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Organizational and geopolitical approaches to international science and technology networks


Recent views of science and technology have relied heavily on social network approaches. However, even within social network approaches, there are distinctive positions on international science and technology networks, depending on how boundaries and organizational processes are conceptualized. We contrast organizational approaches, exemplified by that of Shrum and Mullins, with geopolitical approaches, exemplified by Thomas Schott’s work. Problems and advantages of each approach are discussed. Finally, we propose that the difference between empirical levels of analysis and the part/whole distinction offers a preferable way of conceptualizing the micro-macro problem.

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His interests are science and technology networks in developing countries, ritual, and the role of critics in the performing arts.

His interests are ethnic communities, immigrant adaptation, and Asian American studies.

An earlier version of this article was delivered in Gothenburg, Sweden, at a meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science in August 1992. We would like to thank Thomas Schott for his comments and clarifications.

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Shrum, W., Bankston, C. Organizational and geopolitical approaches to international science and technology networks. Knowledge and Policy 6, 119–133 (1993).

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  • World System
  • Egocentric Network
  • Interorganizational Network
  • Scientific Specialty
  • Social Network Approach