The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act As Networked Developmental Policy

Friday, June 24, 2016: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM
235 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Matthew R. Keller, Department of Sociology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; Southern Methodist University
In 2009, the U.S. Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in an effort to stimulate economic growth in the wake of the recession. The Act was complex and multi-faceted, with components ranging from tax credits to “shovel ready” infrastructure projects to funding for an array of new as well as extant R&D programs. In this paper I focus on the large investments in alternative energy programs supported through ARRA. The organization of these programs, I argue, centrally reflected a U.S.-model of “network developmental” industrial policy that built on an existing network of developmental programs and agencies, but also expanded, in important ways, the policy mechanisms aimed at fostering the development and implementation of new technologies. The paper articulates a core set of attributes of the U.S.’s somewhat unique network developmental apparatus, and describes key mechanisms through which ARRA extended and deepened that apparatus.