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Innovation policy in the post-war period

This paper provides a structured outline of innovation and industrial policies in a small and highly industrialised economy during the post-war period. Analysing the changing priorities of these policies in an open economy like Norway provides a contrasting perspective to the literature on the structure and evolution of industrial innovation policies with its bias towards US and other large country developments. The analysis lead us to introduce, inspired by Foucault’s concept of mentalities, Kuhn’s paradigms, as well as Gadamer’s life worlds, policy mentalities as a concept to characterise main dimensions of industrial policies in various period. Policy mentalities are sets of implicit and explicit assumptions and views held by the policy system about the core task and objective of industrial policy. In a sense, these policy mentalities, reflecting current views or aspirations concerning the nature and dynamics of ongoing social change, can be seen as major determinants of policy objectives. As with Foucaultian mentalities, the policy mentalities tend to persist over time. The paper briefly outlines some major trends in industrial and innovation policies in Norway, at the European level and in the US during the post-war period.

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Paper provided by The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy in its series STEP Report series with number 200301.

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Handle: RePEc:stp:stepre:2003r01
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