Skip to main content

Article Category

News

Article available in the folowing languages:

New Book- Making Public Technology Policy Analysis an Objective and Systematic Science

New Book Release to Scan behind the Hype and Promises of Current Public Technology Policy

Canadian-Finnish Publisher SPACEPOL Editeurs Universitaires Academic Publishers is set to release an academic title which is sure to spark a heated debate on current public policy regarding information and other technologies, policy which has since at least the early nineties been channelling billions of tax dollars into the branch in Canada, Finland, Sweden and many other countries. Technological Revolution as Political coup d'etat- Developing an Objective and Systematic Science of Public Technology Policy Analysis is not so much a critique of current policy as it is an analysis of the diffuse and inflated rhetoric used in connection with past and current public policy in this field and of the interest groups involved in forming public technology policy. The author, Administrative Scientist Gunnar K. A. Njalsson who has lectured since 1998 at universities on this subject, aims to pave the way for a more systematic analysis of what various proposals and technology programmes mean in terms of economic resources or in terms of occupational prestige and priorities for other societal functions ranging from culture and education to social sciences, humanities and traditional occupations. Two powerful elite groups are seen as having influenced and continuing to influence the nature of national technology policy- econocrats and technocrats, as Njalsson refers to them. Each elite group is guided in part by cognitive factors which influence the way in which its members view problems and their solutions. For instance, econocrats representing industrial interests will tend to view many current and future problems facing Canadian, Finnish, Swedish or international society in terms of Economics-related issues to be solved by those tools provided by Economics as a discipline. Technocrats, on the other hand, may tend to propose various technologies as a solution even to problems related to the functioning of democracy in our time. Due the interest aspect of their occupationally related problem-solution mindsets, both technocrats and econocrats found each other in particular during the 1980's and 1990's when econocrats realised they could deal with various stability and profit related issues through automation, information and control. Technocrats, on the other hand, found a way to ensure jobs, prestige and wealth for themselves in this context and eventually both elites managed to re-define many central societal issues in terms of economics and technology and through their legitimacy, to channel public resources toward their own hegemonic societal projects. Technological Revolution as Political coup d'etat is the first of two separate books to be published in connection with the ongoing research project with the same name. However, in this first publication Gunnar K. A. Njalsson strives to provide an analysis of current technology development theories, classifying them and pointing out the need for a more objective and systematic classification of differing types of public policy in the field of technology. It is indeed this system of classification together with a demonstrated method for cutting through much of the hype associated with technology programme proposals that renders the book not only an organised forerunner to the second publication which shall include empirical analysis, but also provides policy-makers with some valuable insights and tools for better channelling scarce public resources. "During the past years, I have constantly challenged my Public Policy students to read between the lines when judging the actual aims and effects of technology programmes- who gains what, who will lose resources, what does this or that statement say about the way the author views the roots of a particular problem, who will sell more of their products if this policy is approved, etc. Njalsson explains. The author also warns that policy makers and academics need to learn techniques for examining the various technology programmes and not allow themselves to be intimidated by the numerous types of econocratic or technocratic rhetoric used at times to exclude others from the dialogue, even regarding non-technical problems. "Enough is at stake in terms of billions of dollars, millions of jobs and the entire shape of our future to warrant policy makers taking an interest in this subject and training themselves to take informed and realistic decisions in this field of Public Policy, Gunnar K. A. Njalsson warns. The book Technological Revolution or Political coup d'etat is scheduled for release in late October 2005 and will provide the analytical framework for the second publication which aims to undertake empirical analysis using the methods and hypothesis from the first book. This publication is available from several global wholesalers including Coutts Library Services. More information is available at: http://www.spacepol.com/TechPolicy.pdfPlease note Newswire feed source for Canadian and EU news for these fields located at URL: http://www.spacepol.com/rss/feeds/Index.xml Cordis may freely syndicate.