korea (18 per cent in Korean). Publication strategies differ greatly, depending on both the country and the discipline. Unlike South Korea, in Singapore all the scientific journals are in English. A glance at the lists of references consulted and cited confirms the hypothesis that the different linguistic worlds are almost "language proof," especially between the English and French languages. Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking scientists often cite literature in English; this is rarely the case for French speaking scientists. And references by English-language scientists are drawn exclusively from literature written in English.

Most of the scientists publish in both national and international journals. Publication strategies differ according to country and to scientific discipline. Third world scientists cite references essentially (78 per cent) from mainstream scientific literature, which they seem to receive later than their colleagues in the centre, since nearly half the references are over 10 years old, as against 29 per cent of the references cited by scientists from the centre countries. An analysis of the citations indicates that third world scientists use articles from national journals in smaller proportion but much sooner than articles from international journals.

Citation modes usually work against third world scientists in particular and scientists at the periphery in general because, as we have seen above, much of the work is published in local journals that are only circulated within the country. The third world scientists are caught in an especially vicious circle, because even when their findings are published in highly influential, prestigious scientific journals in the centre, they are far less often cited than writings by their colleagues in the centre [2]. Recent work on referencing within the Brazilian scientific community showed that "citation patterns are significantly influenced by factors 'external' to the scientific realm and thus reflect neither simply the quality, influence, nor even the impact of the research work referred to" [79]. The place of publication strongly influences the number of times a publication is cited [56]. Arunachalam and Manorama [3, p. 395] explain that many leading Indian scientists have had the irritation of seeing work published by Western scientists after theirs had been cited; the Western scientists got the credit and their own original work remained unacknowledged. I also found that third world scientists often cite colleagues in industrialized countries, but rarely cite other third world scientists, even when their works are published in well-read international journals. This behaviour seems to be the result of a rather widespread, although difficult to prove, conviction among them that quoting works published by colleagues in industrialized countries brings more credit to their own work.

In sum, third world scientists often cite their colleagues from the developed countries, but their own work - being relatively "invisible" - is seldom cited. They often feel caught in a dilemma: either adopt the habit of scientists from industrialized countries and publish in international journals to become more "visible" and gain international standing, or else seek national recognition by publishing in local journals, and sometimes in local languages, thus being condemned to non-existence, or at best, marginal existence in mainstream science. The general trend is to adopt the two strategies together.

Concluding remarks

Considerable efforts have been made, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s, to develop a science and technology potential in many developing countries. Most countries have experienced a boom in student enrolments, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s, while many new universities were created outside the capital cities. The number of scientists has also increased significantly during the latter period, with annual increase rates often higher than in industrialized countries. Substantial efforts have also been made to build up research institutions and to support the emergence of national scientific communities. Yet the results are not always satisfactory. It was long believed that the accumulation of adequate resources (scientists, institutions, and funding) would automatically generate productivity. We now know that the availability of such resources, although necessary, is not sufficient to guarantee achieving the scientific results needed for development. It is not enough just to build institutions, train good scientists, and provide them with proper supplies.

Going beyond the availability of resources, research activities need a certain permanency through greater recognition by society. The scientists need to be able to find their place in a scientific community that has its own legitimate place in society. Wherever scientific communities are emerging, the debate henceforth centres on the professionalization of their scientists, the conditions under which scientific activities are performed, and the capacity of the scientific communities to reproduce themselves and sustain their activities. Therefore, a number of conditions should be fulfilled for supporting the emergence and reproduction of endogenous scientific communities in developing countries.

The strategies adopted by the scientists are the results of negotiations carried out in a socio-economic, cultural, and political environment that is not always conducive to a scientific outlook and societal recognition of research science as a profession. In addition to proper status and better salaries and working conditions, the emergence of tight-knit and lively scientific communities should be promoted, for example by establishing active Academies, professional associations, and scientific journals. Encouragement should also be given to activities such as national science days, science awards, science weeks for young people, annual conferences of national science associations, and also exhibits, science museums, and clubs that attract young people to science and scientific careers. Education is also important in shaping attitudes and scientific minds.

The dependency of most developing countries on (above all) Europe and the United States to train their scientists is not compatible with the creation of an independent scientific tradition and the emergence of a truly autonomous scientific community. It is becoming increasingly urgent to shift the "centre of gravity" of doctoral level education from the North to the South. This would require a revised cooperation between the Northern host countries (which often offer scholarships) and the developing countries themselves. The process will entail redefining aid policies (and the risk for the North of losing some of its influence) and also, in many cases, developing countries' education policies. The substantial sums that are still being spent by the countries that offer scholarships could be used by the universities in the South to establish or strengthen doctoral courses in disciplines of national priority. Strengthening national academia would contribute to improving the structuring of the emerging scientific communities as the result of added input from both the national scientific potential and the student body. This is essential if all the actors, from confirmed senior scientists to Ph.D. candidates to regular students, are to keep up with science in the making and remain up to date on progress in their disciplines.

To gain in legitimacy, the strengthened national universities should also be better linked not only to the other research and higher learning institutions but also to the society as a whole. New answers should be found to sustain the university as a socially relevant institution and to transform its attributes beyond the neoclassical university [45]. In many countries the situation of the national universities is so critical that it may very well lead to curtailment of university research. Many countries have found no other solution than to circumvent the problem by creating specialized research institutes outside the university, usually with no responsibility for graduate and postgraduate education. (This is not the case in India, where the technological institutes, renowned as poles of excellence, provide close interaction between education and research.)

More historical and sociological research is also needed to achieve better understanding of the conditions that need to be fulfilled for a scientific community of the periphery to emerge, develop, and reproduce. The respective role of the different actors involved also requires further investigation. There is in particular a lack of studies on the roles and professions of engineers and technical workers in both the public and private sectors in developing countries (an exception is Longuenesse et al. [57]). More studies are also needed on the transfer of successful models of institutions and/or on institutional innovations such as the institutes of technology and the fashionable technopoles to improve understanding of the extent to which they could contribute to better linkages between the academic world and the productive sector, as well as to the reproduction of the national scientific communities.


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(introductory text...)

Jorge Katz

Public policies to induce changes in the organization of production or in patterns of international trade have now become quite common even in nations that otherwise support free market principles. Such policies normally involve efforts to restructure individual firms and industries, as well as to encourage more flexible forms of automation, new patterns of subcontracting and market organization, etc.

It would be helpful if there were satisfactory theoretical tools for approaching the problems that these policies are trying to tackle, such as the sources of innovation, dynamic comparative advantage, and productivity growth. Unfortunately, the social sciences are some way from offering a comprehensive body of theory on these questions. On the one hand, almost all of the issues raised by technological change, innovation, and production organization are interdisciplinary by nature, i.e. they involve knowledge concerning economic as well as engineering, organizational, institutional, or educational aspects and hence demand a high degree of interaction between specialists of different disciplines. Instead of this interaction, however, each discipline tends to develop a self-contained body of principles and analytical tools with which to look at any one specific question. This fragmentation usually results in only partially satisfactory answers and incomplete descriptions of reality.

On the other hand, and even if we confine ourselves to the more limited area of one particular discipline - say, economics - it is by no means obvious that we can use the same theoretical models to describe the complexities and idiosyncracies of societies of extremely disparate degrees of maturity and economic development. The organization of production at the individual company level, the spread of markets, their functioning and their degree of imperfection, the nature and behaviour of regulatory institutions, etc., vary considerably across nations and it is hard indeed to accept that one single model could be used equally well to understand the process of innovation and technological change of societies that differ substantially as regards major aspects of social organization.

In view of this, it is somewhat surprising that much of current thinking among professional economists still takes place under standard neoclassical assumptions of perfect market functioning, equilibrium, and profit maximization [35], and that different forms of market failure - externalities, "public goods," etc. - have so far received comparatively little attention. Both in the realm of theory and in the design and implementation of public policies, this neglect has certainly had strong adverse implications.

Finally, a similar argument to the previous one - but this time of an inter-temporal nature - can be advanced if we concentrate simply on the economics of technological change, innovation, and production organization in countries of "late industrialization," which we can imagine to be at a somewhat similar level of economic development. A major structural "break" can be identified in the growth process and in the regulatory regime of many developing countries around the mid-1970s. This break came about as a consequence of the dramatic change of circumstances that occurred in the global political economy in the early 1970s, and particularly after the debt crisis of the early 1980s, which forced many of these countries into a complex structural adjustment effort. It is now evident that these efforts have had a major impact on the rate and nature of technological change and innovation, and indeed on the overall development process of many developing nations. As in our previous example - that of the comparison between countries of differing degrees of maturity and economic development - it is by no means obvious that the same model that could help us to understand the development process and the technological and innovative performance of countries of "late industrialization" in the 1960s and 1970s could be used equally well to examine these same aspects in the 1980s.

On the contrary, the propensity to save and the rate of new capital formation, the inflow of foreign manufacturing investment, and, indeed, entrepreneurial dynamism and business behaviour in general all seem to have changed quite dramatically in recent years compared with the immediate post-war period. These changes had a major and as yet very imperfectly understood - impact upon the economic and social performance of many developing nations.

As a response to the deficiencies of neoclassical growth models, an alternative set of theoretical ideas stemming from Schumpeter began to be developed by a number of academic economists during the 1970s and 1980s. Notions of disequilibrium, imperfect information, "bounded rationality," "evolutionary sequences," etc., have gradually found their way into the technical change and growth literature through the pioneering work of scholars such as R. Nelson, S. Winter, C. Freeman, N. Rosenberg, G. Dosi, and others [13].

It is interesting to note that much of this new strand of "evolutionary economics" comes from English-speaking social scientists who draw their basic inspiration from both a critical appraisal of conventional neoclassical ideas as well as from stylized observations of how contemporary firms, markets, and institutions behave in mature capitalist societies. There are various reasons for believing that, a priori, their theoretical constructions cannot adequately capture the highly idiosyncratic industrial and social organization of countries such as Argentina or Brazil. It is typical of these developing nations that they face a highly unstable and volatile macroeconomic situation that has adversely affected the process of expectations formation, entrepreneurial dynamism, and capital accumulation, encouraging entrepreneurs to prefer opportunistic and rent-seeking activities rather than technological and innovative efforts. Yet the neo-Schumpeterian scholars have not found it necessary to deal with these matters when thinking about industrialized countries. Their models and theories cannot easily be reconciled with the kind of socio-economic environment to be found in many developing countries.

Lights and shadows of conventional neoclassical growth theory

The main body of neoclassical growth theory - and its empirical uses in growth accounting exercises - was presented in the professional literature in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. Few authors were as influential as MIT's Robert Solow, who in 1988 received a Nobel Prize in recognition of his path-breaking contributions in this field. He reminds us in his Nobel lecture [33] that what came to be known later as the basic neoclassical growth model started from a certain dissatisfaction with the Harrod-Domar growth model, in which the rate of growth of the economy depends upon three exogenous parameters: the rate of savings, the rate of population growth, and the capital/output ratio. The ultimate question the model is trying to answer is whether or not decentralized market mechanisms could lead the economy to a stable growth path undisturbed by labour shortages, on the one hand, or by high unemployment, on the other.

The Harrod-Domar answer to this question is relatively simple: although in theory there are situations in which the capital stock increases at the same rate as the labour force, allowing for "steady state" expansion, the chances of actually achieving such a growth path are small. Entrepreneur expectations determining savings and investment play a major role in this respect.

In the basic Harrod-Domar presentation, production functions are rigid and there is no room for capital/labour substitution in response to changes in relative factor prices. This is precisely Solow's point of departure when he specifies a model that admits a certain degree of technological flexibility that was absent in the Harrod-Domar formulation. In Solow's model, the rate of technical progress plays a major role as a determinant of the equilibrium growth rate attained by the economy. Technical change, however, is exogenous to the system. It falls like manna from heaven.

In order to deal with questions of technical change and productivity growth at this level of abstraction, the neoclassical model needs to make a number of stringent assumptions concerning the behaviour of economic agents. In particular, it has to postulate a well-defined relationship between short- and long-term scenarios in order to make the idea of dynamic equilibrium possible to sustain. The likelihood of disequilibrium is eliminated from neoclassical growth models through an elegant - but "ultimately unacceptable," to use Solow's words - simplification. Solow himself explains the case as follows:

The idea is to imagine that the economy is populated by a single immortal consumer, or by a number of identical immortal consumers. The immortality itself is not a problem. Each consumer could be replaced by a dynasty each member of which treats his or her successors as extensions of himself or herself. But no shortsightedness can be allowed. He or she is supposed to solve an infinite time utility function. The next step is harder to swallow in conjunction with the first. For this consumer every firm is just a transparent instrumentality, an intermediary, a device for carrying out inter-temporal optimization subject only to technological constraints and initial endowments. Thus, any kind of market failure is ruled out from the beginning....

I find none of this convincing. The markets for goods and labour look to me like imperfect pieces of social machinery with important institutional peculiarities. They do not seem to behave at all like transparent and frictionless mechanisms for converting the consumption and leisure desires of households into production and employment decisions. [33, pp. 310-311]

Prior to the mid-1960s, the neoclassical growth model lacked any endogenous theory of technical change. New production techniques, new product designs, etc., arrived stochastically from heaven. Kennedy [20] and Ahmad [1] tried to specify technological change as an endogenous "search" process, i.e. as yet one more economic activity performed by economic agents, and for this purpose imagined the existence of an "innovation possibility frontier," which they defined as an ex ante description of all of the labour - and capital-saving technological innovations available to the firm. With perfect knowledge of such options and free access to the required know-how, the entrepreneur is assumed to choose between "search" options exclusively on the basis of relative factor prices.

The problem with this specification of technological behaviour is that it is entirely devoid of the component of uncertainty and risk that normally underlies the very notion of innovation. As Nordhaus pointed out some years later [28], we are bound to assume that the firm knows in advance the complete set of innovative options, as well as the results of each one of them. Now, if this is so, the obvious question is, Why carry out the search efforts in the first place if there is no uncertainty to resolve?

In spite of these drawbacks, neoclassical growth models provided an interesting set of instruments for "growth accounting" exercises. The measurement of the "residual," i.e. that fraction of the observed rate of total factor productivity growth that is not accounted for by the expansion of capital and labour conventionally measured - and its ex post "explanation" in terms of better education, better machines, structural change - captured the attention of numerous economists in those years. Denison's work is probably the best known of these studies and accurately reflects the spirit of that time [11].

In spite of the fact that neoclassical growth models and growth accounting exercises served to illuminate important aspects of the development process, such as the role of capital/labour substitution or of human capital improvement through education and health, they none the less provide an oversimplified view of how an economy actually operates. On the one hand, they are based on highly unrealistic assumptions concerning (a) the nature and behaviour of firms, (b) the role of market imperfections, (c) the complexities of the institutional structure underlying the operation of the economy, etc. Equilibrium, perfect information, profit maximization, costless and timeless access to technological know-how, a very elementary institutional scenario, etc., appear as central features of the neoclassical growth metaphor [25] and are rather difficult to accept.

It is precisely on account of these assumptions that many academic economists have in recent years felt that they needed to proceed along a different route if they were to understand technological change and innovation. In the following section I review some of these newly emerging theoretical efforts.

Alternative theoretical routes

Over the last decade there has been a revival of heterodox thinking in the field of technical change and innovation. Factors other than the price mechanism, imperfect markets, disequilibrium, behaviour under conditions of imperfect information, "learning sequences," "technological trajectories," and similar concepts are central features of a newly emerging theoretical paradigm.

Some of these new ideas are intellectually rooted in Schumpeter's work, particularly in his Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy [29], where he writes:

The first objectionable concept in the model is that of competition. For many years economists only thought in terms of price competition. This idea refers to a scenario of given conditions in which production methods and, even more particularly, the forms of industrial organization are invariable. Nevertheless, in the reality of capitalism and, in contrast to what happens in textbook models, this is not the type of competition that matters the most. Competition via new products, new technologies, new sources of supply, new ways of organizing the production process, etc. are more important. This competition presents a decided advantage in terms of costs or quality over what went before. It doesn't matter if competition in the conventional sense of prices works better or worse. The powerful force that expands production and reduces long term prices comes from another source.

These ideas simultaneously enrich and add to the complexity of the economist's professional tool-box. Imperfect information, uncertainty, and disequilibrium allow for behavioural differences among firms [25], as well as for innovative leads and lags and endogenous changes in market structure. Technological learning can differ from company to company as a function of how much a given firm spends on R&D activities, but also as a function of the quality of its research and engineering staff, or of its luck in the "search" for new technology. It now becomes possible to postulate models of "adaptive" behaviour in which we do not have to assume that the firm has complete ex ante knowledge of all of its future technological possibilities, nor that its only objective function is that of maximizing profits [31]. The door is now open to organizational and behavioural models of the firm of the sort advanced by authors such as March and Cyert [23], Williamson, and others [21].

Once the idea of regular and predictable behaviour inherent in the neoclassical logic is abandoned, the notion of evolutionary performance can be introduced [26]. Current behaviour is strongly influenced by the recent past, and this past includes not just the individual company's history but also that of the market and of the macro and institutional environment in which any given actor operates. A certain "biological" flavour is imparted to these models by the evolutionary mechanism that underlies the dynamics of firm behaviour and of market structure.

A number of academic economists have pursued this promising line of work in recent years (e.g. Boyer [7], Clark and Juma [9], Silberberg et al. [30]). It is important to realize, however, that most of their ideas are inspired by stylized observations of what is at present going on in developed industrial societies in relation to changes in the organization of production at the individual firm level, in market organization, and subcontracting practices, and in the behaviour of regulatory institutions, etc. In each one of these areas industrialized countries are currently undergoing major structural transformations that are gradually being captured by the stylized growth models with which economists operate.

It is by no means obvious, however, that such models could successfully be used to throw new light upon the complex socioeconomic and institutional environment of countries that came late to industrialization, such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India, and China. Both during the period of import substitution industrialization in the 1960s and 1970s and also during the 1980s, these countries exhibited patterns of social and production organization quite unlike those prevailing in more mature industrial societies.

Import substitution industrialization in the 1960s and 1970s

Policies to promote import substitution industrialization started in many developing nations in the 1930s and 1940s as a consequence of the breakup of the gold standard. Needless to say, these efforts began under extremely unfavourable conditions as regards lack of skilled manpower and markets (particularly the absence of capital markets that could adequately finance long-term capital formation), institutional fragility, etc.

Such features, combined with a small domestic market and an inward-oriented import substitution strategy that aimed at that point to cater only for local consumers, underlay the creation of a highly idiosyncratic industrial sector whose structure and performance have not been well understood by development economists and social scientists in general. I first review some of the main features of the industrial structure that developed at that point before proceeding with an examination of the impact of the import substitution industrialization process upon domestic technological capabilities, as well as upon the functioning of the national system of innovation.

The following features could be observed in the industrialization process. First, foreign manufacturing investment rapidly acquired a leading role within the newly emerging production structure. Domestic subsidiaries of large multinational companies brought along with them new product designs, production processes, and organization technologies that acted as a training ground for local human resources. These technological transfers from abroad had both positive and negative consequences for the receiving societies. On the one hand, they significantly affected local production practices by disseminating quality control standards, patterns of subcontracting, models of production organization, etc., largely unknown to local firms. On the other hand, however, their arrival pre-empted the "technological path" industrial firms were to follow thereafter, establishing the new consumption, production, and industrial organization paradigm within which the development process was to take place. In consequence, domestic technological capabilities grew up within the limits imposed by this paradigm.

It is important to note, however, that several authors (e.g. Amsden [2]) have recently argued that Korea has followed an alternative strategy in this respect: foreign manufacturing capital was not allowed to play a major role in the early stages of the industrialization process and was invited to participate only in more recent times, when the country had a competitive domestic industry already in operation.

Secondly, the newly created manufacturing facilities had highly idiosyncratic features as regards size of plant, degree of vertical integration, range of product "mix," etc. Locally established plants were seldom much bigger than, say, one-tenth the size of comparable production units operating in industrialized countries. Because of the immaturity of the local industrial structure, the degree of vertical integration of these companies was much greater than the one prevailing in more developed societies. As a result of the small size of the local market, their output mix was significantly more diverse than in similar firms in industrialized countries.

Lastly, market organization and performance, as well as regulatory institutions, also evolved along highly individual lines, hardly comparable to those exhibited by more developed industrial societies. Oligopolistic and monopolistic situations and a high rate of external protection prevented market forces and competition from adequately performing their disciplinary role. Government failure turned out to be at least as important as a source of difficulties as market failure itself.

The development of domestic technological capabilities took place within the limits imposed by this "inward-looking" process of growth. Industrial firms were forced to supply themselves with a significant amount of "in-house" engineering and technological knowledge on the basis of which to adapt to the local environment both products and production technologies transferred from abroad. These domestic engineering and technological efforts had the purpose of adapting product designs to the preferences of local consumers and production processes to a different set of raw materials, a much smaller scale of operation, and a different pattern of work automation, etc. Thus, local R&D efforts in developing countries started as an endogenous answer to signals coming from the particular industrial organization and institutional environment in which the industrialization process took place. These signals were clearly different from those received by engineers and technicians working for comparable firms and industries in more mature industrial societies, and therefore the local technological trajectory was bound to be different from the one followed by somewhat similar companies and industries in industrialized countries.

On the other hand, the other parts of the national innovation system - i.e. universities, public R&D laboratories, etc. - remained rather isolated from the industrialization process and confined themselves to more basic research ventures carried out for the sake of scientific knowledge rather than for the development of production technology. In other words, the national innovation system grew up as a fragmented and heterogeneous network of agencies and institutions that maintained only a very weak connection with the emerging industrialization process. As far as industry is concerned, the lion's share of the national technological search efforts were of the adaptive type? seldom carried out with the purpose of attaining "state of the art" production technology.

The determinants of firms' R&D efforts

Various different micro and macro forces influenced the technological search strategy followed by local firms during the import substitution industrialization period. Consider first those forces that are strictly firm-specific. No two factories in the world are exactly alike and each one tends to develop its own particular bottlenecks, intersectoral imbalances, etc. Troubleshooting activities are normally undertaken by technical-assistance-to-production personnel with a view to keeping the available facilities running smoothly. In the course of carrying out their tasks, troubleshooters generate a steady flow of incremental technical and engineering knowledge concerning product design, process technology, etc., that is normally not "new" at the world level but is certainly "new" for the firm in its particular circumstances [15].

A second set of forces influencing the individual firm's technological search efforts is related to the market's competitive climate. Markets are dynamic institutions whose structure and competitive atmosphere normally change through time, pari passu with the entry of new competitors, the introduction of new products, etc. Monopolistic market situations have been shown to induce capacity-stretching technological search efforts [24], i.e. engineering activities intended to extract more output from a given set of machines, whereas imperfect and oligopolistic competition have been shown to induce engineers and technicians to search for quality improvements as well as for product differentiation opportunities [161. Whereas in the former case process engineering R&D activities have usually been more prominent, in the latter product design efforts tend to be given higher priority.

A third set of forces affecting technological behaviour relates to macroeconomic variables such as the exchange rate, interest rates, the effective degree of protection, wage rates, etc., i.e. macroeconomic "prices" pertaining to the economy as a whole. The level of uncertainty also belongs in this category. All of these forces are macroeconomic in nature and do not affect one particular firm or industry but instead cut across the overall production structure. Available empirical evidence [8] indicates, for example, that engineering efforts in the field of production organization - such as, for example, time and motion studies, plant layout balancing efforts, etc. - were undertaken by metalworking firms operating in Argentina after capital markets were deregulated in the late 1970s and the rate of interest became highly positive. Companies tried in this way to cut down on idle time and inventories, and used their engineering personnel for the purpose.

Lastly, a fourth set of variables influencing individual firm technological strategy has to do with the company's perception of - and capacity to decode - what is going on at the world's technological frontiers in its particular field of activity. World trade fairs, scientific and technological publications, patent files, information from equipment suppliers, etc., normally act as diffusion channels through which technical and engineering knowledge are disseminated. Plant engineers and technicians are frequently exposed to such information and carry out R&D efforts in order to adapt the knowledge to their particular needs.

I am now in a position to summarize briefly my argument concerning the determinants of the individual firm's technological search strategy during the period of import substitution industrialization: rather than being exogenous to the firm - as the neoclassical model assumes - technological change resulted from in-house adaptive R&D and engineering efforts carried out by plant technical personnel. These efforts produced a steady flow of incremental units of technical information concerning product design, production processes, and production planning and organization. In their search for better ways of doing things, engineers responded, on the one hand, to signals that were localized and firm-specific and, on the other, to forces emerging from the competitive atmosphere of the market, the macroeconomic scenario, and the firm's perception as to how the state of the art was changing at the world level in their specific field of activity.

Not all of the variables mentioned above had the same weight and importance throughout the period, nor did they play a similar role in each and every country. In the early stages of the import substitution industrialization process - i.e. in the immediate post-war years intra-plant technical matters and questions related to the competitive atmosphere in which firms operated seem to have played a major role as determinants of in-house R&D and engineering efforts. These variables, however, became much less significant during the course of the 1970s and 1980s, when the level of uncertainty and the degree of macroeconomic turbulence became much more noticeable in most of the third world [16].

It is also important to note that companies very seldom expanded their R&D commitments beyond the adaptive stage, trying to develop more permanent and "state of the art" technological capabilities [10]. Nor did they search for a more intimate relationship with other agents and institutions of the national innovation system - i.e. universities, public R&D laboratories, etc. - which thus remained isolated from the industrialization process.

Technological search efforts, productivity growth, and dynamic comparative advantages

Engineering and technical capabilities did not develop all at the same time within any given company. Available empirical evidence suggests that efforts to increase in-house technological capabilities passed through several phases associated with the absorption of different types of qualified human resources.

Product development capabilities appeared first in the early postwar period. Since the war cut off supplies from traditional capital goods producers, many small family metalworking enterprises started local production of goods such as lathes, electric motors, harvesters, etc., in the late 1940s and 1950s, particularly in Argentina [16] and Brazil [27]. Quite frequently, local capital goods were outmoded versions of US or European machines that were successfully copied locally through some kind of reverse engineering effort. Local firms usually began domestic production on the basis of second-hand machinery, with a casual plant layout and with very little in the way of production planning and organization. Under such circumstances, product design capabilities tended to develop first, followed later by production and process engineering capabilities, and much further along the line - perhaps as much later as 10 or 15 years [18] - by production planning and organization skills.

Firms seem to have proceeded from the simpler to the more complex technological tasks. These last usually demanded a greater degree of technological sophistication on the part of the local engineering team. In the course of this evolutionary sequence from simple to more complex technological search efforts, firms gradually learned to operate pilot plants, to build prototypes and other forms of experimental equipment. The accumulation of skills naturally took time: in many cases as much as 10 years were needed in order to develop in-house capabilities in product design, process engineering, production planning and organization [16].

Economists have long been interested in the relationship between in-house engineering efforts and total factor productivity growth. As early as the 1940s, Lundberg reported that although no new investment was made in the Horndal Ironworks in Sweden for some 15 years, productivity rose on average at a rate of 2 per cent per annum [32].

Arrow's article [3] on the economic implications of learning by doing presented a theoretical model in which he identifies the endogenous nature of the learning process. The article opened the way for a long series of empirical studies on the "learning curve" that appeared in the industrial economics literature throughout the 1960s. However, more than just accumulated experience is needed; a whole host of "minor" technological improvements - some of them embodied in the existing capital stock, others more disembodied and related to production organization - find their way into the company's daily routine.

A micro study carried out in the early 1960s by Hollander at the DuPont Rayon plants in the USA [15] showed that the bulk of cost-reducing improvements introduced by these firms throughout three decades came from "plant personnel attached to the Technical Assistance to Production groups, which played the most important role in the development of minor technical changes. Such groups were intimately linked with current operations and their function was to keep existing processes 'out of trouble'" (p. 196).

A number of case-studies carried out by economists and engineers in countries of "late industrialization," such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, or India, confirm the fact that in developing countries, too, in-house R&D and engineering activities constitute the major explanatory variable in total factor productivity growth. As one of these studies pointed out:

We are now in a position to summarize the various factors that underlie this company's growth performance. Three different sets of growth-inducing forces have been hereby identified:

The first - and quantitatively the more important - is associated with technological changes generated by the firm's engineering team itself. It includes: increases in operational speed and improvements in product quality. On the whole these are 'disembodied, technical changes which were incorporated in the existing - albeit slightly modified - capital equipment. 35% of the observed changes in labour productivity were achieved through the first of the above mentioned set of changes and 30% through the second. This means that close to two thirds of what happened in terms of labour productivity growth between 1941 and 1967 can be accounted for by this group of explanatory forces.

The second set of technological changes affecting labour productivity also originated in intra-firm engineering efforts - concerns the sphere of production organization and, more particularly, the company's degree of vertical integration and its use of subcontractors.

Finally, the third set of forces bringing about productivity growth includes a number of technological changes originated outside the firm. We are mostly referring to technological changes embodied in the new capital equipment imported second hand from the US. [17, p. 208]

Similar results have been reported by many other economists who studied the technological behaviour of manufacturing firms in developing countries [22, 6, 10, 24, 12].

In addition to the evidence presented so far, two further points can be made in support of the suggestion that adaptive R&D and engineering efforts exerted a major influence upon productivity growth in developing countries. On the one hand - and given the fact that not every firm followed the same technological search strategy or had identical success in terms of productivity growth - we should a priori expect market shares and industrial structure to change as a consequence of inter-firm differences in attitudes to and results of in-house engineering and R&D activities, i.e. as a result of forces endogenous to the market.

On the other hand, and considering that there are large inter-industry differences in the rate at which the world's technological frontier moves over time, we find strong grounds a priori to expect that in those cases where a rapid rate of technological learning and productivity growth on the part of the local firm obtained simultaneously with a low rate of expansion of the world's technological frontier, the local firm would be able gradually to catch up with the international technological frontier, achieving growing competitiveness in both domestic and foreign markets.

This was what probably happened in many of the success stories of Brazilian, Mexican, Indian, or Korean firms, which did increasingly well on the export side throughout the 1970s. The exports were not exclusively of technologically sophisticated industrial goods but also involved pure technology in the form of licensing agreements, complete manufacturing plants sold on a turnkey basis to entrepreneurs from other developing countries [22], and infrastructure projects such as roads, pipelines, or airport facilities etc [18].

Thus in the 1970s, the development of domestic technological capabilities seems to have been associated with a gradual change in dynamic comparative advantages and in the degree of internationalization of locally based companies in many developing countries.

A "catching up" model of this sort underlies much of the professional thinking concerning the case of Japan and, more recently, Korea. Economists have not as yet accepted that the case of many Brazilian, Mexican, Indian, or Argentinian firms that have built up substantial export capabilities in the 1970s could be regarded in a similar way.

We have so far examined some of the technological and organizational consequences of the import substitution industrialization process for many developing nations during the 1960s and 1970s. Obviously there are large inter-country differences: why Korean or, to a lesser extent, Brazilian firms have been more outward-looking and aggressive [10], whereas their Argentine or Mexican counterparts remained significantly less dynamic and did not expand their technological and export commitments as much as the others remains an interesting and still unresolved question for future investigation. Other aspects of the national system of innovation, such as the role of educational or R&D policies and institutions, as well as the impact of implicit and explicit government industrial policies, are surely major explanatory factors in the observed inter-country differences.

There are important institutional, ideological, and political reasons why the national system of innovation has worked better in certain environments than in others, and therefore why the impact of the import substitution industrialization efforts on the development of domestic technological capabilities has been dramatically different across nations.

In spite of the positive achievements mentioned above - i.e. significant gains in productivity and export capabilities, expansion of the local engineering and technological capabilities, etc. - the import substitution industrialization process largely failed to develop a world class manufacturing sector. In fact, a significant number of the newly created firms and industries found it increasingly difficult to compete both locally and internationally, particularly in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the rapid diffusion of microprocessors and microelectronic technologies opened up the way for an entirely new generation of product designs and production processes that in a matter of just a few years gained wide acceptance in world markets for consumer durables and capital goods. New product designs gradually incorporated digital and numerical control devices, miniaturization, and other features that many producers in developing countries could not incorporate quickly into their locally produced electro-mechanical versions of roughly comparable products.

Concurrently with these changes - and with the debt crisis that took on dramatic proportions in the early 1980s - the macroeconomic scenario facing many developing nations turned out to be highly uncertain and turbulent. The rapid deterioration of fiscal and external accounts and the drastic curtailing of external financing forced many countries to introduce major changes in public policy. Throughout the decade, many developing countries implemented an orthodox and market-oriented policy package that included opening up the economy to foreign competition, de-regulating markets, privatizing public enterprises, etc. Such policy packages - which in many cases had to be enforced through the intervention of the army and with a considerable amount of social repression - gradually induced substantial changes in the structure of the economy as well as in the performance of markets and institutions. The rate and nature of technological change and innovation and the functioning of the national system of innovation are also changing as part of this socio-economic transformation.

The 1980s: Towards a new socio-economic and technological scenario

Bearing in mind the fact that there are important inter-country differences which I shall briefly examine later when looking at the experience of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil - let us start by summarizing some of the most outstanding features of the contemporary socio-economic scenario:

- The rate of economic growth of many developing countries has slowed quite dramatically in the 1980s compared with the immediate post-war period, and the structure of the GDP has changed significantly in most of them, with manufacturing accounting for a diminishing share of total output. This has certainly been the case throughout Latin America. Even Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan experienced a marginal reduction in their rate of expansion vis-à-vis their performance of the 1970s, leaving Korea as the only case among the newly industrialized countries in which the rate of growth was actually higher in the 1980s than in the 1970s.

- The production of consumer durables and capital goods has fallen significantly, especially in Argentina and Chile, and less dramatic ally so in Brazil and Mexico. At the same time, resource-based industries have expanded rapidly. The foodstuffs industry in Chile and the production of non-durable consumer goods (footwear, garments, etc.) and industrial commodities (e.g. steel, petrochemicals, aluminium, or pulp and paper) in Argentina and Brazil have taken the lead as dynamic sectors within manufacturing industry.

- The organization of work and the social division of labour are gradually experiencing significant changes as new patterns of subcontracting, of flexible automation, etc., are introduced by domestic companies. This is particularly noticeable in areas such as automobile manufacturing, "made-to-order" capital goods, footwear and garment production, etc.

- Manufacturing exports are also undergoing a major transformation. Raw material processing industries now account for a much larger share of exports than in the past, as the cases of Chile, Argentina, and Brazil show. This has been accompanied by a drastic reduction in exports of relatively more sophisticated products with high value added, such as electrical and non-electrical machinery, transport equipment, electromechanical instruments, and capital goods in general. This decline in the mechanical engineering sector is particularly noticeable in Argentina and Brazil. Thanks to special vertical integration arrangements with the US vehicle industry, Mexican car producers have been able to expand production and exports over the same period, in spite of the deteriorating performance of the Mexican economy in general and of its capital goods industry in particular.

- As a result of take-overs, mergers, and closures, the degree of business concentration has increased substantially throughout manufacturing industry in almost all of the countries mentioned above. In many developing countries - notably in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil - a relatively small group of large domestic corporations has acquired strong control over the local economy in a rapid process of horizontal expansion and economic concentration.

- The share of multinationals in manufacturing production has fallen in many developing countries as major firms have decided to move out altogether in recent years or have considerably reduced their commitment to growth, for instance in pharmaceutical or vehicle production in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile. In fact, aggregate foreign investment flows are now proceeding from the South to the North, i.e. mainly from developing to industrialized countries (the United States and Britain in particular).

- Industrial relations and, indeed, the overall functioning of the labour market have also experienced drastic changes. The bargaining strength of trade unions has significantly diminished relative to the early 1970s. Massive social repression and physical intervention by the armed forces have been instrumental in this respect in many Latin American countries, notably Argentina, Chile, and to a lesser extent Brazil.

- Regulatory institutions are also undergoing a major transformation. A new regulatory regime is emerging, while the earlier emphasis on import substitution steadily declines. A lower level of external protection, deregulation of markets, a gradual transfer of public production activities to the private sector, capitalization of the stock of debt through the acquisition of public utilities and enterprises, etc., are some components of a new regulatory package to which many developing countries are nowadays gradually accommodating themselves in the face of external pressure.

These various aspects add up to a major structural change and not just to a marginal adjustment. The role and modus operandi of manufacturing industry, the organization of production at the individual plant level, the pattern of foreign trade, the degree of business concentration, the participation of foreign capital, the functioning of the labour market, trade union bargaining strength, a new breed of regulatory institutions- all seem to be part of a far-reaching socioeconomic transformation whose final form and consequences are still far from clear.

What is the impact of this transformation likely to be upon the national system of innovation and the development of domestic technological capabilities? Is there any reason a priori to believe that scientific and technological institutions and micro patterns of behaviour relating to technical change and innovation are going to change as a consequence of this socioeconomic restructuring process?

The available empirical evidence in this respect is as yet imperfect. We lack basic knowledge about major issues, and further research is certainly needed if we want to achieve better understanding of what is happening at present. Nevertheless, in a very preliminary way, we can identify some interesting new trends that we now briefly examine for Argentina, Chile, and Brazil.


Savings and investment have both fallen quite sharply relative to the 1960s and 1970s. A much higher degree of macroeconomic uncertainty and volatility account for the fact that capital flights out of Argentina increased dramatically during the course of the 1980s. The lower propensity to invest locally is reflected in the low level of imports of machinery and equipment that has prevailed throughout recent years and still obtains today. Direct foreign investment has also fallen sharply during the 1980s, indicating the lack of interest and low expectations foreign firms now have concerning the future of the Argentine economy. This macro scenario appears to be associated with an expansion of opportunistic and rent-seeking activities on the part of the local business community and with a general decline in entrepreneurial dynamism that permeates the whole production structure and particularly affects the industrial sector.

Within this general climate, three basic points reflecting recent patterns of technological behaviour in Argentina stand out. First, as manufacturing output is smaller today than two decades ago, and as the structure of industry has changed quite considerably with the contraction of engineering and capital goods industries and the concomitant expansion of raw materials processing sectors, the country's industrial R&D and engineering efforts have significantly contracted in recent years. In the mid-1970s, Argentina produced some 350,000 cars, 25,000 machine tools, and 60,000 tractors per annum. The equivalent output figures now are only 120,000, 6,000, and 5,000 respectively, and the factories have changed dramatically as regards production organization, import content, subcontracting practices, etc. The metalworking sector alone has reduced its payroll by more than 200,000 workers compared with the early 1970s. By contrast, Argentina increased its production of petrochemical products from 865,000 to 1,794,000 tons, its steel output from 2.25 to 3.67 million tons, and its sunflower oil production from 630,000 to 2 million tons. Very little new employment has been generated by these expanding sectors, which now constitute the backbone of the country's manufacturing exports.

Metalworking firms and capital goods producers have cut back their product design activities, as well as their production planning and organization efforts, considering them to be an indirect cost of production largely unjustified at their present low level of operation. As a result, and concomitantly with the contraction in the volume of output, metalworking firms have proceeded to reduce their engineering departments and the use of technologists and engineers.

On the other hand, raw materials processing industries involved in the production of industrial commodities such as steel, petrochemicals, aluminium, pulp and paper, and edible oil have expanded rapidly in recent years on the basis of new and highly capital-intensive facilities demanding minimal domestic R&D and engineering efforts. Most of these new firms produce low value-added standardized products that are sold in highly competitive, undifferentiated, international markets in which Argentina is a marginal "price taker."

Secondly, a slow and gradual diffusion of computer-based technologies seems to be taking place among medium-size and small family enterprises. Industries such as shoe manufacturing, garments, made-to-order machines and equipment (industrial boilers, canning and bottling plants, etc.), where family businesses are an important source of supply, seem to be increasingly adopting computer-aided design and manufacturing technologies and new ideas concerning production organization and subcontracting.

Lastly, another important dimension of Argentina's contemporary technological situation concerns the country's primary sector. After a rather long period - nearly 30 years - of technological stagnation, agriculture started a process of rapid technological transformation in the 1960s with the introduction of agricultural machinery and production organization technologies. The pace of technological change quickened thanks to the massive diffusion of maize hybrids, agrochemicals and, more recently, various kinds of biotechnological developments.


Between 1974 and 1983, manufacturing output fell by nearly a quarter, from 25.5 per cent to 19.9 per cent of the GDP. Some 5,000 industrial plants closed, with a loss of nearly 150,000 jobs [34]. De-industrialization has been particularly severe in metalworking and textiles. By contrast, the foodstuffs industry has substantially increased its share of manufacturing production. Employment, investment, and exports in the sector have all expanded rapidly. A major part of this expansion relates to fresh fruits and vegetables: grapes, apples, asparagus, etc. - all products in which Chile has managed to capture important markets in industrialized countries.

The spread of agrochemicals and hybrids as well as of new production organization techniques has been significant. In areas such as packaging, freezing, and transportation, Chilean exporters have become markedly more sophisticated than in the past. New institutions and different social structures within production - including much higher proportions of women in employment, the emergence of a new vintage of very dynamic rural entrepreneurs, and the development of a fairly concentrated intermediary sector handling transportation and distribution have appeared in association with the expansion of the Chilean foodstuffs industry. Moreover, the modification and local production of agricultural equipment are also showing signs of substantial advance, in what could be interpreted as a case of "learning by doing" and adaptive R&D efforts in the mechanical engineering sector linked to the expansion of agriculture.

In contrast to the experience of Argentina, Chile is one of the few Latin American examples - Colombia is another one - in which public fiscal accounts as well as the country's external sector seem to be close to equilibrium and do not constitute a major source of macroeconomic turbulence and declining entrepreneurial dynamism. In fact, and basically due to political and ideological circumstances, the flow of external financing never constituted a major constraint on the country's growth process in the way that it has in many other developing countries. Chile is probably the example that best supports the modern neoclassical advice of "get your macro accounts right and let the market mechanism carry out your resource allocation task," though we should not forget that a long period of repressive military intervention, massive unemployment, and plentiful external financing preceded this rather peculiar liberal experiment.


Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Brazil was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Between 1965 and 1980, the country's overall rate of expansion was 8.8 per cent per annum - in fact, not very different from Korea or Hong Kong, which most observers consider extremely successful cases - while the rate of growth of manufacturing production reached about 10 per cent per year. This process of expansion slowed down significantly during the course of the 1980s. Between 1980 and 1988, the GDP managed to grow at only 2.9 per cent per annum, and manufacturing activities at an even lower rate, 2.2 per cent. Although not as dramatically as in Argentina or Chile, the industrial sector's contribution to the GDP has declined over the last decade. In fact, between 1981 and 1984, industry experienced three consecutive years of worsening performance, particularly in areas such as electrical and non-electrical machinery, transport equipment, and instruments, i.e. the core of the metalworking and capital goods sector. After very rapid expansion - 25 per cent per annum during the 1970s, the Brazilian capital goods sector contracted significantly by 12 per cent per year - during the 1980s.

Albeit less dramatically than in Argentina, the Brazilian metalworking industry is also showing signs of decline. The adverse technological consequences of this process are probably similar to those previously mentioned for Argentina. Among them are the contraction of investment and the cutting back of R&D and engineering activities. An interesting possible difference is the fact that Brazil has managed to establish a relatively more sophisticated segment of metalworking firms involved in the production of aircraft, military equipment, etc., where product design and process engineering R&D efforts and capabilities have been maintained, largely on the basis of public sector subsidies that might very well be cut off in the immediate future because of current macroeconomic difficulties. Yet another interesting difference between Brazil and Argentina concerns the computer industry, where Brazil had a consistent - and also controversial policy of market reservation throughout the 1970s. While supporters of this policy tend to emphasize its positive impact upon investment and R&D activities, as well as in the development of domestic technological capabilities, critics have pointed to the high cost of locally produced small computers and the adverse effect this has had on the rate of diffusion of computer-controlled techniques throughout the economy.

Brazil has also managed to develop a considerable production infrastructure and strong export capabilities in non-durable consumer goods such as shoes, orange juice, instant coffee, frozen meat products, etc., as well as in industrial "commodities" such as cast iron, steel, pulp and paper, etc. R&D and engineering activities are less significant- though by no means negligible - in these more traditional segments of industry. In particular, market organization know-how is highly relevant in many of these cases, as the lion's share of the action is in the hands of medium-size and small family enterprises supported by a network of trading firms that handle the international side of the operation. As in Chile, packaging, transport, and marketing technologies are crucial and constitute an area where Brazilian trading companies have in recent years developed valuable proprietary technology.

On the whole, it is fair to argue that Brazil has so far maintained a more consistent policy of domestic market reservation than Argentine or Chile. It still has a strong and well-qualified civil service retaining much of the spirit of the "old" import substitution industrialization period, and in spite of external pressure and official talk about de-regulation and free market operation, still manages - through non-tariff barriers - to maintain a more closed local economy than other Latin American countries. Whether that has been a good or a bad thing for technological change and innovation and for the development of domestic technological capabilities, and whether or not Brazil will be able to maintain such strong regulatory positions in the future, are major, still unresolved issues.

We have so far examined three quite different situations within Latin America. It is obvious that the dynamics of the present socioeconomic restructuring process varies enormously across nations and that no simple generalization can be offered as a substitute for detailed research. Nevertheless, several points stand out from the foregoing discussion.

First, savings and investment as well as the rate of new capital formation have decreased in many of the "late industrializers" in the 1980s compared with the immediate post-war period. With few exceptions - such as the vehicle industry - foreign direct manufacturing investment has also fallen relatively to the 1960s and 1970s. Entrepreneurship seems to be at a particularly low ebb, and entrepreneurs tend to have turned more to opportunistic and rent-seeking activities than to technological and innovative efforts. Macroeconomic stability, fiscal equilibrium, and capacity for growth are still difficult to obtain in many developing countries, even in those that achieved an impressive growth performance in the 1960s and 1970s, as was the case of Brazil, Mexico, or Argentina. Chile and, to a lesser extent, Colombia belong in a different category, where a more stable macroeconomic environment, external financing, and fiscal equilibrium have managed to sustain a reasonably high level of entrepreneurial dynamism among local businessmen.

Secondly, the contraction of engineering and capital goods industries has clearly induced a fall in domestic R&D and engineering activities, as well as in the use of highly qualified staff. Low value-added industries have gained ground within the newly emerging pattern of international trade. In this respect, the experience of Argentina does not seem to be very different from that of Brazil, in spite of the fact that the production of arms, aircraft, and small computers has probably allowed Brazil to develop- and so far maintain - a somewhat larger stock of domestic engineering skills and technological capabilities than the one Argentina has been able to preserve.

Thirdly, both the primary sector and different branches of the foodstuffs industry seem to be involved in a rapid process of technical change. The diffusion of hybrids, agrochemicals, biotechnological processes, etc., seems to be slowly taking place among rural producers. On the other hand, downstream service sectors such as packaging, freezing, and transportation also seem to be experiencing a number of important institutional and technological transformations, adapting themselves to new opportunities in the international market-place. The Chilean example is probably the most interesting of these cases within the Latin American region.

Fourthly, raw materials processing industries such as petrochemicals, steel, pulp and paper, and edible oil have expanded significantly in recent years. Exports have grown rapidly in these sectors, but, with few exceptions for example, Usiminas in Brazil [10] - most of these firms did not themselves engage in state-of-the-art R&D and technological activities. "Specialty" chemicals or steels - where a much higher degree of technological sophistication and value added is involved - have not so far received much attention. Such "downstream" industries might, however, become very important in the future once these countries have managed to develop a strong raw materials processing sector.

Fifthly, medium-size and small family enterprises engaged in the production of shoes, garments, made-to-order pieces of capital equipment, etc., are gradually introducing- probably more so in Brazil than in Argentina computer-based technologies and new forms of market and production organization. It would be wrong to assume that such phenomena constitute a generalized and sweeping process, but it would also be a serious mistake a priori to believe that small and medium-size local firms are entirely left behind by current developments in micro-electronics and informatics.

Lastly, the degree of technological heterogeneity seems to be growing within the industrial structure as a dramatic process of "creative destruction" takes place on a massive scale. A much higher degree of economic concentration and a noticeable slide in welfare standards also seem to be part of the contemporary Latin American scene.

It is thus quite clear that a major socio-economic transformation is under way in the region and that it is going to have a deep impact upon the rate and nature of technological change and innovation, as well as upon the growth process of many of these nations. It is also quite clear that this transformation is far from complete and that we still do not fully grasp its principal consequences in very many spheres besides those for the national system of innovation. Structural unemployment, an extremely adverse impact upon income distribution, equity and welfare standards, increasing and more complex forms of social conflict, etc., appear to be possible consequences of the ongoing socio-economic restructuring process, which should certainly be examined because they affect fundamental aspects of social equity and political governability. It is, however, outside the scope of the present paper to explore such aspects in any detail.

Concluding remarks

The above discussion naturally leads us into policy issues. For the sake of brevity, I shall touch upon only three major aspects that, in my opinion, deserve serious consideration on the part of policy-oriented researchers. The first relates to macro-policy management and to the role of the state in the process of capital accumulation. Many developing countries are now dealing with a complex situation in which extreme forms of external and fiscal disequilibrium demand a very rigorous macroeconomic policy management if negative expectations are to be reversed and the process of capital accumulation and growth revitalized. It seems unlikely that without a significant flow of external financing, the present vicious circle of stagnation and diminishing entrepreneurial dynamism could be easily overcome in the near future. The industrialized countries probably need to revise their views in this regard if they seriously want to help developing countries to enter into a new sustainable growth path.

Secondly, beyond sound macro-policy management, i.e. of "getting the macro prices right," developing countries require explicit industrial and technological policies capable of dealing with market failure in areas such as education, technology generation and diffusion, etc. Downward linkages towards high value-added industries in fields where strong, resource-based sectors have already been created in recent years - i.e. petrochemicals, pulp and paper, steel, etc. have to be developed, and there are strong reasons a priori to believe that the "invisible hand" will encounter significant difficulties in inducing a socially optimal pattern of development in this direction.

Thirdly, questions of social equity and political governability should be examined closely. The process of socio-economic restructuring is far from being fair to the poorest one-third (or even more) of the local population, and those are the people who are now "paying for" the current structural transformation. Public expenditure in areas such as health, education, and social security have contracted sharply in recent years. to the severe detriment of welfare standards. Science and technology policies could be called upon in these areas in order to improve their performance and thus reduce the damaging impact of current trends.


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(introductory text...)

Sanjaya Lall

Slightly revised version of the article "Technological Capabilities and Industrialization" published in World Development, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1992), pp. 165-86.

This chapter is a review of the nature of technological activity in developing countries and the case for government interventions to strengthen technological and, hence, industrial development. Much of the traditional literature, theoretical and empirical, has neglected the need for, and production of, technological activity in developing countries. Simple neoclassical writing simply assumes the problem away. In the highly simplified models used in trade theory, for instance, technology is taken to be freely available to all countries and, within countries, to all firms. Countries simply settle on an appropriate level of capital/labour intensity in accordance with their factor price ratios, determined by their relative endowments of physical capital and labour. Firms in a given industry are all on the same production function and select their techniques, again, with reference to the relative factor price ratio, shifting costlessly along the function as this ratio changes. To the extent that technological lags are admitted, developing countries are assumed to receive all relevant improvements from developed country innovators: there is no problem in assimilating the transferred technology in the developing country; there are no adaptations required, since alternatives are available for all factor prices; all firms remain equally efficient; firm-specific learning or technical effort are unnecessary and irrelevant; and so on [53].

These traditional approaches to technology also assume that innovation (movements of the production function rather than along it) is a completely distinct activity from gaining mastery of technology or adapting it to different conditions (because the only admissible differences between countries in theory are capital/labour ratios, adaptations are necessarily restricted to movements along the function). Innovative activity is an investment in something unrelated to production. In theoretical modelling, such investment is guided by a known innovation possibility frontier, with marginal returns equalized with other returns [52]. The model assumes that major innovations all occur in the advanced industrialized countries; developing countries select and costlessly apply those innovations that are useful or appropriate. As the general level of capital accumulation (and skills) rises, more capital-intensive (or complex) technologies become economic - these are also bought from the international technology shelf.

The general thrust of conventional approaches is to minimize not just the role of technological activity in developing countries, but also the need for policies to support, protect, and induce such activity [62]. What are now termed "neoclassical approaches" to development (associated with Balassa, Krueger, and others) tend to confine themselves to prescriptions like "get prices right," "reduce or eliminate protection," or "free international flows of capital and technology," and cut back on government intervention in industrial activity. Where more moderate neoclassicals admit the need for interventions in industry, they favour neutral (or "functional") rather than selective interventions (i.e. those that support the functioning of markets, like education or R&D, rather than those that promote some industries or technologies over others). These approaches disregard the peculiar nature and costs of technological learning in specific activities, the externalities it generates, and the complementarities it enjoys, which may lead to market failures and may call for a more selective approach to policy than conventional theory admits [47]. Yet selective interventions can be justified within the neoclassical framework if such sources of market failure are taken into account.

In contrast to the analyses just mentioned, a number of "unconventional" approaches to the issues of technology in developing countries have appeared in the past decade or so. These have assigned a central role to indigenous technological effort in mastering new technologies, adapting them to local conditions, improving upon them, diffusing them within the economy, and exploiting them overseas by manufactured export growth and diversification, and by exporting technologies themselves. They can be framed in neoclassical terms but their emphasis is often on reasons why markets are not efficient. This chapter provides a brief review of these approaches. It draws out the industrial policy implications that arise from the specific characteristics of technological development and illustrates their relevance with reference to the experience of the newly industrializing countries (NICs) of East Asia and other, less spectacularly successful, countries.

Firm-level technological capabilities (FTC)

The micro-level analysis of technology in developing countries has drawn inspiration from the "evolutionary theories" developed by Nelson and Winter [55], and explained in Nelson [52, 53] and Dosi [15]. The starting point of these theories is that firms cannot be taken to operate on a common production function. Technological knowledge is not shared equally among firms, nor is it easily imitated by or transferred across firms. Transfer necessarily requires learning because technologies are tacit, and their underlying principles are not always clearly understood. Therefore, simply to gain mastery of a new technology requires skills, effort, and investment by the receiving firm, and the extent of mastery achieved is uncertain and necessarily varies by firm according to these inputs. Furthermore, firms have more knowledge of their "own" technology, less about similar technologies of other firms, and very little about dissimilar alternatives, even in the same industry. They operate, in other words, not on a production function but at a point, and their technical progress, building upon their own efforts, experience, and skills, is (to varying degrees) "localized" around that point [3]. The extent to which firm-level differences in technological effort and mastery occur may vary by industry, by size of firm or market, by level of development, or by trade/industrial strategies pursued.

There is little doubt that as a description of reality, in developed or less-developed countries, the evolutionary approach is far more plausible than the production function approach. As Dosi [15] puts it, evolutionary theories can explain the "permanent existence of asymmetries among firms, in terms of their process technologies and quality of output" (p. 1155). Scale economies and vintage differences in capital goods explain part of this asymmetry, but they "are also the effect of different innovative capabilities, that is, different degrees of technological accumulation and different efficiencies in the innovative search process" (p. 1156). Once firm-level technological change is understood as a continuous process to absorb or create technical knowledge, determined partly by external inputs and partly by past accumulation of skills and knowledge, it is evident that "innovation" can be defined much more broadly to cover all types of search and improvement effort. From the firm's point of view, there is little difference in essence between efforts to improve technological mastery, to adapt technology to new conditions, to improve it slightly or to improve it very significantly - though in terms of detailed strategies, degrees of risk, and potential rewards these efforts will certainly be different.

There are various ways to categorize firm-level technological capabilities (FTC). Drawing upon Katz [36, 37], Dahlman et al. [12] and Lall [44], table l shows an illustrative matrix of the major technical functions involved. The columns set out the major FTCs by function, the rows by degree of complexity or difficulty, as measured by the sort of activity from which the capability arises. The categorization is necessarily indicative, since it may be difficult to judge a priori whether a particular function is simple or complex [76]. Nor is it meant to show a necessary sequence of learning. Though the very nature of technological learning (i.e. accumulated experience of problem-solving, aided by external inputs or formal research effort) would seem to dictate that mastery would proceed from simpler to more difficult activities, different firms and different technologies adopt different sequences. This would depend on various factors, described below.

The functions set out in table l may not be exhaustive, and not all of them have to be performed for every industrial venture. Even where they are performed, moreover, not all need be undertaken by the firm itself - several specialized services can be bought in from (domestic or foreign) contractors, consultants, or other manufacturing firms. Yet there is a basic core of functions in each major category that have to be internalized by the firm to ensure successful commercial operation. If a firm is unable by itself to decide on its investment plans or selection of equipment processes, or to reach minimum levels of operating efficiency, quality control, equipment maintenance, or cost improvement, or to adapt its product designs to changing market conditions or to establish effective linkages with reliable suppliers, it is unlikely to be able to compete effectively in open markets. Moreover, the basic core must grow over time as the firm undertakes more complex tasks. The ability to identify a firm's scope for efficient specialization in technological activities, to extend and deepen these with experience and effort, and to draw selectively on others to complement its own capabilities is the hallmark of a "technologically mature" firm. Before full "maturity" is achieved, firms will vary in their mastery of the various functions involved. While this is true of any economy, it is likely that the typical firm in developing countries, with deficiencies in skills and limited experience of manufacturing, will use the same technology less efficiently than its counterpart in developed countries. Scattered evidence confirms that this is in fact the case, and that such differences also exist between more and less advanced developing countries [61].

Table 1 Illustrative matrix of technological capabilities



Degree of complexity


Project execution

Process engineering

Product engineering

Industrial engineering

Linkages within economy


Simple, routine (Experience-based)

Prefeasibility and feasibility studies; site selection; scheduling of investment

Civil construction; ancillary services; equipment erection; commissioning

Debugging; balancing; quality control preventive maintenance; assimilation of process technology

Assimilation of product design; minor adaptation to market needs

Work flow; scheduling; time motion studies; inventory control

Local procurement of goods and services; information exchange with suppliers


Adaptive, duplicative (Search-based)

Search for technology source; negotiation of contracts; bargaining suitable terms; info. Systems

Equipment procurement; detailed engineering; training and recruitment of skilled personnel

Equipment stretching; process adaptation and cost saving; licensing new technology

Product quality improvement; licensing and assimilating new imported product technology

Monitoring productivity; improved coordination

Technology transfer of local suppliers; coordinated design; S&T links


Innovative, risky (Research-based)

Basic process design; equipment design and supply

In-house process innovation; basic research

In-house product innovation; basic research

Turnkey capability; cooperative R&D; licensing own technology to others

Investment capabilities are the skills needed before a new facility is commissioned or existing plant is expanded: to identify needs, prepare and obtain the necessary technology, then design, construct, equip, and staff the facility. They determine the capital costs of the project, the appropriateness of the scale, product mix, technology, and equipment selected, and the understanding gained by the operating firm of the basic technologies involved (which, in turn, affect the efficiency with which it later operates the facility). Production capabilities range from basic skills like quality control, operation, and maintenance to more advanced ones like adaptation, improvement, or equipment "stretching" to the most demanding ones of research, design, and innovation. They cover both process and product technologies, as well as the monitoring and control functions included under industrial engineering. The skills involved determine not only how well given technologies are operated and improved, but also how well in-house efforts are utilized to absorb technologies bought or imitated from other firms (on the significance of R&D for assimilating external innovations see ref. 9). Linkage capabilities are the skills needed to transmit information, skills, and technology to, and receive them from, component or raw material suppliers, subcontractors, consultants, service firms, and technology institutions. Such linkages affect not only the productive efficiency of the enterprise (allowing it to specialize more fully) but also the diffusion of technology through the economy and the deepening of the industrial structure, both essential to industrial development. The significance of extra market linkages in promoting productivity increase is well recognized in the literature on developed countries (survey in ref. 8).

The emerging empirical literature of FTC in developing countries has touched on various aspects of the development of FTC (apart from the references above, see refs. 11, 82, 26, 80, 32, 63, 19). These need not be reviewed at any length here, but it is worth noting the main influences on the demand for, and supply of, FTC. On the "demand" for efforts to build FTC, the most important factors are threefold. First, there is an inherent need for the development of new skills and information simply to get a new technology into production. This operates regardless of policy regime and provides the elemental drive for firms to invest in capability building; the form that capability building takes depends on the nature of the technology (process or batch, simple or complex, large to small scale).

Second, apart from this inherent pressure for capability acquisition, external factors strongly influence the process. As with any investment decision, the macroeconomic environment, competitive pressures, and the trade regime all affect the perceived returns to FTC development efforts. A stable, high growth environment conduces to higher investments in FTC. So does competition with international competition probably the most potent inducement to skill and technology upgrading. However, competition is a double-edged sword, and, given the necessary costs of learning, can stifle capability building in newcomers when certain market failures exist. This type of "infant industry" argument is taken up in the next section. Trade orientation also affects the content and pace of FTC development. The evidence (and the present author's comparison of technological development in similar industries in India and Korea: see ref. 44; also 38, 1) suggest that inward-oriented regimes foster learning to "make do" with local materials, "stretch" available equipment for down-scale plants, while export-oriented regimes foster efforts to reduce production costs, raise quality, introduce new products for world markets, and often reduce dependence on (expensive) imported technology.

Third, technological change itself, which proceeds continuously in almost all industries in the developed world, stimulates developing country firms to try to keep up. Exposure to competition mediates this incentive, and highly protected firms can delay their upgrading for long periods. Nevertheless, the existence and potential availability of more efficient technologies can create their own incentives to invest in FTC.

On the "supply" side, the ability of firms to produce new capabilities depends on: the size of firm (where technologies are complex and call for large-scale production, large amounts of skilled manpower, or intense technological effort, and particularly where capital markets are deficient); access to skills from the market; organizational and managerial skills in the firm and its ability to change structures to absorb new methods and technologies [37, 33]; access to external technical information and support (from foreign technology sources, local firms and consultants, and the technology infrastructure of laboratories, testing facilities, standards institutions, and so on); and access to appropriate "embodied" technology, in the form of capital goods, from the best available sources, domestic or foreign.

In sum, FTC development is the outcome of investments undertaken by the firm in response to external and internal stimuli and in interaction with other economic agents, both private and public and local and foreign. Thus, there are factors that are firm-specific (leading to micro-level differences in FTC development and to "idiosyncratic" results) and those that are common to given countries (depending on their policy regimes, skill endowments, and institutional structures). It is these common factors to which we now turn.

National technological capabilities

Let us now consider national technological capabilities in developing countries. National capabilities are not simply the sum of thousands of individual firm-level capabilities developed in isolation. Because of externalities and interlinkages, there is likely to be synergy between individual firm-level capabilities. Despite individual idiosyncracies, there is a common element of response of firms to the policy, market, and institutional framework. It makes sense, in other words, to conceive of national differences in technological capabilities. Clearly, countries - developing or developed - differ in their ability to utilize or innovate technologies, and this difference manifests itself in their productivity, growth, or trade performance. There is little by way of theory that brings together all the factors that may influence these variables (but see refs. 21, 22, 24, 25, 57, 59). The analysis of national technological capabilities is nevertheless important because of the current dominance of some partial explanations of industrial success, which may lead to misleading policy conclusions [46, 47]. In particular, it is necessary to look again at approaches that, as mentioned in the introduction, trace success to "getting prices right" and noninterventionist strategies, treating them as both necessary and sufficient conditions. These approaches are based on particular readings of technological capability and the efficiency of markets in developing countries.

The OECD explains long-term differences in the performance of advanced industrial economies thus:

Over the longer term, economic growth arises from the interplay of incentives and capabilities. The capabilities define the best that can be achieved; while the incentives guide the use of the capabilities and, indeed stimulate their expansion, renewal or disappearance. In the advanced economies, the capabilities refer primarily to the supplies of human capital, of savings and of the existing capital stock, as well as to the technical and organizational skills required for their use; the incentives originate largely in product markets and are then more or less reflected in markets for factor supplies thereby determining the efficiency with which capabilities are used. Both incentives and capabilities operate within an institutional framework: institutions set rules of the game, as well as directly intervening in the play; they act to alter capabilities and change incentives; and they can modify behaviour by changing attitudes and expectations. [57, p. 18]

This three-pronged approach, involving the interplay of capabilities, incentives, and institutions, is a useful way of organizing the numerous factors that influence national technological capabilities in developing countries [46].


At the country level, capabilities can be grouped under three broad headings: physical investment, human capital, and technological effort. These three are strongly interlinked in ways that make it difficult to identify their separate contributions to national performance [52], but they do not always go together. If physical capital is accumulated without the skills or technology needed to operate it efficiently, national technological capabilities will not develop adequately; or if formal skills are created but not combined with technological effort, efficiency will not increase dynamically (see ref. 67 for a theoretical analysis); and so on. Physical investment is in some sense a "basic" capability, in that plant and equipment are clearly necessary for industry to exist, but it is the efficiency with which capital is utilized that is of greater interest. The ability to muster the financial resources and the embodied technology that make up physical investment (and the need for an efficient financial system to support this) need not be spelled out at any length here.

The term "human capital" is used broadly here to include not just the skills generated by formal education and training but also those created by on-the-job training and experience of technological activity, and the legacy of inherited skills, attitudes, and abilities that aid industrial development. Literacy and primary education are essential for all forms of efficient industrialization, and may be largely sufficient for early industrial efforts utilizing simple technologies [48]. However, as more sophisticated technologies are adopted, the need for more advanced, specialized skills on the part of both workforce and managers emerges [75]. Moreover, the gap between the workforce and engineers has to be reduced to facilitate skill transfer [50]. The quality of formal education, especially of technical training, and the relevance of the curriculum to changing technical needs are clearly very important. To the extent that public or private training facilities do not meet the need for such skills, firms have to invest in their own training facilities, but will do so only if mobility is low and their investments yield appropriate benefits [40]; low mobility thus has this benefit but is offset by the restraint it places on the diffusion of knowledge. Ergas [21] and the OECD [57] outline the very different systems dealing with these problems in the United States, Germany, and Japan, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

The final capability relates to national technological effort. Trained labour and physical capital are fully productive only when combined with efforts by productive enterprises to assimilate and improve upon the relevant technology. As discussed earlier, such effort comprises a broad spectrum of production, design, and research work with firms, backed up by a technological infrastructure that provides information, standards, basic scientific knowledge, and various facilities too large to be owned by private firms. It is impossible to measure properly such technological effort, but rough proxies are available in the form of technical manpower available for technical tasks, or expenditures on formal R&D (input measures), or innovations, patents, and other indicators of technological success (output measures). The interpretation of all such measures is fraught with difficulties [8], since not all effort is equally efficiently made, and no measure captures fully routine engineering work devoted to minor innovation or mastery. Nevertheless, it is evident that different countries devote different levels of effort to technology (see refs. 21, 57, 13, 59 on developed countries, and 78, 35, 46 on developing countries), and even a crude measure is of some use.

Apart from domestic technological effort, the extent and nature of a country's reliance on foreign technology is also directly relevant to national technological capabilities. All countries need to import technology, but different modes of import have different impacts on local technological development. In semi-industrialized countries, for instance, a heavy reliance on foreign direct investment (FDI) may become a substitute for domestic effort at the "advanced" levels shown in table 1 above, because FDI is an efficient means to transfer the results of innovation rather than the innovative process itself. The alternative strategy, following the example of Japan, of building a strong domestic technological base, may therefore entail a selective curtailment of FDI entry, at least at certain stages of the development process (see below).


While both physical and human capital are necessary for industrial development, they will not be utilized effectively if the structure of incentives for investment and production is inappropriate. Incentives, arising from market forces, institutional functioning, and government policies, affect the pace of accumulation of capital and skills; the types of capital purchased and the kinds of skills learnt; and the extent to which existing endowments are exploited in production. In most developing countries, the role of policies assumes great importance, in positive as well as negative ways: positive because structural and market failures call for remedial action, negative because interventions can be excessive or misjudged, and even justifiable interventions can be poorly administered.

Three broad sets of incentives affect the development of national technological capabilities:

1. MACROECONOMIC INCENTIVES. Under this heading, I include signals that emanate from GNP growth (rate and stability), price changes, interest rates, exchange rates, credit and foreign exchange availability, and similar economic variables, as well as political stability or exogenous shocks (e.g. terms of trade). The impact of growth, stability, sensible balance of payments, monetary or fiscal policies, favourable external circumstances, etc., on investment and capability building are obvious and need not be discussed in detail here.

2. INCENTIVES FROM COMPETITION. Competition is, as discussed earlier, the most basic of incentives affecting capability development. Domestic competition is influenced by the size of the industrial sector, its level of development and diversification, and government policies on firm entry, exit, expansion, prices, ownership, small-scale industry, and so on. Most developing countries impose constraints on internal competition to prevent excessive entry (and so fragmentation) in protected markets, to preserve employment, to promote small firms or public enterprises, to hold down prices, to force industry to locate in backward areas, or to prevent the growth of large-size firms or the concentration of economic power. Some industrial regulation is clearly necessary in every economy, but high levels of intervention can frustrate or dissipate the development of healthy capabilities and prop up non-viable enterprises that should die out (see ref. 88 for a brief review of the most common types of competition-retarding policies).

International competition - from imports, entry of foreign investors, or export activity - can be an even greater stimulant to healthy technological development than domestic competition, in small or large countries (size of economy does not affect whether or not enterprises in the country are exposed to such competition). Yet governments place many barriers to such competition, often in a sweeping, irrational, and prolonged way that retards technological development, efficiency, export growth, and structural change. The recent development literature has analysed the costs of inward-oriented trade strategies at great length (for a useful review, see ref. 87). Most of the conventional arguments are not couched in terms of the impact of trade strategies on technological capabilities, but the implicit assumptions made about technological capability development are relevant to the issue.

The debate over intervention in trade flows is of long standing (review in ref. 5). While acknowledging the benefits of market competition, economic theory accepts that interventions in the incentive framework of free trade, in the form of infant industry protection or promotion, are needed to overcome many (but not all) market failures affecting resource allocation [82, 83, 62, 46]. It is important to be clear about the correct case for such intervention. Some arguments for protection are misplaced: if the source of market failure lies outside the firm (e.g. lack of skills, infrastructure, institutions), intervention to protect the firm will do nothing to ensure that costs come down over time. However, to the extent that failures arise from the firm's own lack of investment in capability building, due to externalities (loss of skills or technology or interdependencies between firms [62]), risk aversion, or lack of information (due to missing information markets or "learning to learn" phenomena [71]), intervention may have a justifiable role to play in restoring efficient resource allocation.

The intervention may not necessarily take the form of import protection. Theory suggests that subsidies are preferable because they involve lower consumption costs than import restrictions. But protection is easier (and cheaper) for the government to administer, and historical evidence suggests that tariffs have been used by every developed country in critical stages of industrialization [80]. While protection has often been misused, as the trade strategy debate shows, it has also accompanied entry into difficult and complex activities with high learning costs In fact, the existence of such costs in developing countries (with imperfect capital and information markets and strong linkages and externalities) suggests that protection is a necessary condition for development beyond technologically simple activities. However, it may not usually be sufficient, because market failures in factor markets and institutions (see below) can hold back full gains in efficiency.

Such interventions have to be selective, requiring that policy makers identify specific sectors, activities, or even firms for promotion over others to exploit their superior growth potential, linkages, or externalities. There are two basic requirements for such intervention to be effective. First, since protection itself reduces incentives to invest in FTC, it should not be too widespread, indiscriminate, or prolonged, and should be offset by other incentives for increased efficiency. The best combination may be the selective and temporary protection of domestic markets, together with strong incentives for export activity and domestic competition. Second, policy makers should be able to identify suitable activities for protection and have the authority to correct mistakes and modify choices over time (i.e. shut down inefficient operations). This requires considerable informational and organizational resources, as well as political strength, on the part of the government. Some countries can provide such resources, but many cannot; I return to this below.

3. INCENTIVES FROM FACTOR MARKETS. Theory suggests that well-functioning, flexible factor markets and correct relative factor prices are necessary to achieve efficient production and resource allocation. Efficiency in capital markets requires that long-term financing be available, especially for risky projects involving new technologies, and that price signals achieve proper inter-firm and inter-industry resource allocation. Efficient labour markets should be responsive to changing needs, not hampered by restrictive practices, and be equipped with requisite skills. Similarly, efficient technology markets should provide adequate flows of information to enterprises as well as of "public goods" such as standards, testing facilities, and basic research. In general, incentives should be sufficient to ensure that private firms do not under-invest in their own technological development. Where market failures occur and firms invest less than is socially desirable, governments must be able to step in to enable firms to internalize markets (e.g. provide self-financing or subsidize training of workers) and to remedy the failures directly by providing finance (loans, venture capital financing, R&D subsidies, and so on) to firms or activities where social returns exceed private returns. Such interventions are often regarded as functional rather than selective, and so are considered with greater favour by those who mistrust selectivity ("picking winners") by governments. However, the distinction is often spurious. Interventions in finance, education, research, information, or retraining are generally selective above a certain (fairly low) level: for instance, after providing for general levels of secondary education, the training of university level engineers may need to be guided towards specific industrial needs. Given resource limitations, selectivity in industrial support is inevitable. But there is a stronger case for selectivity in factor market interventions: some activities have greater linkages and externalities than others. As Grossman [30] argues, "When market activity is too low relative to an efficient outcome, it is because the active and potentially-active firms fail to appropriate all the benefits from some aspect of their operation. Corrective government policy should be targeted to the particular activity that generates positive spillovers, and not merely encourage firms to produce more output" (p. 118).


The development of capabilities and the play of incentives express themselves only through specific market and non-market institutions. If markets throw up the necessary institutions naturally, there is no need to consider them separately. If they do not, however, the development of a proper institutional framework becomes an area of concern. Since development is almost definable by the deficiency of institutions, clearly the subject requires consideration. Of the vast array of institutions that affect economic life, I note only those that are external to firms and that most directly affect industrial capabilities. In addition to the legal framework supporting industrial activity and property rights, these are: industrial institutions (those that promote inter-firm linkages in production, technology, or training, or provide support to smaller enterprises, or help firms to restructure and upgrade); training institutions (where firms under-invest in training or fail to provide the right kind or quality of training); and technology institutions (on the US, see refs. 72, 73, 54; on Japan, 28, 51, 59; and 21, 57, on developed countries in general).

National technological capabilities: Some evidence from developing countries

This section applies the above framework to a selection of eight industrializing countries: the four East Asian NICs (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore), India, the two dominant Latin American industrial economies (Brazil and Mexico), and one second-tier NIC, Thailand. These give a fair coverage of the different types of countries that have achieved a measure of success with industrial development. There is also some consensus about their strategies and achievements, which makes a classification possible to incorporate relevant elements that cannot be easily quantified.

Despite their obvious importance, institutions are not considered here because it is practically impossible to compare institutional structures and performance across countries.

Table 2 sets out some relevant data on industrial structure and performance and two sets of determinants of national technological capabilities on which figures could be obtained: education and science and technology [46]. The top section of the table is intended to provide background information and illustrates some features of the sample countries. The four East Asian NICs are the most dynamic and efficient (in terms of international competitiveness) of the group. There are, however, significant differences between their industrial structure, export specialization, and reliance on overseas investment (these are taken up below). Of the larger countries, Brazil has the biggest industrial sector, with an advanced technology in many areas of heavy industry; however, it has large areas of uncompetitiveness [10], a high foreign presence in modern industry, and a large public sector. Mexico is similar in many ways, but has a smaller capital goods capability, a higher foreign presence, and a lower manufactured export base. India's industrial sector is very diverse but riddled with inefficiency and technological obsolescence; it has suffered low rates of growth of exports and value added (until very recently), but has the distinction of having a very low level of reliance on foreign investment and technology imports in other forms [44, 43, chap. 10]. Finally, Thailand is a relative newcomer, with a shallow industrial base but very dynamic export growth based on the relocation of labour-intensive activities away from Japan and the older NICs.

The pattern is well known: indeed, such diversity of industrial performance, as typified by the relative success of the East Asian NICs (and the emergence of "new NICs" in the region), has prompted much theorizing on the virtues of liberal trade strategies [87]. Our framework suggests that simple incentive-based explanations may be partial and misleading, but let us look at the available evidence.


Macroeconomic management has, with one hiccough in Korea in 1979-1980, been excellent for the four East Asian NICs and Thailand, moderately good for India, and poor for the two Latin American NICs. Their trade strategies are well known: consistently highly export-oriented (i.e. with incentives that were neutral between domestic and export markets, or biased in favour of the latter) over a long period for the East Asian NICs, with little or no protection in Hong Kong and Singapore but with selective, variable, and often high protection for several industries in Korea and Taiwan; more inward-oriented for Brazil and Mexico, with large areas of high effective protection, but with export incentives to partially offset the bias; highly and consistently inward-oriented for India; and increasingly export-oriented for Thailand, but still with remnants of protected import substitution. At the trade strategy level, therefore, export-oriented strategies seem to be positively correlated with industrial success, supporting the arguments of the liberal school that competition in international markets stimulates efficient specialization and healthy FTC development; in addition, it is suggested, export orientation provides free inflows of information from world markets, gives greater and more stable access to foreign technology and equipment, and is associated with lower rent-seeking behaviour [4, 56].

However, these simple categorizations of "export orientation" may be misleading depictions of strategies that are much more complex in their impact on national technological capabilities. There are several varieties of export orientation [18]. Hong Kong is at one extreme, with fully laissez-faire economic policies combined with stable administration, a strong presence of British trading and financial enterprises (with considerable spillover benefits), a concentration of textile-related skills and technology (from Shanghai), and a long tradition of entrepôt trade (which created a variety of contacts and Singapore offers no protection, but intervenes heavily in several ways, in guiding investment, setting up public enterprises (these account for 10 per cent of value added in manufacturing), directing wages, encouraging savings, and so on [41]. It permits only very selective immigration (of skilled personnel) and is generally highly involved in guiding the economy's development, especially by inducing foreign investors to upgrade the skill and capital intensities of the projects they undertake. As a result, the industrial structures of the two island economies differ quite sharply [41]. Hong Kong has remained specialized in light consumer goods, essentially assembling imported components, while moving up the quality scale - its industry does not have great technological depth or high vertical linkages [7], and competitive pressures are forcing it to relocate in cheap-labour areas (chiefly China) rather than to deepen domestic industrial activity. Singapore has a much "heavier" industrial structure, with strong emphasis on producer goods and very high requirements of technical skills.

Table 2 Indicators of national technology capability in selected NICs

South Korea


Hong Kong






A. Structure and performance

1. Mfg. value added $b. (1985)









Mfg. growth 1965-80/1980-86









2. Mfd. exports(1986) $b. (1986)









Growth of merchandise exports: 1965-80/1980-86









3. Gross domestic investment as % GDP (1986)









4. Capital goods prod. as % of total mfg. (1985)









5. Capital goods imports $b. (1985)









(as % MVA)









6. Stock of foreign direct investment $b. (1984-86)









7. FDI stock as % GDP 2.8








B. Education

1. (a) Education expenditure as % household consumption (1980-85)









(b) Public expenditure % GNP


















2. Central government expenditure on education % total government expenditure (1986)









3. % Age group enrolled (1985)

- primary









- secondary









- tertiary education









4. Vocational ed. enrol. (1984) nos. ('000s)









as % population working age









5. No. of tertiary level students

- in S/E fields ('000s)









% population


















- in engineering ('000s)









% population








C. Science and technology

1. Patents granted: total (1986)









of which % local









2. R&D % GNP

















3. R&D in productive sector % GNP









4. R&D financed by productive enterprises % GNP









5. Scientists/engineers in R&D per million population









6. All scientists/engineers

(a) Total nos. ('000s)









(b) Per million population

















Sources: refs. 2, 23, 64-66, 78, 79, 86-88. skills).

Korea and Taiwan have been much more interventionist, with the former traditionally far more so than the latter [42, 81]. Until the 1980s, the Korean government protected and promoted selected (strategic) industries highly, sometimes set up public enterprises (like its highly efficient Pohang steel plant), directed investment at the sectoral and, often, the firm, level, promoted exports by several direct measures, intervened in technology transfer agreements and technology development (as in petrochemicals, see ref. 20), restructured industries, and enforced labour training [62, 86, 1, 83]. Even today, despite considerable liberalization, a strong element of "guidance" remains in Korea. Taiwan also protected emerging industries, guided expansion along particular lines, and had a very active technology development policy [81, 34]. However, the Korean strategy was more specifically directed at creating and supporting giant firms (the chaebol) that could internalize many inefficient markets, though at the risk of a high level of government direction and the rigidities associated with size. Taiwanese strategy concentrated on providing support to small and medium-size firms, providing great flexibility but holding back large, risky investments in technology by the firms themselves. It was perhaps a safer, more "incremental," strategy, while the Korean one was more risky but permitted larger leaps into high-tech activities. In the production of semiconductor (DRAM) chips, for instance, Korean chaebol were able to cross-subsidize and enter into production and export in a major way with little explicit government support [39, 49]; an electronics research institute set up to launch semiconductor technology was quickly bypassed as the chaebol went directly into production with massive facilities. The Taiwanese government, on the other hand, had to adopt a far more interventionist strategy because of its earlier "hands off" stand on promoting firm size. Its DRAM production facility was set up by a public sector firm, and the government had to coordinate related technology import, design, manufacture, and marketing by several private firms. In effect, "the government is doing in Taiwan what forward and backward integration does for companies" [68, p. 67].

The large countries were also very interventionist in their industrial and technology policies. Brazil promoted several large public research organizations, and its giant public enterprises invested in R&D. It intervened in technology imports to support the development of local capabilities in the selected industries (the best-known case being minicomputers). Despite its heavy investments and major successes in some specifically targeted areas (aircraft, minicomputers, special steels, armaments), however, Brazilian strategy in technology development was to a large extent ineffective in achieving competitiveness for large parts of industry [10]. Mexico also pursued policies to build up domestic industry behind import protection, but did not adapt Brazilian-style interventions to develop specific technologies; it also lagged in the development of local capital goods. As a result, Mexican technological prowess is generally considered to be behind Brazil's.

India's industrial strategy has remained highly interventionist within its import substitution approach. The Indian government was suspicious of private enterprise in general, and large private firms and foreign investors in particular; and barriers to entry, exit, growth, and diversification were rife. It set up a large network of science and technology institutions, but these were divorced from manufacturing enterprises and excessively bureaucratic. The administration of its policies was slow, complex, and prone to corruption.


Let us start with human capital, measured via data on education. Based on 1958-1959 data, Harbison and Myers [31] developed a composite index of human resource development in a large international sample of countries. At that time, Argentina emerged with the highest rank in the developing world, followed by Korea and Taiwan. Then (of our sample) came India, Mexico, and Brazil (others were not included). In 1965, enrolment in secondary schools (as a percentage of the relevant age group) was distinctly higher in East Asia (Korea 35%, Taiwan 38%, Hong Kong 29%, Singapore 45%) than in other countries (Brazil 16%, Mexico 17%, India 27%, or Thailand 14%). Enrolment in tertiary education was also ahead (6%, 7%, 5%, 10% respectively in East Asia, 2% and 4% in Latin America, 2% in India and Thailand).

By 1985, the East Asian lead in secondary education had been maintained or widened, while that in tertiary education had been narrowed or eroded with the exception of Korea. Mexico and Thailand had made particularly large gains in tertiary education. (It should be noted that, according to Unesco data, Hong Kong and Singapore have large proportions of students in higher education overseas, 32% and 25% respectively, so the figures in table 2 are underestimates.) India has the smallest stock. In Latin America, Mexico is ahead of Brazil. Thailand is expanding very rapidly from a low base.

Figures for enrolment in education by themselves may be misleading. The true impact on technological capability development also depends on the drop-out rate, the technical orientation of the students, and the quality of teaching. Drop-out rates are exceptionally low in East Asian NICs [38, 58]. The technical orientation of education is highest in Singapore (60% of tertiary students are in science and technology subjects), followed by Mexico (48%), Hong Kong (46%), Korea (42%), Brazil (36%), India (27%), and Thailand (21%). There is no information on Taiwan, but we can safely assume the figure to be high.

More important is the proportion of each country's population enrolled in science and engineering. This broad measure of technological capacity is led by Korea (1.39), followed by Taiwan (1.06), Singapore (0.89), Mexico (0.7), Hong Kong (0.67), Brazil (0.4), and India (0.21). Allowing for students abroad (and taking the proportion in science and engineering to be the same as at home), the figures for Singapore and Hong Kong rise to 1.01 and 0.81. Korea's rises to 1.41, while those of others (Taiwan data are missing) are not affected. Taking engineering on its own, Taiwan leads the sample, followed by Singapore and Korea. These three NICs have figures some 10 times higher than India's, and four or five times higher than Brazil's.

The only relevant indicators of the quality of education are of the performance of primary and secondary school students on the International Education Review's test scores in science and mathematics. In one test, administered in 19 (mostly developed) countries, with only Korea and India included from our sample (quoted in ref. 85), Korea came second only to Japan in nearly all tests, and in one it beat Japan. It consistently outperformed countries like the United States, Britain, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and so on. Its primary school pupils did 2.5 times better than India; its secondary school pupils 3.8 times better. In another test, reported in OTA [59], two other sample countries, Hong Kong and Thailand, were included in a sample of 14, again mostly developed, countries. Twelfth graders (17-18 year olds) were tested in geometry and algebra in the mid 1980s. The top performer in both was Hong Kong, followed by Japan. The United States came twelfth in geometry and thirteenth in algebra. Thailand came last in both tests. These tests should, however, be treated with caution, because they may not be robust indicators of educational standards across the board.

The technical competence of an industrial workforce is improved by education imparted by various formal training systems and by infirm training. While the precise nature of the benefits of vocational as opposed to general training, and pre-employment as opposed to post-employment training, is still the subject of debate [17], it is indisputable that the speed of technical change in modern industry necessitates increasing inputs of training and retraining. Data are most readily available on vocational training (from Unesco); these are shown in table 2, in total and in relation to the size of the population. Korea and Taiwan are far in the lead (over 3% of the population of working age), exceeding relative levels in Latin America (about 2%) and other East Asian NICs. Singapore is also relatively low (0.5%), but this is misleading because of the large size of its employee training programmes run on a cooperative basis by government and industry. Hong Kong has a relatively poor showing (0.86%), behind that of Thailand, reflecting the specialized and technologically undemanding nature of its industrial structure. India has very small enrolments, suggesting widespread skill deficiencies.

In-firm training figures are not widely available, but McMahon [48] singles out Korea as an exceptional case, in that "since 1960 South Korea has insisted that companies spend at least 5 to 6% of their total budget on education and training programs, involving the private sector in the education process in a meaningful way" (p. 19). It is doubtful whether any other country in the sample has a training effort comparable with this: presumably, it has provided the basis for efficient production in Korea's rapid drive into new, demanding industries.

The impressions that emerge from these data are:

- The East Asian NICs have the largest stock of human capital in a broad sense (formal education at secondary and tertiary levels). They are followed by Mexico, then Brazil and Thailand, with India clearly at the bottom.

- In terms of technical education and vocational training, Korea and Taiwan are clear leaders (with Korea pulling ahead at general high level, and Taiwan in engineering, education), with Singapore close behind. Hong Kong comes next, followed by Mexico, then Brazil or Thailand (depending on the measure), with India again lagging well behind.

- In terms of the quality of education, patchy evidence suggests that the East Asian NICs, with their strong cultural emphasis on education, are ahead of the others.

- In firm-level training, Korea is likely to be the leader. Singapore leads in employee training provided externally.

These impressions conform broadly to the patterns of '´revealed national technological capabilities" discussed earlier. While the most successful countries have the largest investments in human capital formation, preceding and accompanying their industrial growth, Korea and Taiwan are in a different class from Hong Kong and Singapore. The larger relative technical-skill endowments of the former two explain their greater ability to tackle more complex, demanding industrial technologies. Hong Kong is distinctly behind Singapore, which conforms to the observed differences in their industrial structures and technological prowess. Interestingly, Singapore's heavy reliance on foreign investors in its high-tech industries does not relieve it of the need to provide educated and trained technical manpower; multinational corporations are able to set up such industries there only because of the availability of appropriate manpower (and Singapore is widely regarded as having one of the world's best systems for employee training).

Mexico seems to have a better trained workforce than Brazil by every measure. Its apparent lag in national technological capabilities must then be attributed to specific industrial and technological policies, which have failed to develop technological capabilities (at least in selected areas) as forcefully as Brazil. India's substantial lag in human resources may appear surprising, because of the general aura it has of a country with an oversupply of technical and educated manpower. There is certainly a large absolute supply (although of highly variable quality), and graduate unemployment and emigration are real problems. In relation to the size of the economy, however, the stock is poor, and what there is seems to be concentrated in the larger establishments. The apparent oversupply is more a reflection of the economy's poor performance than anything else: wrong policies have held back even the absorption and effective utilization of its meagre human resources.

Science and technology

The most common measure of national technological effort is total R&D spending in relation to GNP. By this measure, sample data (not available for Hong Kong) show that Korea, with 2.3% in 1987, is now well ahead of the others (more than double that of Taiwan, its nearest rival) and planning to reach 5% by 2000. Taiwan and India are close to each other, around 1%, followed by Brazil and Mexico, Singapore and Thailand.

Total R&D expenditures may be less relevant a measure of industrial technical effort than R&D performed or financed by productive enterprises. Total R&D includes large elements of non-industrial R&D, or industrial R&D performed in government laboratories, or performed in productive enterprises but financed by others. Each has different implications for industry, in terms of effectiveness, control, and relevance. It is usually a safe assumption that R&D effectiveness is higher the more it is performed and financed by productive enterprises (Griliches [29] finds, for instance, that privately financed R&D in the United States yields much higher returns than R&D financed by the Federal government and performed by the same enterprises). On this criterion, table 2 shows again that Korea is far in the lead, with Taiwan some distance, and other countries much further, behind. The bulk of Korean private R&D is performed by its giant chaebol, themselves the products of earlier policies to select, protect, and subsidize large firms to lead the industrialization drive. In this sense, even the private R&D of Korea is traceable to selective intervention: to create chaebol, direct them into heavy and complex activities, and force them to compete internationally.

Patent data are also available but are notoriously difficult to compare meaningfully. Nevertheless, the figures on the proportion of patents taken out by residents (which may include foreigners) are suggestive [23]. Korea and Taiwan (69% and 56%) are far ahead of India (20%), Brazil and Mexico (9% each), or Singapore (8%). The commercial value of these patents may be questionable, but it is instructive in this context to refer to Fagerberg's [25] growth accounting exercise, which used patents taken out internationally as a measure of innovative activity, and included Asian NICs (Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan) as well as Latin American NICs (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico) as sub-samples.

Fagerberg's calculations showed that both groups of NICs grew faster than the "frontier" countries (United States, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Sweden), East Asia 6% faster and Latin America 1.9% faster. The difference between the two subgroups was primarily due to their innovative efforts. For Asian NICs, this contributed 2.9% of their relative growth performance, for Latin America -0.1%. Such exercises suffer from well-known limitations and interpretation problems, but the general results are plausible and in line with other sorts of evidence: innovative effort is important for growth even among NICs, and East Asia performs far better than Latin America.

The employment of scientists and engineers in R&D in relation to population is another common measure of technological effort. The figures in table 2 show Taiwan ahead of others (1,426 per million population in 1986, higher than France's 1,365 in 1984). Korea is a close second with 1,283, followed by Singapore with 960. There is then a large gap, with Brazil and Mexico having 256 and 217 respectively. Thailand has 1-50 and India 132. The quality of R&D scientists and engineers may differ by country, and their economic value may depend on the type of R&D they are engaged in, but there is no reason to believe that, as far as NICs are concerned, these factors would reduce the apparent lead of East Asia. If anything, they would strengthen it.

A similar measure of the total "potential stock" is the number of scientists and engineers. The data (taken from Unesco, which collects the figures by questionnaires) are sometimes dubious (especially for Hong Kong, where they appear to be overestimates), but they show the two island NICs of Asia with the highest stocks, followed by Brazil, Mexico, and Korea. India comes out ahead of Thailand on this measure, but well behind the others.

The technological data broadly support the trends revealed by the figures on education. The Asian NICs, in particular Korea and Taiwan, have invested not only in educating and training their populations, but also in technological innovation. This investment was primarily oriented to the commercial needs of productive enterprises, and has drawn upon a large pool of scientists and engineers. Combined with a highly skilled workforce, these investments yielded the competitiveness and dynamism that revealed themselves in growth and export performance. Export orientation played a permissive and stimulative role, and as such was necessary - but it was not sufficient.

Technology imports

All sample countries import large amounts of technology, but their patterns of import differ greatly. In part this is due to differing rules and controls on buying know-how and services abroad: the international technology market is subject to a spectrum of failures caused by asymmetric information, opportunism, missing markets, and so on, and different governments have adopted different measures to overcome such failures and help national enterprises to purchase technology on fair terms. In part, however, it is due to a more fundamental difference, national technological strategy. This concerns the relative roles of foreign and local enterprise in building indigenous capabilities. There are striking variations across the leading semi-industrial countries in the extent to which they have drawn on foreign direct investment (FDI) to provide technology and skills.

FDI can, in appropriate conditions, be a very efficient means of transferring a package of capital, skills, technology, brand names, and access to established international networks. It can also provide beneficial spillovers to local skill creation and, by demonstration and competition, to local firms. Where local skills and capabilities are inadequate, FDI can sometimes be the only means to upgrade technologies and enter high-tech activities. However, the very fact that FDI is such an efficient transmitter of packaged technology based on innovative activity performed in advanced countries has serious implications. With few exceptions, the developing country affiliate receives the results of innovation, not the innovative process itself: it is not efficient for the enterprise concerned to invest in the skill and linkage creation in a new location. The affiliate, in consequence, develops efficient capabilities up to a certain level, but not beyond: in the literature this is called the "truncation" of technology transfer. Such truncation can diminish not only the affiliate's own technological development, but also its linkages with the host country's technological and production infrastructure, and so beneficial externalities. Moreover, a strong foreign presence with advanced technology can prevent local competitors from investing in deepening their own capabilities (as opposed to becoming dependent on imported technology or, where the technology is not available at reasonable prices, withdrawing from the activity altogether).

For these reasons, countries with technological potential may find it beneficial to restrict FDI and import technology in "unpackaged" forms (including foreign minority-owned joint ventures). The choice of mode of technology imports is thus not neutral - some are more beneficial than others for certain strategies and at certain stages of development. The sample countries cover the whole range of FDI strategies. Rows A6 and A7 of table 2 set out data on stocks of foreign investment in each country and on FDI as a percentage of GDP in the relevant year as a measure of the relative significance of FDI. It shows, at one extreme, low levels of reliance on FDI by India and Korea, and, at the other, very high levels by Singapore and Hong Kong, and fairly high levels, among large countries, by Mexico, Thailand, and Brazil. The interesting cases are those of Korea and Singapore, both successful NICs that have opted for opposing strategies on foreign capital.

South Korea has developed arguably the most advanced and competitive base of technological capabilities in the developing world, drawing on foreign technology mainly in non-equity forms (i.e. by capital goods imports, licensing and minority foreign ventures [84, 83]). In order to nurture this massive effort, it followed the Japanese example of some decades earlier- protection against imports and selective exclusion of foreign investment, accompanied by the upgrading of skills, huge investments in R&D, and the sponsoring of the giant chaebol to internalize various markets and so cope with the rigours of international competition. The strategy may be characterized as one of "protecting domestic technological learning" at a stage of development when externalities and uncertainties abound, information linkages are imperfect, and basic capabilities are in their infancy. This stage is similar in many respects to the micro-level process of developing a new innovation by a developed country firm, when (as Grossman [30] argues) "the strongest case for government intervention may arise... [because this would] involve substantial research outlays and costly learning-by-doing [and] private firms often are unable to capture more than a fraction of the benefits they create for consumers and for other firms in the industry" (p. 119).

The Korean strategy went well beyond supporting R&D, to restricting imports and direct investment, because technological development by an industrializing developing country is different in a critical sense from a firm innovating a new technology: the developing country faces an external environment where several competitors have already undergone the learning process and have developed the necessary institutional structures. The need for intervention in developing countries is concomitantly greater. Korea demonstrates that protection of the learning process can be highly effective when complex, large-scale, fast-moving technologies are involved [83]. Singapore, by contrast, relied entirely on technology generated elsewhere, but intervened (selectively) to induce investors to move up the technological scale and (functionally) to provide a well-trained workforce. The strategy worked well for Singapore - but whether it can be emulated by larger economies, and whether it will lead to a broad base for sustained industrial development (à la Japan or Korea) is open to question. The Latin American economies have come somewhere in between. Brazil has set up large public enterprises and restricted foreign entry in certain sectors to protect indigenous learning, Mexico also doing so on a much smaller scale. The heavy reliance of these countries on multinational firms for a great deal of advanced technology may well have pre-empted indigenous capability development in the sectors concerned. India has had a very different experience, excluding multinationals in much of manufacturing, but also suffering technological lags and inefficiency as a result of its trade and industrial policies and poor human capital endowments.

Conclusions and implications

The analysis presented above on the determinants of national technological capabilities provides a broad, suggestive framework rather than a precise set of causal connections. It has been suggested in this chapter that the development of capabilities is the outcome of a complex interaction of incentive structures (mediated by government interventions to overcome market failures) with human resources, technological effort, and institutional factors (each also strongly affected by market failures and so needing corrective interventions). Partial explanations of the development of national technological capabilities, which concentrate exclusively on market-driven incentives, on the one hand, or on capability-building measures, on the other, are apt to be misleading for analytical and policy purposes. It is the interplay of all these factors in particular country settings that determines at the firm level how well producers learn the skills and master the information needed to cope with industrial technologies and, at the national level, how well countries employ their factor endowments, raise those endowments over time, and grow dynamically in the context of rapidly changing technologies.

In view of the current prevalence of non-interventionist views on economic development strategy, it is important to be clear about the implications of the framework of national technological capabilities presented here. One set of determinants cannot by itself produce dynamic, broad-based, sustained industrial development. Just getting proper incentives in place will be better, ceteris paribus, than giving the wrong signals, but just "getting prices right" may lead to specialization in activities with static comparative advantage if the skills, technology, or institutions are not present to permit efficient diversification. Similarly, generating skills by itself would achieve little if incentives for efficient industrial activity were lacking. Given skills and incentives, performance would still differ (as it does between developed countries), depending on the ability of institutions and government policies to overcome market failures and protect activities with genuine dynamic potential. The existence of market failures considerably modifies what are regarded as neoclassical prescriptions for development, even within the strict rules of neoclassical analysis.

Government policy affects all three components of technological development. Let us reiterate, starting with incentives. A consensus is emerging on the trade and industry policies that promote healthy national technological capabilities development. These are largely taken to be market-oriented policies that promote competition, specialization by comparative advantage, and free flows of technology and capital internationally. However, it is recognized that there can be serious failures in the provision of correct signals from free markets. The existing configuration of prices and costs may not be a reliable guide to resource allocation (including investments in capability building) where there are externalities, complementarities, uncertain learning gains, or capital market failures [70, 71]. There may then be little theoretical or empirical justification for some fashionable policy prescriptions, such as free trade, or giving low and uniform effective protection to different activities. There may be a valid case for intervening in free trade on infant industry grounds. There may also be a valid case for selectivity: some activities may well need much higher protection (and capability-building support) than others, depending on their technical requirements, externalities, and the cost and risk involved in developing the necessary capabilities. By the same reasoning, there may be justifiable reasons for promoting "strategic" industries (because of extensive linkages) or selected individual firms (to realize economies of size and scope by internalizing deficient markets) [83].

As far as capabilities are concerned, there is perhaps more agreement on the need for policy interventions to promote physical and human capital development and technological effort. However, the interventions needed may be selective as well as functional if education and technology strategies are to be geared to realizing specific forms of dynamic comparative advantage. At early stages, industrial development needs basic human capital (literacy and numeracy, with some vocational skills); the period needed to absorb simple industrial technologies is short and needs little protection or external support. At this stage, relatively non-selective educational interventions may be appropriate. As development proceeds, more difficult technologies are used and the need for more sophisticated and specialized education/training grows. To the extent that the education "market" lacks information on these specialized needs, or under-invests in providing facilities of the right kind and quality, there arises the need for selective intervention. Moreover, since there is a serious risk of private under-investment in training at the firm level when labour is mobile, human capital development requires measures to induce more investment to support employee training, by firms individually or cooperatively, or by governments where private agents consistently under-invest. These measures may be functional, applied to all activities, or they may be selective, targeting emerging sectors.

The need for specific technological effort to acquire technological capabilities also rises with industrial development. Easy capabilities may be acquired by brief training combined with learning by doing (i.e. repetition without technical search, investment, or experimentation). More difficult capabilities necessarily require more training and technological effort to master, with concomitant risk and uncertainty. As technologies grow more complex, the development of capabilities runs into problems of appropriability, externalities, lumpiness, and requirements of very specialized skills [74]: policies may be needed to overcome these problems in firm-level effort. The policies must also cover the development of institutions external to firms, to provide information, standards, basic research, and other similar "public goods" relevant to capability development [30]. As development proceeds, moreover, institutional interventions may grow more selective as the initial basic needs are met and markets function more efficiently.

Technological development always needs imports of technology from advanced countries. However, the extent of dependence on imported technology, and the form that technology imports take, affect national technological capabilities development. A passive reliance on foreign skills, knowledge, and technology may lead to national technological capabilities stagnation at a low level, while selective inputs of foreign technology into an active domestic process of technology development can lead to dynamic national technological capabilities growth. Imports of technology must therefore be directed to forms that feed into local efforts rather than suppress them. Adverse effects can arise from a massive foreign presence in the form of multinational corporations that keep their main R&D functions overseas. They can, however, also arise from licensing or use of foreign consultants in ways that do not transfer "know why" to local agents, and that transfer all the benefits of learning abroad. Licensing can be deep or shallow, a stimulus to local learning or a drain on it: national technological capabilities development requires appropriate information selection and negotiation. Thus specific interventions are needed to promote national technological capabilities development, and these will have selective as well as functional aspects.

The above is not meant to suggest that there is a single optimal path to industrial development for all developing countries. The experience of NICs shows clearly that there are many roads to success. Some differences in viable strategies are given by the "state of nature": viz. size, resource endowment, or location. Small countries are not, other things being equal, handicapped by their size, but the sorts of industries they can set up and the technological options they can pursue differ from those for large countries. But there are other differences in possible strategies that depend more on the strategic choices of policy makers than on the '´state of nature." The extent and pace of industrial deepening, for example, is a strategic variable for the policy maker: this determines, in turn, the pace and content of human resource development, incentives needed via protection or credit allocation, requirements for technical support or infrastructure, and so on. A country (like Hong Kong) that is content to specialize in light industry needs to invest heavily in (generic) human capital, infrastructure, and some (selective) support for likely export activities, but it needs to intervene less (and less selectively) in other ways than one that aims for heavy industry of particular types. Similarly, the desired extent of national ownership or depth of indigenous technological capability (the two may be closely linked) determines the need for efforts on local skill creation and investments in R&D.

Each of the NICs represents a different model of industrial development because of its choice among strategic variables: the promotion of selected industries or of selected enterprises, fostering of particular types of industrial structures, reliance on domestic as opposed to foreign ownership of industry, and development of an indigenous base of technology and skills. These choices dictate, in turn, different degrees and combinations of selective and functional interventions. It is an open question which set of choices constitutes an ideal long-term development strategy. What is evident is that many strategies are viable, that each is based on a different combination of incentives, capabilities, and institutions, and that each carries its own set of concomitant interventions.

The choice of a less selective set of interventions (à la Hong Kong) reduces the risks of backing expensive losers, but it has its own demands and drawbacks. To achieve something approximating the industrial success of Hong Kong, a government would need to intervene initially to build up a comparable base of skills, entrepreneurship, trading know-how, and infrastructure. To enable competitive new activities to emerge without selective promotion, furthermore, the government would have to intervene over time to create new skills, technologies, and institutions. If the objective is to establish a deep and diverse industrial structure (as it should be in larger economies), such functional measures would have to be very extensive indeed. It may even be the case that dynamic industrial development with non-selective interventions would place greater demands on administrative capabilities (to mount functional interventions) rather than less. If such capabilities were lacking, the process of development may be slower or more lopsided than with a package that included careful selective interventions. In any case, it is not clear that, in the absence of selective interventions (in factor or product markets), such a country would be able to diversify into more complex, demanding industries with heavy learning costs. Certainly industrialization experience does not suggest that it would.

In the final analysis, therefore, a large role remains for government policies in promoting each of the three determinants of technological development. But

governments face information and incentive problems no less than does the private market.... Good policy requires identifying them [market failures], asking which can be directly attacked by making markets work more effectively (and in particular, reducing government imposed barriers to the effective working of markets) and which cannot. We need to identify which market failures can be ameliorated through nonmarket institutions (with perhaps the government taking an instrumental role in establishing these nonmarket institutions). We need to recognize both the limits and strengths of markets' as well as the strengths, and limits, of government interventions aimed at correcting market failures. [71, p. 202]

The experience of developing countries is replete with instances of misguided intervention. It has been suggested here that many of these failed interventions were neither economic nor truly selective. The relatively few cases of successful selective intervention that exist suggest that interventions are necessary in the presence of widespread market failures. Consequently, improved methods of intervening are worth striving for. Much depends on the competence, honesty, and political strength of the policy makers: where governments are so weak or corruptible that selective interventions inevitably lead to the "hijacking" of policy by entrenched interests, it may be better to suffer market failure than pervasive "government failure" [6]. In such cases, however, it is not evident that non-intervention would lead to industrial success. It should be feasible to strengthen the administrative capabilities and power of governments by providing better information and building in measures to safeguard sensible economic policies and to limit interventions in scope to prevent the worst abuses. But this takes us well beyond the scope of the present discussion, into the realms of political economy proper, where again fears of "government failure" may have been overdone [69].


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(introductory text...)

Ignacy Sachs

This chapter was written in 1991, before the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in June 1992.

The "environmental revolution" [69] happened in the 1960s. Ecology, hitherto a quasi-esoteric discipline belonging to the realm of sciences of life, captured the attention of the general public. It even became the scientistic, if not scientific, foundation of the Green ideology [7], combined with the discontent generated by the deterioration in the quality of life ("les dégâts du progrès") and the rebirth of a religious feeling towards Nature in reaction to a world that appeared increasingly artificial.

This time the old Malthusian spectre of exhaustion of food supplies (and, by extension, of other natural resources) as a result of the population explosion was combined with the realization that the capacity of Nature to act as a sink was also limited. According to The Limits to Growth [61], the most influential book written with this viewpoint at the request of the Club of Rome, humankind is heading towards disaster: unless it departs promptly and sharply from its present growth-oriented path, the only cruel choice left within a few decades will be between death by starvation or death by excess pollution [24, 12].

This new wave of pessimism came at a moment when technological optimism was widespread, the competition between the two major sociopolitical systems - capitalism tempered by the Welfare State and "true socialism" - seemed to be judged in terms of their capacity to sustain high economic growth, and decolonization created a hopeful mood regarding the emancipation and modernization of the newly independent countries.

How can this paradox be explained?

Ecological awareness and Green movements originated in the richest part of our planet as a reaction to the excesses of boundless optimism projected centuries ahead without any serious consideration of the natural as well as social limits to growth [45] and its ecological costs. Herman Kahn's writings, at least as popular as the reports of the Club of Rome, epitomize this attitude, and his projections covered a two-century span [50]. Berry [6] extended them over 10,000 years, dismissing the fear of exhaustion of resources by suggesting that the problem would be overcome through the colonization of other planets! Technological optimism was also an article of faith among Marxists [54, 77].

Yet, the everyday experience of people living in the industrialized regions was quite different: urbanization and the phenomenal growth of industries brought in many inconveniences: highly damaging pollution and even disasters (Minamata, Seveso, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl acted as eye-openers), unhealthy working conditions, a shortage of public housing, overcrowding of mass transportation systems, proliferation of private cars, and, above all, the inability to overcome the problems of poverty, social exclusion, and spatial segregation in spite of the unprecedented growth of GNP. Misdirected and misappropriated economic growth did not result in an improvement in the quality of life for significant segments of the industrialized societies, even though their material standards of living, measured by GNP per capita, went up.

This brings us to the interface between environment and development. We know today that the phenomenal growth of material production since the Industrial Revolution involved a predatory and so far mostly unaccounted incorporation of the capital of Nature, degrading the life-supporting systems (air, water, soils, forests). The very conditions of human life on our planet are menaced not only by the prospect of a nuclear holocaust, but also by the global warming of the atmosphere mainly due to the overuse of fossil fuels and massive destruction of forests. Furthermore, careless dumping of waste constitutes a powerful factor of environmental disruption.

On the other hand, three UN-sponsored decades of development, largely rhetorical, did little to overcome the gap between the minority of affluent countries and people, and the rest. Per capita consumption ratios in the North range from 2.9 that of the South for cereals, 5.7 for meat, 8.1 for milk, 19.9 for iron and steel, 20.3 for chemical products, 20.6 for metals, and 23.6 for cars. The per capita consumption of liquid fuels in the North is 9.8 times that in the South, and that of electricity is 13.4 times higher in the North than in the South. The respective shares in global emissions of CO2 per capita are in the region of 8:1.

Under these circumstances, it can be argued that past development, concentrated mostly in the North, has put such pressure on the carrying capacity of our planet that there is no room for newcomers. Given the resource-intensive and environmentally disruptive path followed by the industrialized countries - and that by Taiwan and Korea, often presented as a model for the third world- the planet would collapse if these models were to be extended to the rest of the world, i.e. if all the world's poor were to become rich in the sense that the affluent minority now gives to this term.

The first debate on environment and development

The landmark UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972 tried to steer a middle path between two extreme and still influential views: the narrowly economic and the unconditionally ecological.

The partisans of the "growth first" approach claimed that all the other dimensions of development either would be taken care of automatically by the "trickle down effect" of rapid growth or else could be attended to in better conditions once the country concerned had achieved a much higher per capita GNP. This approach is still present in the discussions on how to deal with "global change": on the basis of a controversial cost benefit analysis, Nordhaus [70], to quote the most extreme example, makes a plea for postponing measures aimed at reducing the "greenhouse effects" until the danger really knocks at our doors.

At the other extreme were the partisans of the zero rate of growth. Some applied this concept only to the population. Others extended it to both population and material growth, claiming that real development should concentrate on qualitative rather than quantitative aspects (for an up-to-date formulation of this argument insisting on the need to reconstruct the natural capital rather than to expand man-made capital as an investment priority, see Daly [17]). In their most extreme formulations, the partisans of an end to growth demanded the "de-industrialization" of the rich countries and the non-industrialization of the poor ones; the latter could serve in the meantime as a recreational and cultural reserve for the rest of the world [20].

The population controversy

The demographic argument played an important role in the debate in the late 1960s and early 1970s, although this argument should be qualified in at least three respects.

First, contrary to a widespread belief, curbing the numbers of "nonconsumers" will not greatly reduce the pressures on resources and the environment. This point was rightly made by Barry Commoner [13] and is today recognized even by the Ehrlichs in their most recent book [21]. The environmental impact is a function of the population, its affluence (GNP per head), and the technology employed:

environmental impact = population x affluence x technology

If we take as a proxy for affluence and technology the per capita consumption of commercial energy, "a baby born in the United States represents twice the destructive impact on Earth's ecosystems and the services they provide as one born in Sweden, three times one born in Italy, thirteen times one born in Brazil, 35 times one born in India, 140 times one in Bangladesh or Kenya, and 280 times one in Chad, Rwanda, Haiti or Nepal" [21, p. 134]).

Seen from the resource consumption angle, the population problem is essentially one of the rich people (wherever they are) and countries. Moreover, the Commoner equation clearly shows that the environmental impact may be reduced by acting on the other two variables. Thus, lifestyles, consumption patterns, and technologies in the North and in the affluent enclaves in the South should be our first concern, without underestimating the difficulty of achieving meaningful results with respect to voluntary self-limitation of the growth of material consumption on the part of the affluent minority.

Secondly, policies directed at birth control in third world countries, desirable as they may be to slow down the rate of population growth, are likely to prove deceptive if they do not come as part of a social development package, including the education of women, effective public health policies resulting in reduced infant mortality, access to subsidized, rationed, or distributed food for those who cannot afford to buy the minimum ration, and some protection in old age.

The studies of Kerala by Raj et al. [76] and of Sri Lanka by Panikhar et al. [73] documented the possibility of important social advances in very poor regions. The same conclusion can be drawn from the experience of China. More generally, it is possible to argue that developing countries need not repeat the historical sequence followed by the industrialized countries, where the welfare concern appeared at a late stage of development. The time sequence can be inverted provided that adequate human resources (paramedical personnel, primary school teachers, etc.) are trained, service delivery techniques with a high labour content are chosen, and research is directed towards modern yet inexpensive, preventive, and therapeutic techniques and practices, as shown by Unicef (for a theoretical discussion, see Sachs [81]).

By contrast, the experience of India shows that enforcing (sometimes in the literal sense of this word) birth control practices does not lead very far so long as the broader contextual conditions outlined here are not present. And while the impact of urbanization on reducing fertility cannot be denied, the attendant social costs of massive migrations of rural refugees to urban shanty towns are very high indeed [38].

Thirdly, the spatial maldistribution of the world population poses at least as serious a problem as the rates of demographic growth. This observation applies equally to rural and urban areas. Some rural regions have a population that clearly exceeds their carrying capacity. Others, on the contrary, do not have the minimum density required for meaningful social health and educational policies. Less than half the world's rural population have access to basic health care. Half the rural women over 15 years old are illiterate. In most developing countries, those who live in the countryside typically earn 25 to 50 per cent less than those in the towns. Three-quarters of the poor people in the South live in ecologically fragile zones. In order to survive, they overexploit the natural resources to which they have only a very limited access. The number of environmental refugees is estimated at 14 million people.

The situation is particularly dramatic in sub-Saharan Africa. Mortality of children under five still stands at 178 deaths for every 1,000 live births. Almost two-thirds of the population lack safe water, 18 million suffer from sleeping sickness, and malaria kills hundreds of thousands of children each year [103].

The most dramatic social and environmental challenge in terms of quality of life for billions of people is, however, the urban explosion. The third world cities continue to expand as a result of the massive rural exodus. They are attractive as "lotteries of life," allowing upward mobility for the lucky few or, perhaps, their children, and they are also places where things still happen ("bread and circuses," but also schools, hospitals, and jobs for some). According to UN estimates, the urban population in the South will grow from I to 2 billion between 1980 and the year 2000 and double again in 25 years to reach 4 billion inhabitants in 2025. How many among them will be condemned to live in shanty towns, enduring the double plight of pollution by poverty and of pollution generated by other peoples' affluence, which they may help produce while sharing very little of its bounties? According to Hardoy et al. [42], 600 million urban residents are exposed to serious health risks on account of deficient water supply, sanitation, drainage, and removal of household waste.

Without being equally dramatic, the situation in many cities of the North and certainly of eastern Europe - is far from satisfactory from both the social and environmental viewpoints. Urban infrastructures have grown obsolete. Huge investments are required to modernize and expand them, or even for straightforward repair. Pockets of destitution remain. Social exclusion and spatial segregation have not been overcome. In several American cities, urban centres abandoned by affluent people have been transformed into socially and economically distressed ghettos inhabited by social minorities. Social exclusion is increasingly present in European towns, resulting in racial, religious, and ethnic conflicts.

Therefore, there is the need to put very high on the environmental agenda the issues of the habitability of urban agglomerations, of new rural-urban configurations, and, also, of organized migrations from areas whose density of population clearly exceeds their carrying capacity to places that can still absorb the incomers. The first two of these have an important science and technology component, while the third is eminently political and ethical since it presupposes a willingness to receive alien people on one's territory. It cannot be cast in objective terms. This is all the more so in that the evaluation of the carrying capacity is already a subjective and highly controversial matter. In a study prepared for the Canadian Conserver Society, Goldsmith [33] claimed that Canada is already overpopulated! By contrast, pleading for "more immigrants, please" so as to reach a population of 40 million, his critics argued that if the 10 per cent of Canada's territory that is habitable were as densely populated as the Netherlands, Canada would have over 400 million people!

While the concept of carrying capacity is useful in so far as it reminds us of the existence of outer limits, it cannot be quantified once for all, as both the pattern of demand for goods produced and the technological capability to produce more while destroying less are likely to change over time. Tricart and Killian [1023 have used the same argument to question the concept of "agricultural vocation" of different soils widely used in cartography. The only objective approach is to list the physical constraints that new technologies may or may not overcome.

The harmonization game

The middle path suggested by the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972 consisted in reaffirming the need for further growth with equity while incorporating explicitly a concern for the environment as a dimension of development conceived as a positive-sum game with Nature. Hence the challenge of applying simultaneously to development thinking the following three criteria:

- equity in the formulation of social goals of development, as an ethical imperative expressing the synchronic solidarity with all the present travellers on the Spaceship Earth;

- ecological prudence as an ethical postulate of solidarity with the future travellers and, also, as a means to improve the present-day quality of life;

- economic efficiency instrumental in making good use of the manpower and material resources from the macrosocial point of view, i.e. by taking into consideration the hitherto externalized social and ecological costs.

As this last criterion does not necessarily coincide with the microeconomic profitability at the enterprise level, it follows that ecodevelopment strategies - a shorthand for socially equitable, environmentally viable, and economically efficient strategies [82, 83] cannot be implemented in a pure market economy. They call for a set of regulations on behalf of the state within the broad framework of "mixed economies." Tinbergen and Hueting [100] rightly point out that market prices send wrong signals for sustainable economic success that mask environmental destruction. "If collective side-effects (externalities) are substantial and important, the classical doctrine of the blessings of free trade simply becomes irrelevant as a guideline for economic policy" [39].

Neoliberals interpret the collapse of the command economies in eastern Europe as a proof a contrario of the excellence of the unrestricted free-market model. However, when government fails, will the market do better? Barry Lester's well-argued reply [55] to this question shows that it need not be so, even in terms of productive efficiency, not to mention that the free marketeers relegate equity considerations to second place in the development paradigm [43], while equity and efficiency should be considered as complementary, not conflicting, goals [98]. Toye [101] is right when he postulates a case by case pragmatic analysis that is more costly, to decide whether failure should be blamed on the state or the market.

The variables of the harmonization game are situated at both the demand and supply levels, as well as in the location of productive activities.

DEMAND. The most decisive variable here, but at the same time politically the most difficult to manage, is the consumption pattern reflecting the development style. Resource saving through demand management implies one of the following solutions:

- resource saving through greater discipline on the part of consumers, retrofitting of the existing housing stock to improve its energy efficiency, time scheduling of activities to reduce peak hours, and, above all, better organization of the production and distribution cycle In so far as resources saved in this way and through better maintenance of equipment and infrastructures may be considered as a "development reserve" [84], they constitute an important source of "non-investment growth" [51];

- a reduction in the consumption standards as postulated by the advocates of "voluntary simplicity" and self-restraint [48];

- acceptance of more or less far-reaching substitutions between material and non-material consumption: fewer goods and more services or, in a more radical version, less time spent in market-oriented economic activities and more time allocated to noneconomic activities and/or small-scale environmentally benign material production for self-consumption [46, 36, 84];

- shift from individual cars to mass transportation systems or bicycles or else new kinds of environmentally benign vehicles such as small electric cars;

- reduce the demand for intra-urban transportation by redesigning the cities (instead of traditional zoning, put housing, work, trade, and leisure within walking distance);

- reduce the demand for long distance transportation by better integrating local, regional, and national economies, greater selectivity in external trade (without falling into the autarky trap), and, in so far as it is feasible, substituting communication for professional (but not tourist) travel.

While the main obstacles will lie, as already mentioned, in the political sphere, much will depend also on the availability of attractive technical solutions, but not "technical fixes" isolated from the cultural, ethical, institutional, and political contexts.

SUPPLY It is here, at the intersection between Nature and society, that technology plays a leading role. Nature provides energy, space, and resources, i.e. those elements of the natural environment that, thanks to the knowledge accumulated, can be transformed into some ´'use value" deemed as such by the society. The concept of "resource" is therefore essentially cultural and historical.

Society sets the values and the societal goals, builds the institutions, and produces the knowledge - both traditional and scientific (techne and episteme) - used to design the goods corresponding to societal needs and aspirations, to identify the resources, to invent the product and process technologies and the necessary equipment. It also supplies the workforce.

The production process combines in a given site resources and energy with work and previously produced equipment to generate a flow of "goods" that go to the market (or reach the consumer through other institutional mechanisms) and of "bads" that are dumped back in Nature, this time acting as a sink.

It immediately follows from this schematic description that technology constitutes potentially a privileged locus to harmonize the three concerns of social equity, ecological prudence, and economic efficiency. This can be achieved by a variety of means:

- Promoting energy and resource saving through product and process design, as well as upgrading the environmentally sound traditional techniques.

- Finding novel ways of using the specific resources of each ecosystem, with special emphasis on renewable resources, while recognizing that the conditions of their renewability must be respected; a forest that is felled without ensuring its regeneration or replanting is a mine of timber, not a renewable resource. Furthermore, assessing the value of biological resources cannot be restricted to the value of products that are commercially harvested ("productive use value") or collected for self-consumption ("consumption use value"). It also calls for considering the indirect values of ecosystem functions, such as watershed protection, regulation of climate, and production of soil ("non-consumptive use value"), the intangible values of keeping the options for future by preserving the biodiversity ("existence and option values") [59].

- Minimizing the "bads" by resorting to low-waste technologies.

- Recycling and reusing non-renewable resources (aluminium becomes a renewable resource in so far as it can be reused several times).

- Using the natural ecosystem as a paradigm for man-made production systems; taking a horizontal view of development in order to explore the potential complementarities and synergies, in sharp contrast with the prevailing compartmentalization and narrow specialization; closing whenever possible the loops, using the waste from one production module as an input in the next module of the system, as illustrated by the traditional Chinese dyke-pond systems [78] and all other integrated food-energy production systems, with different levels of technical sophistication [87].

By contrast, "careless" technologies prove environmentally disruptive and socially costly. It is only natural that left to itself an enterprise tends to externalize its ecological and social costs in order to maximize the internalized profits, up to the point when the environmental disruption or the social discontent become a hindrance. But this stage is reached only after having done considerable and often irreversible damage, locally and globally. The anthropogenic modifications of the biosphere have reached a worrying scale. Ruffolo [79] suggestively contrasts the increasing might (potenza) of our technologies with our utterly deficient political power (potere) to control them (see also ref. 49).

LOCATION OF PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES. This is the third strategic variable of the harmonization game. The environmental impact of productive activities will greatly depend on the climatic and topographic features of the site and the density and nature of the human activities in the proximity. The ecodevelopment approach calls for ecosystem-specific, culture-specific, and site-specific solutions. In the last instance, global problems can be solved only through a coordinated set of local solutions. The future does not belong, however, to an archipelago of self-contained local development units. Institutional arrangements are called for to better articulate the local, national, and transnational spaces of development, tilting the balance in favour of bottom-up approaches to overcome the inherited bias towards centralization and the cities.

It is important to emphasize that, far from being an attempt to return to ancestral practices, respectful of Nature by necessity in order to survive but situated at a very low level of productivity, the approach that emerged from the UN Stockholm Conference sought a modern development in harmony with Nature, recreating the old peasant rationality at a completely different level of the spiral of knowledge. It suggested searching for knowledge-intensive, energy and resource-saving, environmentally sound and socially responsive development paths. The utilization of local knowledge is of enormous importance in this endeavour, the task being to extract from it the original ideas it might contain and to study them by applying the resources of modern science. According to Amilcar Herrera, "the most important local contribution would probably be, more than in concrete specific technologies, in new approaches to the solution of old problems, that might stimulate scientific research into hitherto unexplored directions" [44, p. 28].

Slow progress towards ecologically and environmentally friendly development

Twenty years separate the UN Stockholm Conference from the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Yet, compared with the expectations raised, little progress was achieved during these two decades in terms of international action directed at a more rational management of the biosphere. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the body that emerged from the Stockholm meeting, never had the resources commensurate with the immensity of the task entrusted to it.

Lack of progress in international environmental cooperation prompted the United Nations to set up a high level environment and development commission presided by Ms. Brundtland, prime minister of Norway. Its report, Our Common Future [104], did not add much to what was known on the subject, but it had the merit of giving a new impetus to the political discussion on the urgency to promote what is now called "sustainable development." However, the institutional breakthrough at the international level - the Montreal Convention on the protection of the ozone layer - was essentially due to the fears motivated by the adverse effects of human activities on the world's climate, about which scientists produced new evidence.

By contrast, greater progress was achieved in the institutionalization of environmental concern at the national level. Practically all countries now have ministries of the environment. Several promulgated advanced laws. The Brazilian constitution (1988) has an excellent chapter on the environment; Peru has consolidated the legislation on environmental protection and management in an extensive code. Of course, the problem of enforcement of such laws remains. Institutional creativity may even serve as a screen to disguise lack of will to change the status quo. But at least a framework has been built to start action when the political conditions are favourable.

Conceptually, some progress has been made. We shall review it under four headings: the analytical tool-box, the debate on sustainability, the emergence of a new paradigm in ecology, and global change.

The planners' and managers' tool-box

By analogy with technology assessment, a comprehensive environmental impact assessment has been instituted and is today required by law in several countries for projects such as big dams, river diversion, mines, large industrial complexes, siting of potentially dangerous factories (chemicals, nuclear facilities, etc.).

In practice, such exercises are often performed in ways that do not guarantee effective protection to the populations or to the long-term interests of the country. This happens in particular where the investor is supposed to produce the environmental impact statement, but no adequate mechanisms have been set up to control it effectively. While citizen associations are formally consulted, they do not have access to the necessary expertise to analyse in depth the investor's proposals.

Another difficulty arises as regards negotiating compensation for the populations affected or even displaced. The common practice of paying individual compensation lends itself to many abuses. On the other hand, finding meaningful collective solutions proves much more difficult. The imbalance of power between the actors interested in carrying out the project and the defenceless populations is often dramatic. It is not by refining the analytical tools but by perfecting the negotiating and contractual process and by offering adequate institutional protection to the weaker party (advocacy planning) that progress may be achieved [64].

In spite of these shortcomings, the environmental impact statements constitute already an antidote against spatial interventionism and the radical proposals to transform Nature that emerged after the Second World War both in the USSR (diverting southward the flow of Siberian rivers) and in the United States (an artificial sea in the Amazon region proposed by the Hudson Institute).

The growing interest in the environment coincided with the decline of planning and the rise of neoliberal economics. Under these circumstances, considerable effort was displayed to find ways of including the environmental (but strangely enough not the social) externalities within the conventional economic calculus. A new discipline emerged under the name of "ecological economics" [14]. While the journal published under this name contains many interesting contributions, ecological economics is flawed by the underlying assumption that ultimately the decision-making must rest on the economic calculus.

A radical criticism of ecological economics leads, however, to the uncomfortable (but alas lucid) position that planning and decision-making are an art, not a science [37].

In policy terms, the attempt to internalize the environmental costs led to the formulation of the "polluter pays" principle elaborated in great detail by the OECD [71]. Although applicable and practical within certain limits, this principle has several limitations.

What should the polluter pay for: The right to continue to pollute? A compensation to the victims of pollution? The cost of shifting to clean technologies? Should he choose the solution that costs least? Does it make sense to establish a market to trade emission rights locally or even at a global scale? The latter solution, carried to its extreme, might for instance lead a polluting industry in the North to buy large estates in a tropical country in order to stop the methane-releasing paddy production there, the social cost of the operation being left outside the calculation!

Another set of questions concerns the polluter's ability to pass on the cost to the consumer, which depends on the imperfections of the market. Much of the theory underlying the "polluter pays" principle assumes a perfect market, which very rarely exists. Paradoxically, mainstream economists have tended to argue that the environment can be successfully managed within a pure market economy, although the evidence does not bear this out.

Another area in which considerable work has been done is that of "environmental accounting. " Two contrasting positions have emerged. One postulates drawing up "accounts" using an array of physical indicators to reflect the changes occurring in the "natural capital": depletion of nonrenewable resources, soil erosion, deforestation, etc. This kind of accounting should provide a safeguard against predatory methods of resource use. The other maintains that the depletion of the "natural capital" could be evaluated in monetary terms and therefore could be subtracted from the GNP (for a more general discussion see Ahmad et al. [2]). This, however, leaves aside the non-tangible and non-monetary use, existence, and opportunity values put forward by the conservationists [59].

The debate on "sustainability" and the technology issue

The term "sustainable development" suffers from an ambiguity: Is sustainability to be understood merely in ecological terms? Does it refer to all the facets of development: ethical, social, economic, etc.? How does it relate to economic growth?

As far as philosophies are concerned, the two camps mentioned at the beginning of this chapter maintain their positions: the "Malthusians" sharply attacked the Brundtland Report for its adoption of the goal of sustainable growth, which, in their view, is an oxymoron [17], while the other continues to put much faith in technological progress.

Whether unlimited growth (as distinct from purely qualitative development) is possible depends on the precise meaning given to the two terms. Extensive growth, using more material resources and producing more waste, i.e. increasing the "material throughput," cannot be envisaged. But intensive growth, meaning by this producing more for the same quantity of inputs and releasing less waste per unit of output, is not at all incompatible with the existing ecological constraints. This is what the partisans of "another kind of growth" have in mind. They add yet another clause: growth should be not only environmentally sustainable but socially meaningful, i.e. directed to meeting goals set by people and not through marketing [15, 105]. Presumably, the concept of qualitative development includes the intensive growth as defined above.

While the policy conclusions of the "Malthusians" are open to discussion, their reconceptualization of the field of economics is of great importance. The pioneering work of Georgescu-Roegen [28] was instrumental in reintroducing into the realm of economics the physical processes underlying production, a dimension practically ignored by all the economic schools after the physiocrats. This paradigmatic breakthrough was followed by a careful elaboration of the process of production as a throughput of energy and resources and the explicit introduction of the "natural capital" in the production functions [17].

Much effort was devoted to both the conceptual discussion and practical work on "environmentally friendly technologies." They cover a wide spectrum ranging from small-scale "soft technologies" and upgrading of traditional know-how to major efforts to produce large-scale modern low-waste technologies, as well as anti-pollution equipment.

Special reference should be made to the discussion of agricultural techniques. Can we really speak of sustainable agriculture when it requires growing inputs of fertilizers and pesticides? The concept of "regenerative agriculture" pioneered by Robert Rodale tries to promote agricultural practices that are capable of regenerating the soils without massive additions of industrial inputs. It does not, however, go as far as the "organic agriculture," whose advocates often have an extremely restrictive vision of what is "natural" and, therefore, acceptable.

Lately, as a result of the investigation by a committee chaired by John Pesek, the broad concept of "alternative agriculture" has been recognized by the National Research Council of the United States [67]. Alternative agriculture is defined as any system of food and fibre production that systematically pursues the following goals:

- more thorough incorporation of natural processes such as nutrient cycles, nitrogen fixation, and pest-predator relationships into the agricultural production process;

- reduction in the use of off-farm inputs with the greatest potential to harm the environment or the health of farmers and consumers;

- greater productive use of the biological and genetic potential of plant and animal species;

- improvement of the match between cropping patterns and the productive potential and physical limitations of agricultural lands to ensure long-term sustainability of current production levels;

- profitable and efficient production, with emphasis on improved farm management and conservation of soil, water, energy, and biological resources (see also Dahlberg [16]).

The different schools of thought participating in the debate differ about the scope for applying "soft technologies," sometimes narrowly interpreted as a subset of "intermediate technologies," as well as with respect to the relative importance of low-waste and depolluting technologies. The latter subject involves the question of how much effort should go into preventive actions instead of continuing business as usual - that is, producing "goods" and "bads" and then increasing the national wealth by additional production of equipment to suppress or mitigate the "bads"!

In so far as the spatial concentration of production is a major source of environmental disruption, the opportunities created by flexible specialization, modern small-scale production, and decentralized industrialization are bound to become an important locus of harmonization of economic efficiency and ecological prudence. A thorough revision of the concepts of economies of scale and concentration inherited from the previous stage of industrialization are called for in the light of the recent trends in technical progress (micro-electronics, computers, communication, flexible specialization) [75, 4, 47].

Since instant retooling of the productive apparatus was naturally impossible, the management of technological pluralism [88] and "blending of technologies" became a major policy concern.

Another policy variable is the durability of products. One has to balance the resource-conserving aspects of longer life cycles of products against the need to ensure a reasonable rate of technical change [10, 29]. Developing countries cannot cope with the present trend towards accelerated obsolescence (a perverted form of the Schumpeterian "creative destructiveness"). On the other hand, they must introduce selectively up-to-date technologies in order to achieve competitiveness on international markets. At any rate, better maintenance of infrastructures and equipment offers an excellent opportunity to create jobs financed through the resource saving thus achieved [85]. Discarding the throw-away society is a common objective for the North and the South [109].

To conclude, it is necessary to emphasize once more the ambiguity of the concept of sustainability. Addressing himself to the roots of the problem, Rajni Kothari writes:

In the absence of an ethical imperative, environmentalism has been reduced to a technological fix? and as with all technological fixes, solutions are seen to lie once more in the hands of manager technocrats. Economic growth, propelled by intensive technology and fuelled by an excessive exploitation of nature, was once viewed as a major factor in environmental degradation; it has suddenly been given the central role in solving the environmental crisis. The market economy is given an even more significant role in organizing nature and society. The environmentalist label and the sustainability slogan have become deceptive jargons that are used as convenient covers for conducting business as usual. [53]

Against this rhetoric, Kothari suggests a different meaning of sustainability rooted in ethics and going hand in hand with the search for an alternative mode of development. The essence of his thinking is that a conflict exists between two meanings of "sustainable development": sustainability as a narrow economic ideal referring to maintaining privileges and compromising the future and Nature for the benefit of a minority, as opposed to the ethical ideal of sustainability of life on Earth.

He identifies four primary criteria for sustainable development: a holistic view of development; equity based on the autonomy and self-reliance of diverse entities instead of a structure of dependence founded on aid and transfer of technology with a view to "catching up"; an emphasis on participation; and an accent on the importance of local conditions and the value of diversity. "Our common future cannot lie in an affluence is ecologically suicidal, and socially and economically exclusive. It can, and must, lie in a curtailment of wants," as Gandhi constantly reminded his countrymen and others.

It would be utopian to believe that these views would be easily accepted by the affluent minority living in the North and the Northern enclaves in the South. It reflects a fundamental difference of opinion between the North and the South.

A new ecology

The rate of progress in integrating the environmental dimension into the social sciences of development in general and economics in particular has been disappointing. Mainstream economic thought resists the change of paradigm that would deprive the "dismal science" more than ever of its presence of being a hard science. The mechanistic models of growth and the theories of equilibrium are still strongly entrenched. The neoliberal wave is distancing the state at a moment when environmental concern should, on the contrary, lead to a redefinition of the roles of the state, of the markets, and of civil society, seeking their synergy in the management of both the biosphere and society.

Will ecology succeed better in modifying its fundamental underlying paradigm? A pioneering book by Botkin [7] undermines the notion that Nature undisturbed is constant and stable, a myth that led to many catastrophic mistakes in the management of resources. Instead of a balance of Nature, we are in the presence of discordant harmonies created by simultaneous movements of many tones, a combination of processes flowing at the same time and along various scales. The result is "not a simple melody but a symphony at sometimes harsh and at sometimes pleasing" (p. 25). The ecologists borrowed the physical concept of stability from mechanics and accepted the Lotka-Volterra equations on the basis of authority. "Although environmentalism seemed to be a radical movement, the ideas on which it was based represented a resurgence of pre-scientific myths about nature blended with early-twentieth-century studies that provided short-term and static images of nature undisturbed" (pp. 42-43).

The new paradigm proposed by Botkin insists on the great mutual influence of life and environment at a global level. Together they form a planetary-scale system - the biosphere - that sustains and contains life. The total mass of living things is a tiny fraction of the mass of the Earth; if mixed, the concentration of living things would be two-tenths of one part in one billion. Yet, even the geologists are beginning to view life as an integrated part of geological processes.

At the global level, three schools of thought exist about the balance of Nature.

- The first views the biosphere as being in a steady state, extrapolating the nineteenth-century theories of the equilibrium of undisturbed Nature at the local level, related to the metaphor of divine order.

- The second describes the biosphere as a self-regulating entity in which life acts as the Earth's thermostat, a mix or a blend of Nature/machine with organic metaphors; this is the so-called "Gala hypothesis" [56].

- The third, to which Botkin belongs, rejects the description of the Earth as a mystical organism, proposing a new perspective that blends the older organic metaphor with the new technological metaphor and insists on perpetual change in the biosphere.

This reinterpretation of ecology as natural history is couched in coevolutionary terms between the four dynamic parts of the biosphere rocks, oceans, air, and life - each with its own ranges of movements and rates of change. "Biological evolution has led to global changes in the environment which, in turn, have led to new opportunities for biological evolution. In this way, a long-term process of change has occurred throughout history of life on the Earth, which is an unfolding, one-way story" [7, p. 148]. Thus, the production of a "biospheric biography" is in order.

This theoretical perspective has far-reaching practical consequences. We must learn to manage the biosphere and the Earth's resources in terms of uncertainty, change, risk, and complexity. Botkin's conclusions point in the same direction as the recent theories of complexity and chaos [65, 31]. They should not be interpreted, however, as a renunciation of scientific analysis and engineering action. "We can engineer nature at nature's rates and in nature's ways: we must be wary when we engineer nature at an unnatural rate and in novel ways" [7, p. 190].

The response to the man-made problems for the environment should not consist in giving up modern technology or in clinging to the belief that everything natural is desirable and good. Botkin concludes: "having altered nature with our technology, we must depend on technology to see us through to solutions" (p.191). Happily, he qualifies this statement by saying that we must learn how to live with the discordant harmonies of the biosphere so that they function not only to promote the continuation of life but also to benefit our esthetics, morality, philosophies, and natural needs.

Global change

Already in the early 1970s, it was clear that for the first time in history, human intervention was reaching a scale capable of producing significant and irreversible modifications to the working of the biosphere. That evidence transformed itself into an alarm as advances in climatic research confirmed the potentially deleterious consequences of the "greenhouse effect," anticipated a century ago by Svente Arrhenius.

When will the catastrophe occur, for which several more or less plausible scenarios are explored by the media? Which countries will be the most affected? Are all the foreseeable climatic changes negative? Opinions about these questions differ, and none of the existing climatic models can reliably predict the pace and rate of climatic changes [52]. Yet, the presumptions have proved sufficiently strong to mobilize the international community for the first time to undertake preventive action on a significant scale.

Conferences of scientists and politicians succeed each other at an accelerating pace. Important legal precedents have been set. On the one hand, the international community has recognized the need to jointly manage a significant portion of the "international commons" the atmosphere. On the other, it has agreed to phase out the production of some products releasing greenhouse gases (CFCs) and to enshrine this decision in the international convention on the protection of the ozone layer. Negotiations about global conventions on climate, forests, and biodiversity are under way.

But these initial successes should not be overestimated. Fundamental differences remain between the North and the South about the hierarchy of problems. Is global change to be put above the immediate needs of survival of the poor majority of Spaceship Earth's passengers? Is the recognition of the globality of a problem to be interpreted as a pointer for equal treatment of all the countries whatever their degree of development? How should the costs of adaptation be apportioned? Gallopin, Gutman, and Winograd [27] point out that the recommendations addressed to the South to restrain future energy consumption "sound like a fat man coming out from a fine restaurant and advising a beggar to fast because that is what he is thinking to do after indulging in such a good meal."

The methodology used to estimate the net emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as the data used, have proved highly controversial. The Indian environmentalist Anil Agarwal [1] challenged outright the work of the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington [108], which had calculated net emissions of gases by assuming that the same proportion could be applied to all countries to take account of Nature's capacity for the sequestration of gases, and then subtracting the result from gross emissions. Agarwal considers that the "emission rights" due to the natural capacity for self-purification should also be equally distributed among all the inhabitants of the planet. This point is well taken, and it completely upsets the calculations of the WRI, which underestimate the relative share of the industrialized countries in the global warming of the atmosphere.

An even stronger ethical point has been raised by Agarwal. Pollution arising from the need to survive and pollution arising from affluence cannot be treated on an equal footing. Are we going to reduce the livestock population in India or reduce the paddy fields throughout Asia just because cows and paddy fields release a lot of methane? Or should we instead concentrate first on reducing the consumption of fossil fuels by the hundreds of millions of cars that circulate in Northern cities and highways?

As for the primary data, Brazilian scientists and authorities have challenged the WRI's estimates of deforestation in the Amazon region. The figures quoted by the two sides vary by a factor from one to four.

Instead of summarizing the conflicting views about the imminence and the extension of the likely damage produced by global warming, I shall turn to some underlying epistemological and policy questions [52].

A distinction must be made between the realm of "scientific questions" raised by global warming and that of "societal questions.'' The latter should be evaluated by citizens, not by scientists. As far as the former are concerned, in the forecasting of the climate's future, the concept of "the average" may be misleading; often what matters more are the extremes. Meteorology deals with movements and transportation of energy and water in the atmosphere. Hundreds of thousands of atmospheric "cells" must be taken into account, each one subject to the laws of gravity and of fluid mechanics, and each having many interactions with one another. Modelling this complexity poses very serious problems, and efforts so far leave many uncertainties. "Bold forecasts assisted nowadays by numerical modelling using supercomputers are nevertheless fragile and may even lead to error if one does not consider very carefully the different time-scales which intervene in the processes under study, as well as the degree of confidence that can be attributed to the modelling of different processes" [52, p. 72]. Significantly, Kandel shares Botkin's opinion about the myth of natural equilibria. He uses the concept of dynamic equilibria, which takes into account the evolution of the biosphere.

Even more important than the problems raised by Kandel, scenarios of the consequences of global warming depend on three levels of modelling:

- an economic and industrial model that predicts future rates of emission in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide, methane, and CFCs;

- a bio-geo-chemical model to predict the evolution of the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere, taking into account the rates of emission and the exchange processes between the atmosphere, the oceans, soils, and the biosphere;

- a climatic model to predict how the climate, with its atmospheric and marine components, will change.

Another difficult question concerns feedbacks. The increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, analysed mainly in terms of its impact on global warming, at the same time encourages the growth of vegetation. If properly used, the increased biomass production may be a good, not a bad. The ability to put this biomass to good use depends on another feedback: that of human intelligence [52, p. 77].

The real question is to know whether we really want to steer our planet. If we can really know what the consequences will be of this or that policy, if we can really change the policy on the basis of this knowledge, we can - of course within the limits fixed by the laws of nature - choose our destiny. The scientific knowledge and the political mechanism which can save us from an undesirable climatic change are the same as will allow us deliberately to modify the climate. The future of the climate would in this way be inextricably linked to the future of humankind." [52, pp. 122-123]

Signposts for the future

The conflicting positions are clear by now, and little will be gained at this stage by pursuing the conceptual discussion of sustainable development. Priority should be given instead to designing transition strategies towards the virtuous green path, taking into consideration the diverse configurations in the North and in the South [86]. How do we get there? At what economic cost (or gain)? When?

Such strategies must allow several decades to develop non-linear trajectories with changing priorities over time, to produce a new generation of environmentally friendly technologies, and progressively retool the productive system. A 40-year period seems reasonable.

Given the gap that separates the North and the South in terms of wealth, technical capability, lifestyles, and compelling social problems, globality should not be used as a pretext to impose a unique strategy and equal obligations on both groups of countries. Quite the contrary: each country must find the ecosystem, cultural, and site-specific responses to global problems (thinking globally, acting locally). The main burden of the transition must be assumed by the North. The richer and more advanced scientifically and technically a country, the greater its flexibility- all the more so in that many aspects of the transition may yet prove to be less costly in financial and social terms than maintaining business as usual.

Science and technology appear as a major, but by no means unique, variable capable of speeding up or delaying the transition. If properly handled, the transition towards the virtuous green path offers many opportunities for innovative use of resources. Since it is impossible to review them all, I shall concentrate on four examples chosen because of their importance for a meaningful transition strategy and their implications for science and technology.

A one Kw per capita society

A low-energy profile in the North but also in the South, in particular a sharp reduction of fossil energy consumption, is probably the single most important objective. As Amory Lovins aptly remarked in his pioneering book Soft Energy Paths [57], people do not want electricity or oil but comfortable rooms, light, vehicular motion, food, and other real things.

In their important study on Energy for a Sustainable World, Goldemberg et al. [32] argue that the systematic introduction of already known efficient techniques of end-use of energy would bring about a considerable decrease of per capita energy consumption in industrialized countries and, at the same time, make it possible to reach the present standards of Western comfort in the South with a very small increase of per capita consumption of energy: one Kw per capita will prove sufficient. In their scenario for the years 1980-2020, they predict a doubling of GNP with a 50 per cent cut in per capita energy use in the developed countries (from 6.8 to 3.5 toe). As for the developing countries, their per capita energy consumption would increase from 1.1 to 1.4 toe. Overall world consumption of energy throughout the 40 years would grow by only 9 per cent. We can speak of a zero rate of energy growth.

The authors do not, however, consider the possible gains from modifying the pattern of demand, a subject already discussed in this chapter that does not lend itself easily to quantitative estimates but nevertheless deserves careful consideration.

Opinions vary about the future of the replacement of fossil fuels by non-conventional energies. A recent monograph of the Worldwatch Institute presents a very optimistic outlook for them, based on the anticipation of a sharp reduction in the costs of wind, photovoltaic, and solar thermal electricity [23]. According to their scenario for 2030, world energy use will increase from 9,300 Mtoe in 1981 to 10,490 Mtoe in 2030. The use of oil will be cut by half, from 3,098 to 1,500 Mtoe, that of coal by a factor of nine (from 2,231 to 240 Mtoe). Natural gas remains stationary (1,707 and 1,750 Mtoe). Nuclear energy (now representing 451 Mtoe) is phased out, while renewables jump from 1,813 to 7,000 Mtoe. The total emission of carbon would in this way be more than halved, from 5,764 to 2,590 Mtoe.

Other studies are much less optimistic, but all of them tend to agree that, where there is the political will, affordable technologies to reduce carbon emissions are now available. A 1991 OTA study considers that the United States can decrease its emission of carbon dioxide by 35 per cent below 1987 levels within the next 25 years. In the short term, most actions for decreasing emissions would focus on reducing total energy demand. These actions might include implementation of performance standards, tax incentive programmes, low-cost loans, carbon-emission or energy taxes, labelling and efficiency ratings, energy audits and research, development and demonstration activities.

According to figures produced by the Worldwatch Institute [8], improving energy efficiency has a cost of 2 to 4 cents/Kwh with a carbon reduction of 100 per cent, an estimated pollution cost of zero cents/Kwh, and a carbon avoidance cost (compared with existing coal-fired power plants) of $0-$16/ton. All other alternatives to fossil fuels have much higher carbon avoidance costs.

What place should be reserved for biomass energy? The largest experiment yet carried out is the controversial Brazilian "Pro-alcool" programme, which launched massive production of sugar-cane ethanol, used first as an additive to petrol (22 parts per 100) without any modification of the car engines, then as the only fuel for specially adapted cars. There are now several million such alcohol-powered cars in Brazil. In spite of gloomy predictions made by major car manufacturers, technically the experiment runs smoothly.

The drawback of Pro-alcool is its poor economic results. It was introduced as a crash programme reminiscent of wartime measures, and the objective was achieved without much regard to the cost; the state paid out lavish subsidies under pressure from the sugar-cane lobby. Arguably, too, it would have been wiser to restrict the alcohol-powered vehicles to city-based service fleets of vans, taxis, etc., rather than to distribute the new fuel all over the country.

Attacked by the oil lobby, Pro-alcool seemed condemned at the time of the Gulf war, but it has since been revived with an emphasis on cogeneration of electricity. In fact, Pro-alcool could become a more economic proposition if it concentrated on sugar cane, which at present is poorly utilized; it could, for example, fuel the distilleries. Energy and financial savings at the field level could be achieved through biological pest control and replacing fertilizers by direct nitrogen fixation. Brazil is at the forefront of the research in this area [18]. Considerable progress could also be achieved by improving the fermentation processes and broadening the range of uses of the many byproducts. For example, bagasse is a good animal feed (some alcohol refineries maintain large herds of cattle), and they can be also transformed into cardboard or paper or formed into briquettes. It can also be used for the cogeneration of heat for the refinery and of electrical energy. Thus, from a single-purpose production process we move into an integrated sugar-cane-based agro-industrial system, closing the loops whenever possible and adding new production modules. The overall economic efficiency of such a system is much greater than that of the sum of single-purpose productions. Furthermore, sugar cane agro-industrial systems need not be managed as one large unit: it is possible to design socially responsive systems based on cooperatives and clusters of small-scale industries.

Another way of improving the efficiency of alcohol use in Brazil would be by spreading smaller production units (mini-distilleries or even micro-distilleries) throughout the country, working for local purposes and thus reducing the prohibitive distribution costs.

Of course, other big-fuels may also be envisaged. A vegetable-oil-based additive to diesel would solve many of Brazil's problems. In this area, Europe is more active than Brazil. European regions are involved in several biomass fuel experiments with the support of the EEC. The first pilot factory producing a diesel additive from rape-oil is being built in France. Sweden is more ambitious: the Committee for Research on Natural Resources proposes that extensive efforts be made to build up a competitive phytochemical industry by the year 2000, mainly based on forest raw materials and working through decentralized small-scale production units [58].

Hall [40] has demonstrated that even burning wood instead of fossil fuels makes sense in terms of slowing down global warming. Contrary to a superficial view shared by many Greens, one should use as much forest biomass as possible on three conditions: burning should not be used as a way of clearing the ground; the forest biomass should be used only where it can be regenerated or replanted; preference should be given to lasting uses of biomass (wood transformed into houses or furniture becomes a sink of carbon).

The prospects for large-scale biomass-energy production is particularly attractive for countries with large areas of suitable soils and favourable climatic conditions, such as Brazil or Argentina. In countries with an unfavourable land-man ratio, such as China or India, biomass fuel is also a priority, although the emphasis shifts to the use of agricultural, animal, and human waste. The long and not always successful take-off of biogas in the latter two countries should not divert them from redesigning more efficient biogas programmes.

A modern plant (biomass) civilization for the tropical countries

Bio-energy is only one among many products that can be derived from biomass. Following Jyoti Parikh [74], one can speak of a "5-F model" for alternative uses of biomass: as fuel, fertilizer, food, animal feed, and industrial feedstock. The phrase "civilization du végétal" was coined by Pierre Gourou to describe the traditional civilizations of the Far East: in the Chinese cultural area, for example, bamboo has multiple uses.

With the recent progress of biotechnologies, we can speak now of not only the possibility but the extreme urgency to build a new form of civilization based on the sustainable use of renewable resources [99], at least in the tropical countries, whose climate and ecological conditions are favourable to a high primary productivity of biomass grown on fields, in forests, and in water. Swaminathan's injunction recalls Gilberto Freire's pioneering effort in setting up a permanent seminar on tropicology in Recife. In this way, tropicalization of science and technology has at least been put on the agenda.

Biotechnology has a double potential function: to increase the productivity of biomass and to open up the range of food, energy, and industrial products derived from biomass. Up to now, little progress has been achieved as far as the latter application is concerned, but prospects seem bright.

The main obstacle resides in the lack of access of developing countries in general, and of small rural producers in particular, to the biotechniques necessary for this second "green revolution." On this point, the situation has worsened considerably since the first green revolution, which was already heavily biased towards the interests of large and medium-scale producers (see Glaeser [30]; and for a recent evaluation in India Hanumantha Rao [41]). The present mood is one of extending the private intellectual property rights on an ever wider range of biotechnologies and even of new products obtained through their application.

In so far as the World Bank [106] state-of-knowledge report on biotechnologies applied to agriculture insists on private intellectual property rights and on the comparative advantage of larger producers, its evaluation of the prospect of a second green revolution for the small producers remains very cautious.

By contrast, without ignoring the difficulties of the problem, the project on biotechnology and development organized by the University of Amsterdam [9] explores systematically the package of biotechnologies for small producers. Important efforts in this direction are also being made in India [92]. Biotechnology is expected to increase soil fertility and lower the dependence on fertilizers and chemical pesticides. It is also expected to increase crop yields by incorporating resistance to drought, pests, and disease and enhance the protein, starch, or oil content of crops, and disseminate through micro-propagation the desired fruit-trees and rapidly growing varieties of trees and bushes for fuel wood.

Success will depend to a great extent on the ability to organize publicly sponsored research and extension systems. Producing and disseminating biotechnology packages for small producers constitutes a high priority in development-oriented science and technology policy.

As for biomass-based industrialization, if properly handled, it offers a unique opportunity for environmental, social, and economic gains leading to a new rural-urban configuration through "diffuse industrialization," reducing in this way the flow of refugees from the countryside to the large cities. This idea is at the heart of development strategies in China [22].

The main social advantage resides in the creation of employment and in the reduction of infrastructural costs for the expansion of large cities. Manufacturing industries now create few jobs, essential as they may be for the transformation of developing economies. From the employment point of view, what really matters is the multiplier effect: the higher the workers' wage, the more they will spend on goods and services. But by resorting to biomass in place of oil as a feed stock for chemical industries, one sets in motion a second upstream multiplier, because biomass production is much more labour-intensive than oil production.

As for the environmental advantages, "green plastics" are likely to be more environmentally friendly than their oil-based counterparts, even though one should not automatically conclude that biomass production and the products derived from it are by definition ecologically benign. Moreover, once the biomass-based industry has grown into an important segment of the national economy, careful management of the life-support systems - water, soils, forests - will be internalized in the working of the economic system.

Finally, the choice of the biomass species grown or collected for the purpose of food, energy, and industrial production depends on a very careful examination of the potentialities of each ecosystem, taking into consideration the agro-climatic conditions, the natural capital of big-diversity, and the social and cultural contexts.

Development for the Amazon region

The approach just suggested should be applied to all major eco-regions. As an example, I shall take the tropical rain forest ecosystem of the Amazon region, known for its climatic importance and ecological fragility [19, 94-96].

It is necessary first of all to discard all the scientifically false information circulated by the media (Amazonia as the lung of the world is just one example). In particular, one should remember that the practical potential for deforestation or reforestation to modify the greenhouse effect is ultimately limited. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere is roughly comparable to the amount contained in the biosphere, and the amount within soils is 1.5 times as much as either. By contrast, 15 times as much carbon as in the atmosphere is stored in the ground as fossilized carbon and peat and 75 times as much in the oceans.

While reversal of deforestation and re-afforestation could be cost-effective means of reducing net carbon dioxide emissions, they must compete against alternative land-use demands and take into account the fact that, in order to remain effective over the long term, the carbon must be sequestrated and the process renewed as the trees mature [3].

The Amazon ecosystem should be protected in the interest of its inhabitants and of all Brazilians as a potential source of wealth, a climate stabilizer, and a repository of biodiversity. But the long-term future of the Amazon region cannot consist in transforming it into a huge forest reserve. Nevertheless, development of the Amazon region can be made compatible with banning new land clearing. The original forest has already been destroyed on 300,000 square kilometres, enough to keep at least a couple of generations busy with rational rehabilitation and use of these "capoeiras" without moving the economic frontier further.

The immediate consequence of this approach would be to define a spatial strategy that establishes an archipelago of more or less intensive "development reserves" in the green ocean so as to slow the pressure on the primeval forest, thereby protecting the remnants of the indigenous population and the biodiversity. A related issue is one of slowing down the growth of Manaus and Belem, two mega-cities in the making (over 60 per cent of the Amazonian population is already urbanized; as Bertha Becker says, the Amazon region was born urbanized). At the same time, it is necessary to ensure the minimum critical size for human settlements sufficient to provide social services and cultural amenities.

The so-called "extractive reserves" constitute an immediate solution for the existing population of destitute seringueiros but do not offer a blueprint for a long-term strategy for the Amazon region. One seringueiro needs 500 hectares to earn a miserable existence. In other words, the density of population there cannot exceed 1-2 persons per square kilometre.

Each "development reserve" should strive to make a rational use of the resource potential of its ecosystem in order to establish a fairly integrated local economy, selectively linked with the outside world. Since colonial times the Amazon region has been regarded as a source of exportable raw materials and products, not as a place where many more people could live comfortably. Given the distances that separate it from the south of Brazil and from external markets, the Amazon region will always be at a disadvantage in terms of transportation costs, except for products with high value-added per unit of weight.

The variety of the Amazonian ecosystems has often been underestimated and the debate conducted as if it were a homogeneous area. The development of the Amazon will lead to multiple configurations of a biomass-based civilization in which different systems of agroforestry and of aquaculture will play a dominant role.

Agroforestry and aquaculture, eventually combined in integrated production systems, appear thus as a major priority for research and experimentation, not only in the Amazon region, but in all the countries with extensive tropical rain forests. The "blue revolution" has not as yet come of age, in so far as aquaculture is responsible for a modest share of fish and other water-grown food or animal feed; hunting and gathering still predominate.

Making cities more livable in the twenty-first century

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the majority of the world's population will be living in cities. No visible signs suggest a significant decrease of the urbanization rates in the South within the next few decades. Even the most optimistic assessment of the prospects for biomass/biotechnology-based industrialization do not lead to the conclusion that rural-urban migrations will stop.

Most of the oil is consumed and greenhouse gases are produced in cities [68], and in terms of quality of life for the populations concerned, the disruption of the urban environment is by far the most difficult problem faced in the mega-cities of the South. The apocalyptic description of Mexico by the well-known novelist Carlos Fuentes applies to many other large, and smaller, third world cities:

The pulverized shit of three million human beings without latrines.
The dung in powder of ten million animals that defecate in the streets.
Eleven thousand tonnes of chemical waste per day.
The deadly fumes of three million engines that spew out uncontrollably gusts of pure poison, sooty miasmas; trucks, taxis, cars, each one eructating and contributing to the extinction of trees, lungs, throats and eyes. [26]

The situation in eastern Europe is also chaotic: in the former Soviet Union, 50 million people live in cities where air pollution exceeds the national standard by more than a factor of 10; half of Poland's cities, including Warsaw, do not treat their waste at all; only 30 per cent of the sewage produced in the former Soviet Union is treated; 300 cities and towns in Hungary must rely on bottled or piped water because local water has been contaminated by fertilizer run-off; life expectancy in the polluted regions of Czechoslovakia is five years lower than in the cleaner parts of the country [25].

The situation in the cities of the North is less dramatic. Even so, action to protect urban environments suffering from pollution of all kinds is badly needed and requires imaginative new policies [72]. Such action is all the more necessary because the Northern cities are menaced by a potentially explosive combination of environmental and social problems arising out of exclusion, segregation, and lack of opportunities for young people and minorities.

In neither the South nor the North will these serious problems be resolved by investment and technologies alone. The North has the wherewithal; it is a matter of political will. In the South, lack of funding for the urban infrastructures and their maintenance makes the problems even more intractable.

The cities in the South need inexpensive and efficient technologies for sanitation, mass transport, and housing. A conference organized in São Paulo in 1978 on new technologies for the cities reached the conclusion that virtually nothing, affordable by the third world cities, was available. In sanitation, little progress has been made since ancient Rome.

Mention should be made of the imaginative, though not always practical, ideas put forward by Richard Meier in his formulation of the concept of "resource-conserving cities" for the third world, which blend the most advanced and traditional techniques [62, 63]. Meier's fundamental premise is that any pale imitation of advanced urbanization in the South would require a much greater consumption of energy, water, and human effort than is available.

Closely related to Meier's concerns are the attempts to define an ecodevelopment strategy in the urban context [87]. A city is also an ecosystem and as such is a potential resource. In every city there exist latent, idle, underutilized, and wasted resources: land that can be put under cultivation, at least temporarily; waste that can be collected and recycled; energy and water that can be saved; infrastructures, buildings, and equipment whose life cycle can be extended through proper maintenance. All these activities are fairly labour-intensive, and jobs created in this way may pay for themselves through the saving of resources.

People and citizens' associations have a major role to play in such ecodevelopment strategies. The same is true of "self-help building" and rehabilitation of shanty towns. The pioneering work of John Turner led to a major discussion of these matters and ultimately contributed to a welcome shift in urban policies reducing the emphasis on the supply policies largely based on the use of industrial techniques in building and promoting instead the "enabling policies" designed to support local initiatives by making available the resources and techniques that cannot be mobilized locally (for a review, see Sachs [80], World Bank [107]).

To be implemented properly, this new approach requires a redirection of science and technology policy. The South will have to invent new cities quite unlike the models in the North, as these cannot be replicated at either the scale or the pace required by urbanization trends, nor are they in their present form a commendable blueprint for livable cities.

Pro-active and innovative strategies must address simultaneously the following aspects: institutional and managerial models; new forms of partnership between civil society, enterprises, and public authorities; shifting from supply policies to enabling policies in order to stimulate initiative and resourcefulness; continuous efforts for resource saving and elimination of wastefulness; skilful management of technological pluralism and intensified research for new technological solutions, both affordable and accessible to developing countries.

Cities are like people. They belong to the urban species but they have their unique personality. The response to the urban challenge must take into account the singular configurations of natural, cultural, and socio-political factors, as well as of the historical past and tradition of each city. Instead of proposing across-the-board, homogenizing solutions, the diversity of cities should be considered as a cultural value of paramount importance.

Concluding remarks: Disentangling Prometheus

Paraphrasing Salomon [89], one may say that Prometheus is caught in a double bind.

On the one hand, he faces an ever growing gap between the potential of science and technology and the accumulated backlog of unsolved human needs - the "social debt," as it is called in Latin America. This contradiction reaches its height when science and technology are put at the service of death, not life, in the form of sophisticated weaponry with the attendant compulsion to test their killing and destructive efficiency by putting them to actual use. Each war - a perversion of Schumpeter's "creative destruction" necessary to fuel the modernization drive - renews the demand for a new and costlier generation of weapons and for the reconstruction of what has been destroyed.

On the other hand, borrowing the metaphor from Serres [93], Prometheus must seek a "natural contract" capable of overcoming the contradiction between Man and Nature, exacerbated by the predatory use of natural resources and the overloading of the capacity of the biosphere to act as a sink. In other words, the present destructive action of human parasites on their host - Nature - should be transformed into a symbiotic relationship. The parasite will live only as long as the host continues to serve as its life support. Behind ecocide looms genocide.

To face these formidable challenges, Prometheus has two options. Either he reaffirms his blind faith in the power of science and technology to find, in time, solutions to the problems created by their progress, which means that he continues to steer the present course, in which the tool guides the hand. (As scientism is fundamentally optimistic, it tends to minimize the risk of heading towards social or ecological catastrophe.) Or he strives to get the tool under control, to harness science and technology for societal development, subordinated to the three criteria of social equity, ecological prudence, and economic efficiency.

In broad institutional terms, this means going back to Polanyi's enquiry into ways in which the economy is embedded in the society and, as far as the market-oriented economies are concerned, addressing the problématique of the social construction of markets [4]. In operational terms, it is necessary to learn how to make decisions through explicit harmonization of three distinct types of logic: the ethical, the technical, and the political [37].

The environment has been discussed mainly as a constraint and a cost. But it is possible to look at it from a positive angle as a potential asset to be used for rational purposes and through rational methods. This puts an enormous task before science and technology, while at the same time confronting the South with daunting challenges.

For obvious reasons (as we have seen in the case of biotechnology), the South cannot tolerate a situation of total dependence on imports of "black-box" technologies from industrialized countries on monopolistic conditions reinforced through an ever broader definition of intellectual property rights. But the call for Southern self-reliance, abusively interpreted in terms of autarky, is unrealistic.

All the countries in the world, including the most advanced scientifically and the richest, need a science and technology strategy with three components:

1. purchase abroad and use of black-box technologies;

2. opening of the imported technological packages and their adaptation (only then may we speak of "technology transfer");

3. domestic invention.

The proportions of these three components (as well as the balance of trade in technology) depend on the size of the country, the condition of its R&D establishment, and the financial situation.

Self-reliance should be interpreted in a narrower manner, as the ability to be selective in the choice of technologies, to strike a changing balance between the three components under discussion, and to transform the condition of latecomer into an advantage by seizing the rare opportunities for leap-frogging. Even selectivity in imports is hard to achieve? in so far as it presupposes the availability of trained manpower, access to up-to-date sources of scientific and technological information? a truly competitive international market, and institutional mechanisms to carry out effective national science and technology policies.

How many countries in the South have reached the stage of self-reliant science and technology policies? Is it realistic to expect that except for the giants: Brazil, India? China - they will ever get there? Can South-South collective self-reliance offer a way out? [97]. The discussion around the book by Salomon and Lebeau [90] shows a wide variety of opinions.

The confidence expressed by Botkin [7] and Kandel [52] about the potential of science for the management of the biosphere will be put to a very severe test unless the present political trends are reversed. The main threats to the future of humanity and eventually to that of life on Earth pertain to the realm of the sociosphere and, more specifically, to that of the political economy of environmentally sound development that reconciles governability? democracy? social justice, ecological prudence? and economic efficiency in multiple forms of mixed economy.


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(introductory text...)

Part 3 looks at the range of policies being used and advocated with regard to science and technology. In chapter 10, Atul Wad offers an assessment of the field of science and technology policy - a policy comprised of collective measures taken by a government in order, on the one hand, to encourage the development of scientific and technical research and, on the other, to exploit the results of this research to achieve desired general social, economic, and political objectives and its application in the context of a dramatically changing world order characterized by a host of pressing challenges, rapid technological change, and globalization. Its importance to developing countries has, if anything, increased. He explains the rationale for science and technology policy, its historical evolution conceptually (stressing the distinctions between science policy and technology policy) and in practical terms- reviewing the range of specific policy instruments and concludes with a description of the shortcomings of science and technology policy to date: it has produced elaborate, often overly bureaucratic, systems of science and technology in many developing countries but has had little impact on the "bottom line" of real technical change and technology decision-making at the level of the enterprise. To illustrate his analysis and the wide variety of approaches to science and technology policy, he reviews the experiences of various countries and regions, traces the role of the United Nations system in this field, and concludes that, for science and technology policy, the key contemporary issues centre around concerns over the use of technology to achieve competitive advantage, access to technology. new forms of government intervention to promote technological development at the firm level and greater participation in world markets - and all of this within the new principles of an emerging techno-economic paradigm.

Amitav Rath examines one important policy dimension: technology transfer and diffusion. He starts by describing the main elements and mechanisms of technology transfer, vertical and horizontal, and concludes that all of the channels are valuable and developing country strategies must ensure that the full mix of channels and mechanisms are used optimally; he points out that the dominant mechanism for technology flows is in the form of capital goods. In tracing the historical background, the author distinguishes two phases where twin economic and political objectives have influenced the concerns of research and policy related to technology transfer, sometimes reinforcing each other and at other times being antagonistic: post-war to the mid-1960s, and mid-1960s to the early 1980s. The main concern in the 1970s was the excessive costs of technology transactions and the many restrictive clauses that were imposed on the recipient by the supplier, thereby limiting the benefits to the recipient firm and country. Besides the implication of market imperfections, other negative impacts from technology transfer were stressed: dependency, inappropriateness, etc.

By the beginning of the 1980s, most developing countries had enacted regulatory mechanisms and rules governing investments and technology. Revisions to the framework, under the pressure of the changing international economic, technological, and policy environments for technology transfer, highlighted several aspects: transaction costs and terms, variations in technological elements and price, and new perceptions of the actors. The greater the involvement of the supplier and the recipient, the more successful is the technology transfer. Production efficiency is highly correlated with the macroeconomic policies and market structures of the recipient country. To conclude, Amitav Rath argues that excessive politicization of the issues has definitely been harmful to the interests of developing countries.

This recent technology debate has brought out into the open a dilemma facing developing countries: what mix of new, conventional, and traditional technologies should they use, and what is the appropriate balance between importing new technologies and using conventional and indigenous ones? Ajit Bhalla addresses technology choice as a crucial dimension of the development process that evolved in relation to shifts in development thinking. In the 1950s and 1960s, the issue of technology choice was secondary to that of maximizing growth. The recommended option invariably favoured the most capital-intensive and advanced technology because it contributed to maximizing savings rates and investment. In the 1970s, the criterion for choosing technology was no longer solely the reinvestible surplus of growth; the employment and income generated, the reduction of inequalities, and output generation were also important factors. The 1970s also witnessed the emergence of the concept of appropriate technology. Its protagonists highlighted the need to widen the set of technological options by developing alternative technologies in a labour-intensive direction to suit the factor endowments of developing countries. The decade of the 1980s is associated with the macroeconomics and political economy of technology decisions, intersectoral linkages to promote technology improvements and reduce technology gaps between modern and informal sectors, and the emergence of new technologies and blending. The author discusses the sparse employment and distributional implications of new technologies, the potentials for developing countries for leap-frogging and technology blending, and whether the use of new technologies and greater scope for "flexible specialization" can improve the efficiency of craft production and thus expand output as well as employment. By highlighting the differences between the debates on the concepts of "appropriate technology" and of "technology blending," Bhalla points to the emergence of a new debate, technological capability-building as a major long-term goal of development of the third world, and speculates on the issues for the 1990s.

Paulo Rodrigues Pereira discusses the breakthroughs in new technologies and assesses the opportunities and threats they represent for developing countries under the new techno-economic paradigm, as defined by Freeman and Perez, where technological development is increasingly becoming the dominant factor in determining a country's capacity to compete in world markets. Information technology allows a new technological system, in which far-reaching changes in the trajectories of electronic, computer, and telecommunication technologies converge and offer a range of new technological options to virtually all branches of the economy; moreover, this new system forms the basis for a reorganization of industrial society and the core of the emerging techno-economic paradigm. The reason for the preeminence of the new technological system clustered around information technology over the equally new technological systems clustered around biotechnology and new materials is the fact that information activities of one kind or another make up a part of every activity within an industrial or commercial sector, as well as in our working and domestic lives. Almost all productive activities have a high information intensity, so information technology is capable of offering strategic improvements in productivity and competitiveness, by integration of functions, of virtually any economic and social activity. In assessing the implications for developing countries, the author concludes that the general tendency points to a widening of the information technology gap, both between industrialized and developing countries and within developing countries. Biotechnology, a science-led technology, induces important structural changes in the economy and has widespread applications in different industrial sectors: food and agricultural production, livestock husbandry and animal health, pharmaceuticals and chemical processing, medical treatment. One of the main advantages of these innovations in biotechnology has been the possibility of their economic use on a small scale, without large infrastructure requirements, and their application at different levels of complexity, investment, and effort. However, these opportunities should be weighed against the environmental risks and the interrelated social and economic costs. As regards new and advanced materials, the main impact of the present trends is likely to be felt by developing countries in the medium term, through the loss of competitive power of many of their manufactured products, which will increasingly have to compete with innovative products presenting higher functional integration or offering novel functions and services, manufactured by "multi-material" firms in industrialized countries. But the potential does exist for developing countries to produce materials with the higher purity necessary for high technology industries and it should be exploited.

Under the new techno-economic paradigm where technological innovation is the driving force, assessing its impacts is crucial. For Harvey Brooks, whereas in the industrialized countries, technology assessment is viewed predominantly in the context of anticipating and avoiding unintended social costs of economic growth and of technologies as their scale of application increases and spreads, in developing countries it is seen more as a means of building up an indigenous capability for wise technology choice. The costs and benefits they generate can potentially be large, and their incidence may differ significantly for different groups in society. Hence there is need for analysis so that the mismatches, the wrong investments, and the possible social conflicts can be minimized, while at the same time the beneficial effects and opportunities can be fully exploited. In this context, the issue of technology assessment is viewed as a continuing process of informing the people concerned, generating constructive public debate, and encouraging public understanding and involvement. In his chapter, Brooks first reviews the historical background of the concept and then draws lessons from over 20 years of institutionalization of technology assessment in the United States to derive a typology. project assessment, generic technology assessment, problem assessment, policy assessment, global problématique. Brooks concludes that if technology assessment is seen as a cumulative process of "social learning," it calls for very wide participation of virtually all the stakeholders. Drawing on the experience in industrialized countries with stakeholder participation in technology assessment, he derives principles that can contribute to the success of stakeholder dialogues in developing countries.

(introductory text...)

Atul Wad

After the Second World War, country after country in Asia and Africa was granted or achieved independence from its former colonial rulers. In many cases, the new leaders of these countries - Nehru in India, Kenyatta in Kenya, Nasser in Egypt - subscribed to an emancipated and modern view of science and saw science and technology as essential to the development of their nations. At the same time, they were strong nationalists and believed in the paramount role of the state in building up their societies. As a result, many of these countries, very shortly after independence, gave top priority to scientific and technological activities in the form of education, the establishment of government bodies dedicated to science and technology (e.g. the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research [CSIR] in India), and the promotion of science and technology at all levels in society. As they embarked upon the challenging road of economic development, small circles of academics concerned with science policy issues began to form in these countries. Studies by third world scientists began to appear, often couching the problem of science and technology in developing countries within the larger problématique of development and the structural inequalities of the post-colonial (or neocolonial) period. These scientists included Antoine Zahlan, Ziauddin Sardar, Abdul Rahman, Homi Bhabha, Amilcar Herrera, and M.A. Qurashi, who spoke directly to the problem of science and technology, as well as a number of development economists and political economists who integrated science and technology into their broader analyses of the development process; they include Samir Amin, Fernando Enrique Cardoso, Thestonio dos Santos, Prebisch, Gunnar Myrdal, Dudley Seers, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Andre Gunder Frank. Ideological imperatives were often rampant in these latter analyses, nevertheless they represented an important period in the post-war era for the third world.

Also during this period, interest began to grow in the structure and dynamics of the scientific communities in these countries. All studies stressed the frustration and alienation of scientists operating in developing countries and generally suggested the need for international mechanisms of cooperation to support these communities. One such mechanism, the International Council of Scientific Unions, has been particularly active in this way. Another significant event was the establishment of the Third World Academy of Sciences.

Science and technology policy: Rationale and issues

The justifications

Science and technology policy (STP) represents the articulation of how the modern state and society at large view the relationships and instrumentalities between scientific and technological change and social and economic development. The effectiveness of STP is essentially a function of how realistic and comprehensive the understanding of decision makers is of these interactions and relationships. On another level, STP reflects the tremendous optimism that is still present today regarding the potential of science and technology, properly developed and applied, to solve the pressing problems of humanity.

The concept and practice of STP is based on the presumption that direct and indirect intervention by the state in scientific and technological activities and processes is necessary in order to achieve desired social, economic, and political goals. The justification for STP and state intervention derives from certain principles:

1. Technological progress may not proceed in the desired direction without influence by government, leading to poor technology choices, inappropriate allocation of resources, and distorted patterns of industrialization.

2. The returns from scientific research are too long term to expect market forces to encourage private investments in R&D in areas beneficial to society. The difficulty in "appropriating" the returns from R&D also reduces the incentive to invest by the private firm. Government must therefore intervene to rectify this "market failure," by investing itself, or by enacting policies to encourage private investment [30, 10].

3. Forsyth [11] adds that the pressures of competition in international trade can push developing countries towards labour-intensive techniques in a narrow range of products, even though a diversified industrial base is preferable. Government intervention is needed to protect and nurture those components of the industrial base that are unlikely to evolve spontaneously. This is the "infant industry" argument [3].

4. Certain areas of technology are unlikely to develop by themselves, for example the service sectors (health, education, etc.) and therefore require a direct role by the state. This is particularly important in developing countries, with their large populations and severe income inequalities. The state, as the guardian of the social wellbeing of the population, becomes obliged to try to channel scientific and technological activities so as to improve the living conditions of the people. For developing countries, with a pressing need to address social problems such as food, housing, employment, and health, science was seen as a panacea at independence, and in many countries STP was initially undertaken with considerable hope and enthusiasm.

5. There is also a strong political rationale to science and technology policy, particularly in the industrialized countries. The Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb, which many see as a watershed in the evolution of science policy, established science as a "national asset." Nations undertook scientific projects to achieve political, and often military, goals. In the post-Second World War environment of growing international competition, science policy emerged as a strategic weapon for countries. There was an obvious correlation between the emergence of international crises and the increases in expenditures on R&D. In this regard, STP clearly derived to a major extent from military needs and priorities.

These arguments form the basis for the evolution of STP in both the industrialized and developing countries. There are debates within the field around these and related issues, and as we shall see later, there are new arguments being put forward both in favour of and against the need for STP. It is within the broad context of STP that debates continue over such issues as brain drain, technology transfer, intellectual property, and the relative importance of basic versus applied science.

The distinction between science policy and technology policy

The distinction between science policy and technology policy, once the subject of heated debate, has become less important recently as technology has become more science-based. In the past, however, science policy tended to be given more emphasis than technology policy, the latter being seen as something that should be left to the play of the market and the private sector.

In the context of developing countries, the argument is increasingly put forward that what is needed is more technological dynamism, and that the development of scientific capabilities is less important, at least in terms of addressing the severe near-term problems of the developing countries. Given the high costs involved in developing a reasonable capability in modern science, the practical imperative to become increasingly competitive in global markets, and the successes of the technology adapting and modifying strategies of the four "tigers" of the Pacific rim and before them of Japan, there may be some merit in this argument. On the other hand, there has always been a strong case for a society to have a "culture" of science and a scientific temperament in order to achieve economic growth. In this last regard, the deep cultural importance of knowledge, science, and education and a tradition of reading and writing in the countries of the Pacific rim may well be an important factor in explaining their success.

The debate over the book by Salomon and Lebeau, L'écrivain public et l'ordinateur - Mirages du développement [32], addresses aspects of this issue. Salomon and Lebeau argue that science, as it is understood in the modern world, is established and defined largely by the scientific institutions of the industrialized countries and that it is naturally élitist and hence cannot realistically be expected to address the problems of developing countries. As such, science in developing countries tends to be more preoccupied with the problems defined as "important" by the international scientific community than with the problems of poverty and underdevelopment. Cooper [4] has referred to this as the "marginalization" of science in developing countries. Technology, on the other hand, being of practical relevance in an immediate sense, is where developing countries need to focus their resources and efforts.

The counter-argument of course is that sustained technological development is impossible without a reasonably strong scientific base; technology is dynamic and needs the intellectual foundation that a strong scientific tradition offers. Much of the early thinking in STP was influenced by this view - that science must precede technology. Still some think that there are more urgent needs to develop a whole country than to build up a scientific community that is isolated from the rest of the population. The debate over this issue continues.

For developing countries, the distinctions between science policy and technology policy are best described in one of the reports arising from the project on Science and Technology Project Instruments (STPI) sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa (see table).

Policy for science and policy through science

A distinction is also made between policy for science, i.e. the encouragement of certain forms of scientific activity, and policy through science, which relates to the exploitation of research in areas of concern to government. These two aspects have become more complementary with the passage of time, and in particular after the Second World War. Science is both influenced by society and in turn influences social, political, and economic systems. Recently it has been argued that there is really no such thing as a separate "science and technology for development," but that science and technology are really inputs into the development of other activities, such as population control, food production, industrial development this is reflected in the "mission" approach to development, for example in India. There may be some merit in this view, but it does not alter the basic importance of science and technology as deserving of special recognition.

The policy sciences

An entire field of "policy sciences" emerged in the post-war period. The main focus of this field is the analysis of policy-making broadly defined in all areas of government intervention. A major journal, Policy Sciences, was launched in 1970. Included in the scope of this field are the "philosophies, procedures, techniques and tools of the management and decision sciences operations research, systems analysis, simulation, 'war' gaming, game theory, policy analysis, programme budgeting, and linear programming."

Such noted social and policy scientists as Amitai Etzioni, Yehezkel Dror, Harold Lasswell, Albert Hirschman, Erich Jantsch, and Marvin Cetron have been involved in this field. The main purpose of this field is to bring more systematic analytical and practical tools to bear on problems that in the past were dealt with more or less "intuitively" - to bring rationality to governmental behaviour and decision-making.

To the extent that this field covers all aspects of policy-making, not solely science and technology, it is not explicitly covered here. (For more detailed information, see the journal Policy Sciences and various texts by Dror, Wildavsky, Hirschman, Etzioni, and Lasswell.)

Differences between national science and technology policies


Science policy

Technology policy


A. To generate scientific (basic and potentially useful) knowledge that may eventually have social and economic uses, and will allow understanding and keeping up with the evolution of science.
B. To produce a base of scientific activities and human resources linked to the growth of know edge throughout the world.

A. To acquire the technology and the technical capabilities for the production of goods and the provision of services.
B. To acquire a national capacity for autonomous decision-making in technological matters.

Main types of activities covered

Basic and applied research that generates both basic and potentially useful knowledge.

Development, adaptation, reverse engineering, technology transfer, and engineering design, which generate ready-to-use knowledge.

Appropriation of results of activities covered

Results (in the form of basic and potentially useful knowledge) are appropriated by wide dissemination; publishing ensures ownership.

Results (in the form of ready-to-use knowledge) re main largely in hands of those who generated them; patents, secret know-how, and human embodied knowledge ensure appropriation.

Reference criteria for performance

Primarily internal to the scientific community. Evaluation of activities is based mainly on scientific merit and occasionally on possible applications.

Primarily external to the technical and engineering community. Evaluation based mainly on contribution to social and economic objectives.

Scope of activities

Universal: activities and results have worldwide validity.

Localized (to firm, branch, sector, or national level): activities and results have validity in a specific context.

Amenability to planning

Only broad areas and directives can be programmed. Results depend on the capacity of researchers (teams and individuals) to generate new ideas. Involves large uncertainties.

Activities and sequences can be programmed more strictly. Little new knowledge generally required, and existing knowledge is used systematically. In valves less uncertainty.

Dominant time frame

Long and medium term.

Short and medium term.

Source: Ref. 15, pp. 16-17.

Western science and alternative models of science

Finally, there is the debate over the concept of science itself, particularly with respect to the developing world. Modern science is eminently a Western science based on Western notions of rationality and instrumentality. Some alternative forms of scientific knowledge and their relevance to developing countries are discussed in chapter 4. There is a vast body of literature on the forms of science that prevailed in regions of the world that are now part of the developing world - Joseph Needham on China [25], Claude Alvares on India [2], Nasr and Daghestani on Islamic science [24, 5], Mudimbe and Mazrui on Africa [23, 22], and also Goonatilake and Elzinga and Jamison [13, 8]

This issue is particularly important at present, when there appears to be an exhaustion of the models and strategies that have been pursued by developing countries based on Western notions of development and modernization. Indeed, the resurgence of fundamentalist movements and grass-roots initiatives may in part be seen as a response to this sense of frustration. The implications for STP are still unclear, but it would seem prudent to view the canvas of science and technology in a broader and culturally more sensitive perspective. The deep cultural underpinnings of a society clearly influence its scientific and technological capabilities and potential. Throughout history, in China, India, the Arab world, Central and South America, scientific progress has occurred within a complex and dynamic sociocultural milieu and has declined with the economic and military decline of those societies. The challenge today for the developing world is to identify what type of science and technology makes the most sense in today's politically charged, technologically infused, and global economy.

Instruments for science and technology policy

The manner in which science and technology policy is made operational is through specific policy instruments (STPI). Interest in identifying the range of instruments needed to achieve desired science and technology objectives evolved more or less in parallel with the development of an institutional context for STP in developing countries. Once formal institutions for STP began to be established in developing countries, the need emerged for instruments through which these bodies could enact their objectives and missions.

A landmark event in this area was the multi-country STPI research project undertaken with the support of the IDRC. The project's field office was in Lima and 10 research teams from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and southern Europe participated in it. The overall purpose of the STPI project was "to gather, analyze, evaluate and generate information that may help policy makers, planners, and decision makers in underdeveloped countries to orient science and technology toward the achievement of development objectives" [15].

The approach taken in the STPI project, and basically adhered to subsequently by researchers and policy makers, identified three broad categories of instruments:

1. demand-side instruments designed to influence the nature of demand by firms, enterprises, and organizations and the technological behaviour and decision-making of these entities;

2. supply-side instruments, which relate to the activities in the science and technology system that have as end products new technology and science, and to the supply of science and technology services and human resources;

3. instruments directed towards the linkage between the supply and demand sides of the equation, i.e. the links between the R&D and productive system.

The STPI project defined an instrument as "the set of ways and means used when putting a given policy into practice. It can be considered as the vehicle through which those in charge of formulating and implementing policies actualize their capability to influence decisions taken by others" [15, p. 13]. A policy instrument could be a legal device, such as a patent law or technology licensing regulations; an organizational structure, for example an R&D laboratory or a research programme involving several institutions; or a set of operational mechanisms, for example specific R&D management procedures, incentive systems, etc.

Furthermore, policies can be either explicit or implicit, with the former being articulated expressions of desired goals and objectives by high-level government officials or institutions with respect to science and technology, whereas implicit policies are directed towards areas or sectors that in turn will influence science and technology activities.

The STPI project went into great detail about various aspects of the quality and effectiveness of existing instruments in the countries surveyed, and concluded that in general explicit policy instruments had little impact on technological change, particularly in the early stages of industrialization. However, they did have a significant impact on the science and technology infrastructures in these countries.

This perhaps encapsulates the shortcomings of STP to date: that it has produced elaborate, often overly bureaucratic, systems of science and technology in many developing countries, but has had little impact on the "bottom line" of real technical change and technology decision-making at the level of the enterprise.

As I discuss later, this failure to address technical change at the firm level is a result of a conceptual shortcoming in STP research itself, a shortcoming that is only recently being recognized by the research and policy community.

Another deficiency in STPI implementation has been the lack of specific and practical guidelines for policy makers. Thus, even though the broad intentions and concepts of STP were generally understood, few policy makers had a concrete sense of the specific steps that had to be undertaken in order to implement these policies. An attempt to redress this shortcoming has been made by the International Labour Office in Geneva, in the form of a manual for technology policy assessment [11].

A particularly important mechanism for the implementation of STP is the financial institution. There is a limited literature in this field (see, for example, Jecquier and Hu [16]). In general, there is little awareness of the important role that financial institutions can play in STP, especially within the science and technology community itself. Yet, because of the economic and financial rigour they bring to the assessment of a project, and the resources they can mobilize, they can be powerful actors in STP. In recent times, the emergence of ´'technology incubators" linked with venture capital funds for the commercialization of new technologies is seen as an essential aspect of industrial development in some countries such as the United States.

The implications of trade policy

The distinctions between science and technology policy on the one hand and trade policy on the other have recently become blurred. Increasingly, national and international trade policies have direct and indirect impacts on technological and scientific activities, and STP has an impact on trade patterns. Thus, for example, trade-related investment measures (TRIMS) and trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS) can influence the choice and acquisition of technology and the conduct of research itself.

The growing concern over the environment has also contributed to these interactions. As industrialized countries establish tighter environmental standards and specifications on products and processes developing countries find themselves increasingly under pressure to acquire "cleaner" technologies or face the barrier of "ecoprotectionism." Concern over loss of biodiversity and genetic wealth has prompted developing countries both to take stronger stands on the export and exploitation of these natural resources and to undertake research themselves to capitalize on their potential.

The interactions between STP and trade policy are complex and the subject of attention by, for example, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations. Within such fore as GATT, issues related to intellectual property rights and protectionism are often debated within the same context as access to technology by developing countries and access to markets for their products.

Experiences and approaches in the third world

Since independence, and for some, well before that, the developing countries have been experimenting with a wide variety of approaches to STP and have accumulated a diverse base of experience in this respect. In this section I attempt to review some of these experiences, though obviously not exhaustively.

Latin America

The Latin American contribution to STP for development has always been significant. Perhaps having had a longer history of independence allowed for the growth of a more broadly based and deep rooted intellectual and political appreciation for the role that science and technology can and should play in society. Also, the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the 1960s to encourage science and technology policy research had a positive impact on the development of these capabilities. After the OAS programme declined, support was provided by the IDRC of Canada, which was somewhat unusual in the development assistance community in having a strong emphasis on the development of local capabilities for research in developing countries. (The Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries [SAREC] has also been notable for its innovative approach to development assistance, though it has tended to be more active in Africa.) In any event, the influence of Latin American thinking on STP developments around the world, and in particular in the initiatives undertaken by the United Nations, has been significant and positive. Significant policy-level research has also come out of Asia, particularly India and Pakistan, the Arab States, and some parts of Africa.

The evolution of STP research in Latin America reflects how thinking on this subject changed during the post-war period.

Sagasti [31] identifies four overlapping phases:

(a) the Science push" phase, lasting throughout the 1950s and early 1960s; (b) the "transfer of technology and systems analysis" phase that began in the late 1960s and flourished through the 1970s: (c) the innovation and technology policy implementation" phase that began in the mid-1970s and extended through the early 1980s; and (d) a phase of "politicalization of science and technology policy", which was ushered in by the 1981-1982 economic crisis and also led to concerns about industrial restructuring and the impact of new technologies on the region.

During the "science push" phase, where the influence of Bernal's The Social Function of Science was evident, the main emphasis was on the establishment of a scientific and technological infrastructure consisting of laboratories, research institutes, universities, and science and technology councils. Governments responded to appeals from the scientific communities and suggestions from international organizations such as Unesco and agreed to large expenditures for these purposes. Hence, today there is a heritage in many developing countries, not only in Latin America, of large, often unwieldy, science and technology apparatuses that are for the most part state-supported. In some instances, as in India, this system has become bureaucratized to the point where its value to the nation is highly questionable [19]. During this period, the prevailing view was that science was primary and fundamental to development. The commercialization of science was not seen as a problem and the focus was on ensuring autonomy for scientists so as to encourage the production of new knowledge that in turn could be used for socially productive purposes. It was during this period that a number of countries in Latin America and elsewhere established National Research Councils (in Latin America referred to as ONCYTs).

The second phase, that of "transfer of technology," sought to address the impact of technology flows into Latin America on the balance of payments of these countries. Technology inflows were seen as having a negative effect on their foreign exchange holdings, and the need to control or restrict these flows began to be felt. National regulatory agencies to monitor technology transfers from outside were set up as a result. In the long run, and in retrospect, these mechanisms may have had a deleterious effect on the acquisition of technological capabilities in many countries. By making access to technology a much more cumbersome, expensive, and difficult process, the path of technological development was constrained in important ways, some of which were positive, and some negative. On the positive side, there was greater pressure to undertake indigenous innovation, but this could only be done in certain areas of technology. On the negative side, access became difficult to important new areas of technology, leading to "gaps" in the technological profiles of these countries and the emergence of uncompetitive industries.

During this period, the "systems approach" to science and technology also became popular and expanded the concept of science and technology beyond the limits of R&D alone. National councils of science and technology became popular, and there was increased debate about the distinction between science policy and technology policy. The political balance began to shift in favour of the technologists and economists of technology and away from the scientists.

The third phase emerged in the late 1970s and focused attention on innovation and the development of innovative capabilities through appropriate technology policies. A much more explicit focus on the enterprise level was to be seen during this phase, with much research being conducted on the best mechanisms to generate local technological and innovation capacities. During this period, more concern began to be expressed about the linkages between environment, energy, universities, and industry, and technical cooperation between developing countries.

This wave of research was based more soundly on empirical research and was often more micro in its focus. The problems addressed dealt with the causes and consequences of technological change in developing countries and the reasons for the continued inability of these countries to develop their technological capabilities properly.

In this period, the work coming out of Latin America was significant. The 1980s began to see a decline in government support for science and technology, in large part because of the declining economic situation of these countries. The colossal debt burden and the political and economic crises facing these nations led to drastic cuts in government expenditures for science and technology, and increased debate at the political level about the proper role of science and technology in national development. In some cases, the trend was reversed after a few years, as in Brazil, with the establishment of the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1985 [1]. At the same time, research on technical change at the enterprise level continued to grow, with a broadening empirical base. The IDRC/UNDP/ECLAC research project based in Buenos Aires under the coordination of Jorge Katz began to bring new insights into the nature and dynamics of technical change at the firm level, based on detailed case studies and empirical research. Also, there began to appear a convergence between this research and research being undertaken in the industrialized countries on the economics of technical change [18]. Primarily this was to be found not within the neoclassical economics tradition, but in the "neo-Schumpeterian" approaches to the analysis of technical change, which present an alternative, albeit more "muddy," view of how technical change occurs and how it affects society. The work of Dosi [6], Nelson and Winter [26], Freeman [12], Katz [18], and Perez [27] is significant in this regard.

Also during this period a strong shift in terms of economic philosophy was seen at the macro level. The view of the private sector, hitherto seen largely as a passive and homogeneous entity that simply responded to policy directions, was replaced by one that emphasized its entrepreneurial potential and its importance as a driving force for industrialization. "Export orientation" became fashionable, as did structural adjustment programmes (under the tutelage and with the support of the World Bank). The goal of STP was one of developing technological capabilities aimed at improving the export potential of local industry, and questions of competitive advantage, productivity, and growth emerged to the forefront. The experiences with structural adjustment programmes were, and continue to be, mixed, since the built-up inertia of years of import substitution and protectionism has been hard to overcome. But at the same time the success of the four East Asian "tigers" (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) prompted people to begin to enquire into how the STPs of these countries contribute to their economic success and what lessons could be learned for other countries.


At the time of independence, most African nations demonstrated a remarkable measure of enthusiasm about science and technology. Many established national STP bodies and R&D institutions. An African scientific journal was established and important political figures such as NKrumah, Nasser, and Kenyatta espoused modern science and technology as essential to the development of their new nation-states.

It was during the 1970s that many African nations established national policy mechanisms for science and technology. Algeria, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Egypt had all set up national research councils by the end of the 1970s. Côte d'Ivoire had a Ministry of Scientific Research in 1970; Senegal had a Délégation Générale pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (DGRST) by 1974. Later these were transformed into ministries for higher education and scientific research (MESRES), for instance in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Benin. Nigeria established the Federal Ministry for Science and Technology in 1979, Tanzania set up the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology in 1986, and Zimbabwe set up a National Science Council in 1986. Ethiopia's Science and Technology Commission was established in 1975; Somalia had an Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1979; Morocco established the National Centre for Co-ordinating and Planning Scientific and Technological Research in 1976; and Sudan set up its National Research Council in 1970.

The first CASTAFRICA (Conference of African Ministers Responsible for the Application of Science and Technology to Development) conference, organized under the auspices of Unesco, was held in 1974. At that time only a few African countries had explicit policies. By the time of the second conference, held at Arusha in 1987, 18 African nations had STP bodies at the ministerial level. However, this increase in numbers did not necessarily imply efficiency.

Indeed, the story of science and technology in Africa is somewhat unfortunate. Though there have been a variety of initiatives and experiments in STP, very few have borne fruit. Many countries built up science policy bodies without any scientific tradition or even infrastructure. The result was the growth of useless and irrelevant bureaucracy. Partly, the problem may have to do with the overall weakness of African states and the multitude of economic problems they face. Also in part, at least for sub-Saharan Africa, these states began with a weak science and technology infrastructure at the outset - Africa's contribution to world science is the smallest in comparison to the other developing regions.

But primarily two factors seem to have affected STP in Africa most seriously: the lack of a real commitment at the national and regional levels to the development of science and technology, and the significant dependence of the economies on raw materials and commodity exports within a global system that allowed little flexibility in terms of developing domestic industrial capabilities that would enable a larger share of the value-added pie to be captured by these nations. Whether this is a conspiracy, an accident of history, or the dispassionate logic of the global market-place, Africa has not come out very well in terms of harnessing science and technology for its development.

There have been exceptions, such as the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Epidemiology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, for a short while the Kumasi Science and Technology University, WARDA (the West Africa Rice Development Agency), and ILRAD (the Institute for Livestock Research and Development) under the umbrella of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and to some extent the African Regional Centre for Technology in Dakar. But these are international centres with heavy international support and should be seen as the exception.

Africa has also produced many important scientists - Edward Ayensu, Aklilu Lemma, Thomas Odhiambo, etc., who have made their mark internationally. But the general trend has been gloomy.

For example, if one examines Unesco's data for Africa for the period 1974-1978, Africa's share of global R&D personnel rose from 0.4 per cent to 0.7 per cent, but the level of expenditures stayed at 0.4 per cent. On a per capita basis, the average R&D expenditure in Africa is below US$2.00 and below 1 per cent of GNP in nearly all countries.

The Unesco data also offer some perspective on the availability of science and technology personnel. Most countries in the region possess about a third of the corresponding numbers in Asia and about 3 per cent of the level in Europe, though countries such as Nigeria, Egypt, Libya, and Zambia have substantially larger manpower resources than the average. The shortage of science and technology personnel can be attributed to a number of factors - the lack of higher educational systems and research facilities, the emphasis in the past on the liberal arts and the humanities over the more applied fields of engineering, and the "brain drain." And one cannot minimize the impact of political regimes that lead intellectuals and scientists to leave.

Most African nations are, however, taking the shortage of trained personnel seriously: the average governmental expenditure on education in Africa is 15.6 per cent of total governmental functional expenditure, with some countries spending as much as 20 per cent (Botswana, Guinea-Bissau) and even 35 per cent (Côte d'Ivoire).

In recent times, there has been a growing interest in the science and technology problems of the least developed countries (as defined by the United Nations). These countries happen to be mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. For them, the options available with respect to science and technology capability development are much narrower, given their levels of poverty, shortage of financial and science and technology resources, weak infrastructure, etc. In such countries, the question must be raised as to whether science and technology, and particularly science, is not a luxury that they can ill afford. The priority may well be to find the most effective ways to use available science and technology resources from whatever sources, rather than focus on an unrealistic goal to develop local capabilities.

The Arab world

For centuries the Arab world was one of the revered centres of science and learning. In modern times, however, it has lagged far behind the industrial nations, particularly in science and technology. Although there is considerable variety in levels of development, some countries in the region remain technologically dependent on more advanced nations, with a trade structure based on importing technology and exporting primary products. Even technology produced within the Arab world is frequently the result of a design transfer, often with foreign participation in or supervision of the process. Nevertheless, attempts are being made to improve both science and technology research and planning in the region [35, 5]. Institutions engaged in such efforts include the Supreme Council of Sciences (Syria), the Royal Scientific Society (Jordan), the Foundation for Scientific Research (Iraq), and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, among others.

In order to expedite these efforts by individual countries, a cooperative approach seeking to integrate the scientific endeavours and policies of the entire region was undertaken, beginning in earnest in the early to mid-1970s. First, in 1970, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) was founded. It arranged a conference for Arab ministers of science in Baghdad in February 1974, which was the first time an intergovernmental meeting at the ministerial level had taken place. Although the conference adopted no plan of action, it did produce several noteworthy recommendations. Significant among them were suggestions for closer links among scientific and socio-economic bodies, preparation of science policy by high political authorities, Arab scientific cooperation, and a request for ALESCO to study the feasibility of establishing an Arab foundation for scientific research and an Arab fund for the promotion of such research [7, pp. 149-150]. This last request was taken up by the Economic Council of the Arab League at the summit meeting in Rabat in October 1974, and the results of the study were presented at the Conference of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Application of Science and Technology to Development (CASTARAB) in Rabat in August 1976.

This first CASTARAB meeting, organized by Unesco with the aid of ALESCO, did not produce markedly different recommendations on science and technology policy from the Baghdad meeting, but it went considerably further with regard to regional cooperation, detailing specific plans in certain fields and integrating Arab science efforts in general. On hearing the results of the feasibility study, delegates decided to drop plans for an Arab science foundation and concentrate instead on creating a fund for scientific and technical research [7, pp. 152-154].

However, the plans for setting up this fund were also dropped, not because of a lack of funds, but rather owing to a lack of political will. Furthermore, although preparations were made for CASTARAB 11 through a series of meetings in the 1980s, the conference never took place for similar reasons. In the meantime, several other meetings with experts in the field have been held, arranged primarily by Unesco in conjunction with other agencies, yet none of these has been at the ministerial level [34, p. 10].

In 1979, the Vienna Science and Technology Conference called upon countries to formulate national science and technology policies. Ten years later, not one of the Arab countries had done so. Among nations in the ESCWA region (Economic and Social Council for West Asia), only Egypt and Iraq have formulated concrete science and technology strategies that consist of five-year research plans. Most other countries in the region do not have national research plans or government bodies for science and technology, and they therefore lack comprehensive plans and policies in this field [5, p. 17].


In Asia there has been a very wide array of experiences, ranging from those of the new industrialized countries (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) to those of the two "giants," India and China, to the poor countries of Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. With some significant variations, the new industrialized countries mostly followed a model of STP based on a significant role of the state and a major emphasis on the development of local capabilities. Their success is also partly due to the heavy export orientation of their economies, their size (especially for Singapore and Hong Kong), and the opportunities they were able to exploit as a result of development in the North. Whether these models can be easily replicated in other developing countries is highly questionable. Moreover, particularly in the cases of Korea and Taiwan, industrialization was accomplished at a massive environmental cost, and it is hard to contemplate a similar process being pursued today.

India followed a strong state interventionist model as well, but with a heavier emphasis on import substitution and the protection of domestic markets and industries. Also, it managed to develop one of the most bureaucratic and stifling science and technology systems in the world, from which it is still trying to free itself. Though India has one of the largest pools of science and technology resources in the third world, the contribution of science and technology to economic development has been far from satisfactory. But one must recognize the contribution to the defence infrastructure and establishment.

In a general sense, the Asian experience with science and technology has been more practical than theoretical - little has come out in terms of dramatic, new conceptual developments with regard to the role of science and technology in development. The contributions have been more specific the success of the new industrialized countries, the progress made by India and China in specific areas of technology, the tremendous human resource pool that is available, the quality of science and technology education available, and the quality of the statistics available on science and technology in the region. On the other hand, science and technology is still largely seen as an élite activity primarily concerned with the generation of wealth. What becomes of significant interest, therefore, is the emergence of an incredibly dynamic and creative movement concerned with "alternative" models of science and technology.

This historical experience with STP in developing countries is important not only for itself, but also in terms of providing a deeper understanding of the issues that confront STP in today's world, which are discussed later.

The United Nations system

A discussion of STP for development would be incomplete without some description of the important and changing role of the UN system in this field.

The UN system's involvement in STP-related matters dates back to the 1963 Geneva "Conference on the Application of Science and Technology for the Benefit of Less Developed Areas," where science and technology was conceived of as a large pool of accumulated knowledge from which the developing countries could pick and choose in order to solve their development problems. The conference participants were mainly scientists and engineers and the purpose was to draw attention, especially among policy makers, to the advances that were taking place in various fields of science and technology and their relevance to the problems faced by developing countries in such sectors as agriculture, health, and transportation. Little attention was paid to non-technical matters, such as problems of acquisition and transfer, social impacts, policy issues, etc. In a sense, the entire approach at the conference was somewhat naïve in its belief that technology was a "public good" that could simply be acquired at will, given the resources. This is in sharp contrast to the prevailing viewpoints of today, where the possession of technological knowledge and its "appropriability" for private returns are of major concern to individual firms as well as matters of contention in international discussions about intellectual property rights (IPR), for example within the GATT round of talks.

Sixteen years later, a major conference was held in Vienna, the United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) of 1979. Here, the thinking was quite different, using what was then referred to as the "horizontal" approach to STP, meaning one that did not subscribe to sectoral categorizations but viewed science and technology "horizontally" cutting across sectors. Priority was given to the development of "endogenous capabilities" in science and technology in developing countries, a term that even today is subject to various interpretations. The conference was preceded by nearly five years of preparations, and the influence of the Latin American perspective on STP was clearly evident. Almost all countries prepared country papers summarizing the status of science and technology for the conference according to an agreed format and this in itself was a major achievement. The conference was essentially an intergovernmental event, and much attention was given to the differing needs of different types of countries and to international cooperation in science and technology. The conference ended with the adoption of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPA) on Science and Technology for Development, which became the basis for ensuing UN activities in this area and served as a frame of reference for developing countries in their individual STP efforts. A Centre for Science and Technology for Development was established at the United Nations secretariat in New York, and several other agencies created special units or divisions to deal with science and technology matters - including Unesco, UNDP, UNIDO, ILO, and the regional commissions.

Ten years later, the UNCSTD conducted the End of Decade Review to assess what had been accomplished since the VPA was adopted [33]. The VPA was essentially a broad set of guidelines regarding policy and the structural and institutional dimensions of science and technology and did not really get into specific individual situations, a deficiency that perhaps explains why one of the conclusions of the end of decade review was the substantial lack of implementation of the VPA recommendations. The review had little, however, to say about how developing countries could proceed to be more productive and effective in their STP efforts, focusing instead on newly emergent issues of concern to development. Nevertheless, it is an important document for the emphasis it gives to endogenous capability development, the impacts of new technologies, the key role of cooperation, and the changing character of the development problématique. However, as is the case with most UN reports and initiatives, it is basically a consensus document that operates at the governmental level. As such, it fails to deal in any substantial fashion with science and technology at the level of the firm or enterprise, which is basically where real processes of technical change occur and are experienced.

Nevertheless, the United Nations plays an important worldwide role in STP. Most of the arms of the United Nations are involved in specific science and technology activities. Unesco continues to be the main source of statistics on science and technology in the developing countries, though their quality may be questioned. The ILO's Technology and Employment Branch has produced an enormous number of studies and reports on a variety of topics related to science and technology and has played an important role in the appropriate technology debate. The sectoral agencies, such as FAO and UNIDO, also have strong science and technology programmes. The Centre for Science and Technology for Development continues to be an important focusing point within the United Nations for science and technology activities, and its Advisory Committee consists of leading STP experts from around the world. The World Bank, however, has played a weak role in this area. Partly due to the disciplinary bias of economics against recognizing science and technology as an important economic factor, the Bank has done relatively little in furthering our understanding of the role of science and technology in development. In recent times, the efforts of the Industry and Energy Department, however, have been more directly focused on the issues.

The knowledge base for STP

As STP has evolved, it has involved a growing number of disciplines and is today seen largely as an interdisciplinary area. But this does not imply that there is a consensus as to the base of knowledge that is now needed for STP. In particular, there is a dichotomy between the manner in which economics approaches STP and the perspective taken by the other social sciences. Many of the UN analyses, for instance, do not directly address the economic aspects of STP. This is a serious issue - what types of skill sets are required for effective STP? Rosenberg [29] addresses this issue head on:

Although research in the realms of science and technology is obviously a highly specialized activity best left to the appropriately trained professionals, science and technology policy is an entirely different matter. Insofar as interest in these subjects is due to their economic consequences, the formulation of science and technology policy is inseparable from the formulation of economic policy.

Some clarification and elaboration are in order. Putting the point negatively' it is not possible to isolate science and technology policies from economic policy making without seriously diminishing their effectiveness. In fact, it is difficult even to identify a very specific set of science-and technology oriented programmer and label them as "Science and Technology Policy". The reason is that there are a great number of factors that affect the commitment of resources to science and technology and that determine the "output" that society is likely to derive from such use of resources. Science and technology are economic activities, and they represent ways of pursuing a wide range of economic goals and objectives. They are not activities that run along some parallel track to, let us say, the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Defense or Agriculture. Nor can they be readily isolated in a Department of Science or a Department of Technology. [pp. 135-136]

The issue is in fact more complicated. STP has, as discussed earlier, become the subject of interest for a number of different disciplines. It has in the past been a domain where scientists and technologists dominated as well. Today, the range of "intellectual stakeholders" in STP is vast, and this is precisely because the subject itself is so complex and multifarious. But Rosenberg's argument is an important one, precisely because the economic dimension has tended to be excluded from STP, particularly in UN circles and in the STP efforts of many developing countries. It is only recently that one finds the World Bank conducting research on technology policy with a strong economic perspective.

On the other hand, it can also be argued that the discipline of economics has not been able to address effectively many of the problems associated with science and technology in development in any meaningful sense. In most cases, technical change has been treated as a "black box" that is beyond the elegant analysis of, say, neoclassical economics. Similarly, practical matters of implementation and management are not dealt with. The tendency has been to tackle the problem at the macro level, assuming away the heterogeneity of firms and the particularities of the entire technical process, and certainly giving no recognition to either the idiosyncrasies of technical change broadly defined nor to the specificities of technical change processes in a developing country context, where many of the assumptions that are valid in an industrialized setting simply cannot be sustained. It is only among the recent and still evolving neo-Schumpeterian school of economists studying technical change that one finds a more realistic appreciation of the peculiarities of technical change and thence its relevance, both analytically and practically, for developing countries.

Therefore, though the UN style of approach to STP and similar perspectives may admittedly be deficient in their lack of attention to economic detail and the analytical rigour that economics encourages, they are still valuable for their better sense of the complex and interdisciplinary character of the STP issue. The neo-Schumpeterian approach, by providing the rigour of the discipline but also admitting the "muddiness" of the problem, therefore offers a hope for a new and more relevant approach to STP analysis, one that is needed in the changing times that we are experiencing.

Conclusion: Key contemporary issues for STP

In effect, the issues facing STP research and analysis today consist of three elements.

The first relates to the disciplinary content of STP, with a fairly strong argument for an emphasis on economic analysis, albeit with the proviso that economics itself lacks some of the tools needed to render a realistic perspective on the complexity of issues contained in STP. The second relates to the need for a stronger integration between the imperatives of STP and those of industrialization in developing countries. While STP has many goals, and the argument of "science for science's sake" is still tenable, the core rationale for STP is, for developing countries, the harnessing of the potential of science and technology for an equitable and efficient process of industrialization broadly defined (and not confined solely to Western models of industrialization). Finally, there is the issue of levels of analysis of STP. Most effort has been concentrated at the broad macro level, but relatively little has been done in terms of understanding firm-level processes of technical change (but see refs. 18, 14, 17, 20, 21).

The challenge f