Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance
Innovation Policy and Small States
General description of the specialisation
The second semester specialization “Innovation Policy and Small States” deals with small states-specific socio-economic and institutional aspects that determine the possibilities for different types (technical, cultural etc.) of innovation, paving eventually the way for economic growth and development. By following the example of Estonia and other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, students will get insight into technological capacities of these states. They will study the governance, public administration and economic structure of small states, which define the specific context for the policy measures to be used and ways to achieve the objectives of innovation policy. By following comparative study approach, the phenomenon of core-periphery relations in Europe is surveyed, and as a result, students are presented with the discussion about the possibilities and obstacles for policy transfer and learning from the experience of Western European and East Asian developmental states.
The specialization module for the ESST students consists of two courses in the total amount of 9 ECTS. These two courses are introductory and fundamental to assist students with articulating and developing their master’s thesis.
The introductory module consists of 2 courses: Public Administration and Innovation & Small States. These courses provides students with:
Schedule of specialization courses
The two specialization courses are held during the Spring term, i.e. between February and May. The sequence of courses and exact dates vary annually. All courses are scheduled for evening times starting from 5:15 PM.
The language of instruction of the whole “Innovation Policy and Small States” specialization module is English.
Maximum number of ESST students: There are no formal requirements with regard to minimum or maximum number of students for the specialization under Technology Governance program.
Course 1: Public Administration and Innovation
Number of credit points: 6 ECTS, 162 hours
Content: The course aims to give an overview about the main issues related to the role of the state in technological development and innovation. The course discusses different theoretical ways how to understand the role of the state and in particular that of the public administration (bureaucracy) in innovation processes. Also, issues surrounding the question of what should be the nature and structure of public sector in order to support and enhance technological development are discussed. In addition, the course aims to elaborate on specific challenges of catching-up (developing) economies or those in transition.
Lecturer: Professor Rainer Kattel
Educational methods: Teaching consists of lectures and seminars in April-May and a number of individual assignments.
Evaluation method: Evaluation based on class participation and writing assignments.
Course 2: Small States
Number of credit points: 3 ECTS, 80 hours
Content: The course will provide an overview of the main issues involved in development and administration of small states, which face often different problems than larger states, both in terms of the nature of problems (e.g. size of the market) and in potential solutions (e.g. limited human capital). Globalization and regionalization add new complex challenges to small states. Innovation and industrial development often depend on long-term and large-scale investments and growing markets, both lacking by nature in small states. This implies special focus on innovation and industrial policy context and its peculiarities with regard to innovation and development potential of small states. Furthermore, the course examines the role and behavior of small states in an international system.
Lecturer(s): Senior Research fellow Tarmo Kalvet & professor Tiina Randma-Liiv
Educational methods: The teaching method is a mixture of lectures and student seminar presentations. Within two weeks eight 2-hour lectures and two 3-hour seminars are held (all starting at evening times, 5:15 PM). For every lecture students are delivered with topical reading materials to be worked through beforehand. During the lectures the key issues of a topic (small state peculiarities, statehood and public administration, politics and policy-making, international relations, economic systems) are presented and discussed. For the seminars students are expected to present cases orally on the subjects already covered and analyze them by drawing parallels between theoretical standpoints and empirical findings (cases). After the course students are expected to present a paper (5-7 pages long essay) on course-related topic (could be a part of a master`s thesis).
Evaluation method: Evaluation based on written exam on open questions (50% of a grade), participation in seminars (30% of a grade) and a group assignment (20% of a grade).
Some examples of thesis topics
Techno-economic paradigms, financial fragility and development, the characteristics of CEE countries, e-governance, administration and innovation, role and impact of structural funds on innovation, the impact of public procurement on innovation, and economic development and innovation in small states is general indication of possible topics to be covered by theses.
Staff members who may act as thesis supervisors
Prof. Rainer Kattel: Innovation and development in CEE; Public administration and innovation; Innovation policy; Biotechnology; Smart Cities.
Prof. Wolfgang Drechsler: The role of public management and the state in innovation and economic development; Nano-technology, E-governance; Techno-determinism and critique of technology.
Research fellow Erkki Karo: Public sector reforms; Governance of research, development and innovation; Eastern European catching-up process
Professor Robert Krimmer: E-governance: internet-based voting; open government; open/big data; m-Governance; Web 2.0 and governance; e-Security, e-Health, e-Learning; Smart Cities.
Senior Research fellow Tarmo Kalvet: ICT; E-governance and E-services; Small States; Business Models and Innovation; Innovation policy; Innovation systems approach.
Research fellow Margit Kirs: Innovation and industrial policy; Technology governance; Business models in high-tech sectors (biotechnology).
More information regarding Technology Governance program, Tallinn University of Technology, and supportive services for international students may be obtained from the following websites:
Coordinator of specialization
Egert Juuse, PhD
Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance
Akadeemia tee 3
12618 Tallinn Estonia
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +372 620 2657
Olga Mikheeva (officer in international relations)
Phone: +372 620 2651