A Comparative Political Theory of National Science Provision
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This paper presents a generalized yet comparative analysis of national science policy. The purpose of the paper is to attempt explanations for observed differences in indicators in the national conduct of science and technology. This contrasts with, but complements, existing descriptive accounts of national science systems. The method of the paper is combined logico-deductive and empirical. A formal model based on comparative politics is produced and analyzed. An empirical set of indicators of national science, based on a superset of OECD nations, is analyzed. Key variables of national governance are identified; a causal analysis is made to determine whether these institutional variables capture actual science and technology outputs. Care is made to produce appropriate comparative statistics given observable differences in the size, labor force, and economic capacity of nations. A discussion is provided of the nature and interaction of policy preferences versus political institutions in the arena of science policy. Recommendations for the United States and Netherlands science policy are made based upon the model.