T09P17 - Fragmentation in Global Policy-making: Mapping the Problem and Exploring Coordination Mechanisms

Topic : Governance, Policy networks and Multi-level Governance

Panel Chair : Maarja Beerkens - m.beerkens@fgga.leidenuniv.nl

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Capacity for global policy-making has become an important issue. Increasing number of policy sectors face a need for policy making at the global level, not only for high-profile issues such as climate change, financial markets, or public health, but also in daily operations of achieving, for example, open access to knowledge or protection of  cultural heritage.   One of the main challenges in global policy-making is the fragmentation of the global governance architecture, that is environment characterized by multitude of public and private actors, and heterogeneity of norms, procedures and decision-making structures (Brinkmann 2009).  An ‘orchestration’ or coordination deficit has become both a theoretically interesting and  practically relevant issue (Abbott and Snidal 2009).

 

Recent literature in global governance is focusing on the role of these various actors, next to traditional actors such as states and international organizations.   Research is now accumulating fast about the role of transnational networks (Raustiala 2002); epistemic communities and experts (Stone 2004); and various private actors (Hall and Bierstaker 2002).  

This panel will focus not on individual actor groups but on actor constellations in a policy/issue domain or ‘regime’. The key issue is how the different types of actors influence each other and what coordination mechanisms are in place to overcome the fragmentation. The panel is further inspired by increasing interest in coordination mechanisms also in national settings.  Coordination mechanisms have started to get much attention particularly in the context of ‘joined-up government’ framework that seeks coordination in case of  ‘wicked problems’ that cross sectorial lines (Pollitt 2003).  Similarly ‘network governance’, characterized by horizontal relationships between various types of public and private actors has inspired search for effective network management and collaborative arrangements.  This panel thus hopes to extend our understanding of coordination in complex setting, with a focus on global governance.   

 

This panel will bring together scholars who study fragmentation issues, particularly focusing on three themes. First,  what is fragmentation,  how can we operationalize fragmentation both quantitatively and qualitatively to compare sectors, how fragmentation expresses itself; and under what condition it creates major obstacles for effective policy-making. Secondly,  how does interaction between different types of actors take place, how actors influence each other, and  what organizational and other mechanisms are in place or experimented with to overcome fragmentation issues?  Thirdly, what theoretical insights can be developed to explain policy-making in highly fragmented environment (e.g. borrowing from adaptive governance, network governance, collaborative governance, evolutionary institutionalism and other frameworks.)

 

References

Abbott, K.W. and Snidal, D. (2010). International regulation without international government: improving IO performance through orchestration.  The Review of International Organizations,  5(3): 315-344.

Biermann, F. et al (2009). The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis. Global Environmental Politics   9(4): 14-40.

Hall, R.B. and T.J. Biersteker (2002). The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pollitt, C. (2003). Joined-up Government: A Survey. Political Studies Review, 1(1): 34-49.

Raustiala, K. (2002). The architecture of international cooperation: Transgovernmental networks and the future of international law.  Virginia Journal of International Law, 43.

Stone, D. (2004). Transfer agents and global networks in the ‘transnationalization’ of policy.   Journal of European Public Policy, 11(3): 544-566.

Call for papers

 

The arena of global policy-making is often characterized by fragmentation, i.e. by a multitude of different types of actors (national governments, transnational networks, epistemic communities and experts, various private actors) and venues. This panel focuses on actor constellations in a policy/issue domain or ‘regime’. The key issue is how the different types of actors influence each other and what coordination mechanisms are in place to address the fragmentation issues.   The panel welcomes papers on three themes in particular:

 

-          What is fragmentation;  how can we operationalize fragmentation both quantitatively and qualitatively to compare sectors; how fragmentation expresses itself; and under what condition it creates major obstacles for effective policy-making?

-          How does interaction between different types of actors take place; how actors influence each other; and  what organizational and other mechanisms are in place or experimented with to overcome fragmentation issues?  

-          What theoretical insights can be developed to explain policy-making in a highly fragmented environment (e.g. borrowing from adaptive governance, network governance, collaborative governance, evolutionary institutionalism, organizational leadership, etc.)?

 

The panel welcomes theoretical, empirical and methodological papers.  Papers comparing different policy domains and different coordination mechanisms are particularly welcome.  

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