Globalizing the Public Policy Process
From Iron Triangles to Flexible Pentangles
Globalization involves differential patterns of politics in which interest groups, political parties, and political entrepreneurs seek to use different parts of the policy process to benefit from globalizing trends in specific issue-areas. Diverse actors face divergent cost-benefit calculi. At one level, the policy process becomes a terrain of conflict and coalition-building between those actors and interests that believe they would benefit on the whole from globalization, on the one hand, and those that believe they would be disadvantaged, on the other. But at another level, globalization (especially globalization as discourse) itself becomes a bargaining process among groups that are characterized by different kinds of payoffs. This process benefits primarily those groups that are transnationally linked and networked, providing them with what Thomas Friedman has called a “globalization premium.” The notion of the policy process in general therefore needs to be reconceptualized for a globalizing world. This chapter suggests some modest ways in which to develop a new model of the policy process to reflect this changing environment.
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