The late twentieth century has seen profound changes in the character of the international economic order. According to the authors of this study, Canada has failed to come to terms with those changes. Our industrial policy is diffuse, ad hoc, and sectoral. Michael Atkinson and William Coleman argue that in order to analyse Canada’s industrial policy effectively, particular attention must be given to industry organization, state structures, and systems of interest intermediation at the sectoral level.
To make such an analysis they introduce the concept of policy network, and apply it to three types of industrial sectors: the research-intensive sectors of telecommunications manufacturing and pharmaceuticals; the rapidly changing sectors of petrochemicals and meat processing; and the contracting and troubled sectors of textiles, clothing, and dairy processing.
Through the lens of these sectors Coleman and Atkinson shed considerable light on the intersection of political considerations and policy development, and offer a new base on which to move forward in planning for economic growth.