DV446      Half Unit
Technical Change, Paradigm Shifts and Global Development

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Carlota Perez


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies and MSc in Development Studies (Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This is an interdisciplinary course aimed at understanding how technical change modifies the windows of opportunity for growth and development as well as how technology and institutions influence each other. The course will be structured in three parts: Part one - Theory of technical change will provide a set of tools for analysing technology from a social science perspective, connecting the neo-Schumpeterian theories of technology and innovation with the theories of development. Part two - The impact of technical change on development will use that framework to explain why development opportunities are a moving target and why what may have been impossible in a particular period can become possible in another, thus requiring an evolutionary perspective of development strategies. Part Three - The mutual influence of technology and social institutions will examine the way in which social forces, movements and policies shape and are shaped by technology and the social innovation potential it provides.


15 hours of lectures and 20 hours of seminars in the LT.
Note: part of the teaching and the seminar guidance will be performed by guest professors. Mary Kaldor and Robin Murray

Formative coursework

Reading three or four papers for each lecture and submitting comments as requested in each case. Participating in the exercises and debates proposed in the seminars. Searching examples in the media of the issues being discussed. Participating in the discussion of their colleagues' exam presentations.

Indicative reading

Part One
Dosi, Giovanni, Chris Freeman, Richard Nelson, Gerald Silverberg and Luc Soete (eds) (1988), (chosen chapters) Technical Change and Economic Theory, London and New York: Pinter and Columbia University Press
Freeman, C (1995). "The 'National System of Innovation' in historical perspective". Cambridge Journal of Economics. 19: 5-24.
Lundvall, B.-Å., Johnson, B., Andersen, E.S., and B. Dalum (2002), 'National systems of production, innovation and competence building', Research Policy, 31, 213-231
Perez C.( 2010) "Technological revolutions and techno-economic paradigms", Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 34, No.1, pp. 185-202
Part Two
Ernst, D., (2002). 'Global production networks and the changing geography of innovation systems: implications for developing countries', Economics of Innovation and New Technologies, 11 (6), 497-523
Perez, C. (2010) "Technological dynamism and social inclusion in Latin America: a resource-based production development strategy" in CEPAL Review No. 100, pp. 121-141
Perez, C., and Soete, L. (1988) "Catching up in technology: entry barriers and windows of opportunity, in Dosi et al. (eds) Chapter 21, pp. 458-479.
Part Three
Murray, R., Caulier-Grice,J. and Mulgan, G. (2010) The Open Book of Social Innovation, Nesta
Schot, J.W., 2001, 'Towards new forms of participatory technology development', Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 13(1), 39-52
Williams, R. and D. Edge (1996), 'The social shaping of technology', Research Policy, 25(6), 865-899


Essay (30%, 1500 words) and essay (30%, 1500 words) in the ST.
Project (40%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information