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Abstract or Description

This paper explores the role of the state in re-architecting social networks and thereby new technology directions in the United States. It draws on a case study of DARPA’s Microsystem’s Technology Office from 1992-2008. Leveraging one of the most radical directorships in DARPA’s history, I argue that the perceived “death” of DARPA under Tony Tether was because past analyses, by focusing on the organization’s culture and structure, overlooked a set of lasting, informal institutions among DARPA program managers. I find that despite significant changes in the recipients and outcomes of DARPA attentions, these same institutions for directing technology were in place both before and during Tether’s directorship. Drawing on these results, I suggest that we must add to technology policy-making a new option – embedded network governance.

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