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

Call for papers

Session 1 Fragmentation in global policy-making 1

Thursday, June 29th 13:30 to 15:30 (Block B 3 - 5 )


Carmen Huckel Schneider - carmen.huckelschneider@sydney.edu.au - Menzies Centre Health Policy, University of Sydney - Australia

Tim Legrand - tim.legrand@anu.edu.au - National Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy - Australia

The New Anarchy: Globalisation and Fragmentation in World Politics

Philip G Cerny - pgcerny@rutgers.edu - University of Manchester - United Kingdom

Modern IR theory has consistently underestimated the depth of the problem of anarchy in world politics. Contemporary theories of globalisation bring this into bold relief. From this perspective, the complexity of transboundary networks and hierarchies, economic sectors, ethnic and religious ties, civil and cross-border wars, and internally disaggregated and transnationally connected state actors, leads to a complex and multidimensional restructuring of the global, the local, and the uneven connections in between. We ought to abandon the idea of ‘high’ and ‘low’ politics, ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ once and for all. This does not remove the problem of anarchy, but rather deepens it, involving multidimensional tensions and contradictions variously described as “functional differentiation”, “multiscalarity”, “fragmegration”, disparate “landscapes”, the “new security dilemma” and “neomedievalism”. Outcomes are increasingly unpredictable and depend on how strategically situated actors shape formal and informal public/private linkages, networks and hierarchies from the local to the transnational, crosscutting economic processes, transboundary social bonds and, finally, a “disaggregated state”—a dialectic of globalisation and fragmentation. Approaching anarchy from the perspective of plural competing claims to authority and power, forces us to think again about the nature of global order and the virtues of anarchy therein. Will the long term outcome be the emergence of a more decentralised, pluralistic world order, or a quagmire of endemic conflict and Durkheimian anomie?


Fragmentation: Bane or Blessing? Global Energy Policy in Multiple Arenas

Aynsley Kellow - akellow@utas.edu.au - University of Tasmania - Australia

Hannah Murphy-Gregory - Hannah.Murphy@utas.edu.au - University of Tasmania - Australia

Download the paper

Our knowledge of forum shopping in global governance shows that strategic inconsistencies between the arenas in which global policy is made provides opportunities for both state and non-state actors to influence outcomes. This paper will examine the fate of an agenda of the US to limit financing of coal-based electricity generation construction in the World Bank and the OECD – through the adoption of a Directions Statement in the Bank and a Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Coal-Fired Electricity Generation Projects agreed to by the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits in the OECD.

The OECD decision to restrict the use of finance for coal stations using Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) was perhaps the more significant, as greater amounts of financing have been provided for coal-fired power stations by ECAs than by the Bank. The US prevailed in the Bank but in the OECD, after opposition from Japan, Korea, Australia and others, the decision allowed the continued use of Export Credits to fund coal stations if they were High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) — with further exemptions for Least Developed Countries.

As HELE stations represent the dominant type planned or under construction in the Asia-Pacific, the OECD outcome was a significant win for interests in the region and a defeat for the US and the environmental and natural gas interests that had persuaded the US to adopt this position. And as ultrasupercritical coal plant (at 45% efficiency) offers substantial mitigation opportunities when it replaces conventional plant (global average 33% efficiency, with approximately 2% emissions reduction for every 1% efficiency gain), the provision for HELE plant in the OECD decision promises to progress the joint goals of greenhouse gas mitigation and economic development.

This paper will show that the two outcomes reflect the different characteristics of the two arenas, especially voting rules. It suggests that fragmentation of global policy making into different arenas provides opportunities for actors at a disadvantage in one arena to counter the quasi-hegemonic influence of others in different arenas.

Trusting Transgovernmentalism: Ideas, interests and values in global public policy-making.

Tim Legrand - tim.legrand@anu.edu.au - National Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy - Australia

Though the concept of ‘global public policy’ is increasingly attracting interest from public administration scholars (e.g. Stone & Ladi, 2015), the processes and patterns of state and non-state actor interaction remain opaque - especially in the murky non-sovereign arenas in which global policy-making occurs. One form of cross-border policy-making to have become apparent is transgovernmental policy networking. The study of these networks has a pedigree in the IR discipline — notably associated with R.Keohane & J. Nye (1974) and A.M. Slaughter (2004) -- in which the prevailing theoretical view asserts that state actors forge transgovernmental networks with peers elsewhere solely to address common cross-border challenges that cannot be addressed unilaterally. This paper seeks to challenge and extend this functionalist perspective of cross-border policy-making by emphasising the importance of ideas, identity and values in the coalescence of transgovernmental networks. The paper considers three prominent transgovernmental groupings: the Anglosphere, the Nordic Region and the European Union. These cases are used, first, to depict the regional contours of global policy debates and, second, to draw out the dynamics of identity propinquity which underpins their respective informal and formal trust-based cooperation. Doing so, the paper argues, deepens our understanding of the political faultlines, politicking and preferences apparent in global public policy-making venues.


Why do global health organisations take on the governance structures that they do?

Carmen Huckel Schneider - carmen.huckelschneider@sydney.edu.au - Menzies Centre Health Policy, University of Sydney - Australia

Download the paper

There have been various attempts over the past 20 years to establish and maintain novel governance mechanisms to sustain political priority of particular health issues. These include the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, established in 2000, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria established in 2002 and the International Health Partnership established in 2007.  More recently, coordination models have emerged, some of which appear to put a renewed emphasis on multilateral institutions, such as Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs, while others attempt bind together existing networks and knowledge communities into formal decision making structures that include governance boards, technical committees and executives. In each case, governance is built around the need to reach agreements and take decisions in dynamic political environments where health and medical knowledge is advancing, resources are scarce, interests are dispersed among various actors and priorities are contested.

The paper addresses the second theme of this ICPP panel - 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?  The paper takes examples of global health organisations in the areas of communicable and non-communicable diseases and poses the research question – Why do global health organisations take on the governance structures that they do? First the significance of formal governance structures for global policy making is addressed.   Second, similarities, contrasts and trends in the organisational governance structures of global health organisations are presented. The potential and limitations of current global governance scholarship to answer the research question are then discussed.  In particular, the paper argues for greater attention to be paid to insights from economics and business management - in terms of their influence on, and explanation of, governance trends.

Global governance scholarship still rarely explores the influence of business management scholarship on organisational structures in global policy making. This is surprising as recent work on transnational networks, epistemic communities and public-private partnerships have demonstrated that global governance structures today need not follow precedents of international relations. Indeed, the governance structures of several major health policy organisations embody key features of corporations. The research question will be explored by adding a corporate governance lens to explanations from historical and liberal institutionalism.


Formal coordination mechanisms in global governance: The case of intellectual property

Maarja Beerkens - m.beerkens@fgga.leidenuniv.nl - Leiden University - Netherlands

Download the paper

Global policy issues tend to be highly complex, involving numerous public and private actors but also crossing sectors and organizational authorities. Coordination of activities is therefore highly important, particularly in the case of new issues that find themselves at an overlapping ‘periphery’ of several well-established fields. While literature on networks is accumulating, research on formal inter-organizational coordination mechanisms is still scarce. This paper will review existing research on coordination mechanisms, attempting to identify factors that tend to explain their emergence and their ability to contribute to problem solving. While most of the literature has emerged out of the environmental sector, this paper will apply the framework on a ‘man-made’ resource, on the ‘essential medicines’ initiative. This is a case where many key issues intersect: intellectual property rights, free trade and health, but also poverty relief. Over the last decades, the sector has seen the emergence and formalization of coordination.

Export PDF