T05P03 - Policymaking and Legitimacy: Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities in Contemporary Developments of State Capacity

Topic : Policy Formulation, Administration and Policymakers

Panel Chair : Beh Loo-See - lucybeh@um.edu.my

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

This stream calls for papers that offer theoretical and empirical analyses of functioning and outcomes of state capacity which may be explained in terms of distinct institutional frameworks, historical trajectories and power relations. What are the implications for legitimacy when public institutions make policies and at times, (un)able to control and monitor those individuals/public servants/leaders who act in the name of the state? What kind of leaders or state is legitimate to ensure appropriate capacity and generate more trust in the pursuit of public interests both internally and externally? These questions focus on actors (who is doing what), institutions (how strategies and tactics of government use policies/policymaking) and the ecology of power relations and forces involving laws, institutions and entities coming together in a policy domain to better shape the decay and eroding ability of governments to govern with regards to state capacity and legitimacy.

 

State capacity is multidimensional. We might define it as the degree to which a state is able to conduct the public affairs of a given polity, or even a complex of complementary state capacities. These include (but are not limited to) extractive capacity (the state’s ability to secure and mobilize resources sufficient to carrying out its purposes), coercive capacity (the state’s ability to control behavior through the threat or use of legal sanctions or force), administrative capacity, defensive capacity, and constitutive capacity (the state’s ability to deploy symbols and narratives to facilitate national consciousness, public consensus, and the like).

 

Institutional theory would argue that administrative reform creates new institutional structure which ought to perpetuate policy changes and legitimacy in state capacity. The social systems of production (Hollingsworth, Boyer) and historical institutionalism (Crouch, Streeck) approaches emphasize broad historical trajectories, social norms and idiosyncratic power relations while regulation theory (Boyer) focus on a broad set of institutions.

 

The key question is whether the state’s capacity is at a juncture of legitimacy resulting in a more complex administrative reform driven by a more overarching ideological reorientation of government which may or may not be effective. Is there institutional quality? To what extent policies contribute to institutional quality and its impact on government effectiveness? What are the challenges, the available choices and opportunities in the contemporary developments with respect to the effectiveness of public policies on the state of accountability, service delivery, and broadly on state capacity? What are the roles of institutions and policymakers in reclaiming the promise of safe-ground provision of state capacity?

 

Policymakers use various policy interventions to tune the landscape in dealing with complex policy challenges. How do we ensure stakeholders are effectively engaged and benefit in the adoption of existing and new policies? The aim is to encourage a critical engagement between those who acknowledge the salience of theoretical (e.g. Popper and Goldthorpe theories on rational actions)and empirical reality and those of whom participation of institutions which supposedly provide that safe ground involving rules of thumb and standards in shaping the transformative dynamics of public policies towards desirable effects and benefits for citizens. 

Call for papers

This stream calls for papers that offer theoretical and empirical analyses of state capacity which may be explained in terms of distinct institutional frameworks, historical trajectories of policymaking and power relations. What are the implications for legitimacy when public institutions make policies and at times, (un)able to control and monitor those individuals/public servants/leaders who act in the name of the state? What kind of leaders/state is legitimate to ensure appropriate capacity and generate more trust in the pursuit of public interests both internally and externally? These questions focus on actors (who is doing what), institutions (how strategies and tactics of government-use in policymaking) and the ecology of power relations and forces involving laws, and institutions coming together in a policy domain to better shape the ability of governments to govern with regards to state capacity and legitimacy.

 

State capacity is multidimensional. Policymakers use various policy interventions to tune the landscape in dealing with complex policy challenges. Institutional theory would argue that administrative reform creates new institutional structure which ought to perpetuate policy changes and legitimacy in state capacity. The key question is whether the state’s capacity is at a juncture of legitimacy resulting in a more complex administrative reform driven by a more overarching ideological reorientation of government which may or may not be effective. Is there institutional quality? To what extent policies contribute to institutional quality and its impact on government effectiveness? What are the challenges, the available choices and opportunities in the contemporary developments with respect to the effectiveness of public policies on the state of accountability, service delivery, and broadly on state capacity?

 

Proposed papers should be comparative or specific to the contemporary developments of state capacity and legitimacy in its policymaking. Abstracts are refereed and papers must not have been previously published or presented elsewhere.

 

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