Fred Block is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. His recent work has focused on documenting the substantial role that the U.S. government plays in technology development across the civilian economy. His new book, State of Innovation: The U.S. Government's Role in Technology Development, co-edited with Matthew R. Keller (Paradigm Publishers), contains a series of case studies that document different dimensions of this recently constructed innovation system. His current research centers on the kinds of financial reforms and new institutions required to support innovation in this new context of public-private collaboration. His earlier books include The Origins of International Economic Disorder (1977), Postindustrial Possibilities (1990), and The Vampire State (1996).
Two leading advocates of increased federal investment in innovation face off against two leading opponents.