Prometheus: Vol 21, No 3 (2003)

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Creating space in the global economy: Building a high tech dream in Malaysia
Loong Wong
Pages: 289-301


The globalisation of innovation has become a major issue in the discourses of economic development. There is a view that unfettered market forces will promote greater and better developmental outcomes and for this to happen, the state must play a minimalist role. There is the other view that argues that the state can play ‘catalytic’ roles and mediate the forces of globalisation to engender outcomes congruent to its aspirations. In this paper, we look at the experiences of one Asian state, Malaysia. The paper will examine the historical evolution of technology policies in Malaysia. It argues that the Malaysian state has been an active change agent and has sought to realise its vision of becoming a democratic, modern and ‘developed society’ via its latest technology flagship, the Multimedia Supercorridor (MSC). The paper argues that, despite its resoluteness and investment in the project, the Malaysian state is unlikely to succeed in producing its high tech utopia. Rooted in a highly technocratic and managerial context, the Malaysian vision fails to account for the prevailing institutional forces impacting on, and impeding transformation in Malaysia.

The Crisis of communication: Videotext, the internet and innovation in France and the United States
Amy Fletcher
Pages: 305-315


This article compares videotext in France and the United States, the two advanced industrialized countries where videotext was the most and least successful, respectively, in order to demonstrate how videotext as a techno-political project foreshadows the explosive growth of the Internet as the dominant global communications platform. It draws upon the theory of network effects, in combination with a comparative analysis of both the institutional settings for research and development and political discourse, to explain how the interaction between state, market, and culture shaped network development and policy outcomes. Data are drawn primarily from official policy documents and trade journals from the era.

PhD student satisfaction with course experience and supervision in two Australian Research-intensive Universities
Grant Harman
Pages: 312-333


Over the past decade, Australian universities have experienced a dramatic expansion in PhD enrolments and in the proportion of female PhD candidates. This article assesses how well two major research-intensive universities have coped with these changes, looking particularly at student course experience. Of particular concern are relatively low satisfaction ratings given by PhD students to their overall course experience, which appeared to stem largely from dissatisfaction with supervision. Females were decidedly more dissatisfied than males with both course experience and supervision. In turn, dissatisfaction with supervision by both male and female students appears to have stemmed from various factors, but particularly important were lack of easy access by students to supervisors because of high workloads, and weaknesses in supervision practice. Many younger PhD students had distinctively negative attitudes towards universities and academic careers at a time of declining government funding per student unit.

Globalization of Japanese culture: Economic power vs. cultural power, 1989-2002
Dal Yong jin
Pages: 335-345


This article examines the reasons why Japanese cultural products have not penetrated other countries. It also explicates the recent trends in Japan’s expansion of its cultural products and Japan’s direct investment in the global cultural market to ascertain whether this new development is a sign that Japan is attempting to gain an important role in global communication. It concludes that Japan was not able to successfully build its communication power to a degree comparable to its status as the second largest economic power and its second largest media consumption market.

R&D in the United States department of homeland security
Kei Koizumi , Joanne Carney , David Cooper & Al Teich
Pages: 347-353


” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began full operations in March by consolidating nearly 180,000 federal employees from nearly two-dozen agencies into a single cabinet-level department . ” The DHS would become one of the major funding sources of R&D . The DHS R&D portfolio would total $1.0 billion in FY 2004, a 50% jump from the $669 million for comparable programs in FY 2003 and nearly quadruple the FY 2002 funding level . 2 ” In FY 2003, DHS R&D would be mostly transfers of existing programs from the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DOD), Energy (DOE), and Transportation (DOT), but in FY 2004 a new Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) would fund extramural R&D. ” Bioterrorism R&D would stay in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but DHS will have a priority-setting role .

Rhetorical patterns in the Australian debate over war with Iraq
Brian Dollery & Lin Crase
Pages: 355-363


Considerable public debate surrounded the Bush Administration’s policy to invade Iraq if it did not dismantle its purported stockpile of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ and the wisdom of Australian participation in such an attack. This paper invokes Albert Hirschman’s well-known ‘rhetoric of reaction’ taxonomy to examine the patterns of persuasive discourse embodied in the Australian debate over the desirability of Australian involvement in a war with Iraq. We seek to establish whether the Hirschmanian typology does indeed adequately describe rhetorical patterns in the Australian debate and we attempt to identify shortcomings in the analytical system proposed by Hirschman.

Book reviews
Pages: 365-378

Page: 379

Contributors to this issue
Page: 381