T09P16 - Public Policies and Urban Governance in the Global South: Dealing With Policy Processes that Challenge Established Boundaries

Topic : Governance, Policy networks and Multi-level Governance

Chair : Charlotte Halpern - charlotte.halpern@sciencespo.fr

Second Chair : Alvaro Artigas - alvaro.artigaspereira@sciencespo.fr

Third Chair : Alza Carlos - carlos.alza@pucp.edu.pe

General Objectives, Research Questions and Scientific Relevance

Call for papers

Session 1 Public Policies and Urban Governance in the Global South: Dealing With Policy Processes that Challenge Established Boundaries

Wednesday, June 28th 14:00 to 16:00 (Block B 3 - 6 )


Alza Carlos - carlos.alza@pucp.edu.pe - School of Government and Public Policy - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) - Peru

Alvaro Artigas - alvaro.artigaspereira@sciencespo.fr - France

Urban policy-making at the crossroads? Understanding coordination challenges in policy processes in South American capital-cities

Charlotte Halpern - charlotte.halpern@sciencespo.fr - Sciences Po, Centre d'Etudes Européennes - France

Alvaro Artigas - alvaro.artigaspereira@sciencespo.fr - France

Alza Carlos - carlos.alza@pucp.edu.pe - School of Government and Public Policy - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) - Peru

Large cities in the emergent world have been increasingly confronted to critical coordination challenges and reform opportunities that have been amply discussed by public policy related literature. Driven by important administrative change processes ignited in the last three decades, these reforms, whereas focusing on decentralization or the extension of policy networks to non-traditional policy actors have sought to revert traditional command and control approaches and to “move political administrative controls away from the political center of government” (Peters 2014). As usually happens in comprehensive administrative policy changes, these reform agendas often sought to achieve contradictory goals and have produced unintended effects (Margetts et al., 2010). In the South American context, the most relevant policy goal behind such reforms has been to democratize national and local politics –and to a lesser extent– to reducing governance’s political discretionality and to ensuring that lower government levels increasingly and effectively engaged into the formulation and implementation of territorialized solutions. Implementing these reforms, however, often led to creating powerful regulatory agencies in charge of overseeing and developing vital utilities, services and infrastructures (Lorrain 2015). While it has certainly led to a greater predictability of public action and altered preexisting patterns of city development, it has not been able to alter decision-making patterns, subjecting many of these agencies to ministerial -and ultimately governmental- design to the detriment of newly empowered subnational levels of government. This situation is particularly exacerbated in capital-cities pertaining to highly centralized states, such as Chile or Peru, where metropolitan governance structures are characterized by low levels of autonomy and political capacity vis-à-vis municipal and national levels of government, public agencies and private actors, as well as international governmental and non-governmental agencies. 

Our conceptual paper claims that this has led to two important consequences when it comes to city governance: a) the replication of important hierarchical path dependencies at the formulation level and the relatively limited appeal of challenging policy solutions to long standing problems; and b) the complexification of policy decisions in the light of increasing conflicts and decision deadlocks resulting of more government levels and increasingly encroaching governmental agencies. Lima and Santiago city governance will be used to explore these ideas, resorting to metropolitan planning strategies on the one hand, and to water, energy and transport issues on the other one.

Evolution of Governance Mechanisms: Mental Models, Learning & Fields in the Social-ecological System of Urban Lakes in Bangalore

Sanchayan Nath - sancnath@indiana.edu - India

The governance of Bangalore’s urban lakes has gradually transitioned from a state-dominated publicly-governed mode, to one in which local communities have a much larger say. Therefore, the research question that I seek to answer in this article is – “How has the governance of Bangalore’s urban lakes changed over time?” I seek to answer this question by using the concepts of actor interactions, power dynamics, mental models, learning, linked action situations, level-shifting, and turbulence in strategic action fields. I draw upon these ideas from three distinct streams of literature - the theory of strategic action fields (SAFs), the Management and Transition Framework (MTF) and the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework (IADF). Each of these approaches, if used on its own, provides only incomplete explanations of the same phenomenon. It is only by bringing together diverse concepts from different theoretical approaches that we are able to develop a wholesome understanding of governance change. My quest in this article has been to redirect attention to the need for continued theoretical focus on the human aspect of social-ecological systems. Specifically, I seek to draw attention to the role that social-sciency variables, such as power, mental models and learning, play in the governance of complex human-environmental interactions.

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