States often pool their sovereignty, capacity and resources to provide regionally specific public goods, such as security or trade rules, and regional organisations play important roles in international relations as institutions that attempt to secure peace and contribute to achieving other similar global policy goals. We observe failures occurring in these arrangements and activities in two areas: substance and image. To analytically account for this, we distinguish four modes of substance and image change and link these to specific types of failure and (lack of) learning. To empirically ground and test our assumptions, we examine instances of image failure in ASEAN (political/security policy) and substantive policy failure in EU labour migration policy. In so doing, this article contributes to several different fields of study and concepts that have hitherto rarely engaged with one another: analyses of policy failure from public policy, and regional integration concerns from area studies and international relations. We conclude with suggestions for ways forward to further analyse and understand failures at the international and supranational levels.
An insistent focus on extremism and radicalization with regard to current Islamist trends masks the failures of pluralist citizenship, amid a larger crisis of identity. Whether in Muslim-majority societies or in the Euro-North American diaspora, “Islam” and “politics” are touted as explaining patterns of severe violence by state/non-state actors. Neither category accounts more than superficially for the complexities at hand, which revolve around exclusionary models of identity, faith and civil society. Successful narratives of inclusive citizenship depend on key markers outside of modernist secular orthodoxy. Theologies of inclusion are vital in fostering pluralist civic identities, mindful of the ascendance of puritanical-legalist theologies of exclusion as a salient facet of public cultures. Multiple surveys reveal the depth of exclusivist conservatism in diverse Muslim societies. These stances not only undermine civil society as a locus for engendering pluralist identities, but also undergird the militant trends that dominate the headlines. Targeting militants is often essential—yet is frequently accompanied by the willful alienation of Muslim citizens even within liberal democracies, and a growing “official” sectarianism among Muslim-majority polities. Convergent pluralisms of faith and civic identity are a vital antidote to the fog that obscures the roots as well as the implications of today’s extremist trends.
John Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) was articulated in order to better understand how issues entered onto policy agendas, using the concept of policy actors interacting over the course of sequences of events in what he referred to as the “problem”, “policy” and “politics” “streams”. However, it is not a priori certain who the agents are in this process and how they interact with each other. As was common at the time, in his study Kingdon used an undifferentiated concept of a “policy subsystem” to group together and capture the activities of various policy actors involved in this process. However, this article argues that the policy world Kingdon envisioned can be better visualized as one composed of distinct subsets of actors who engage in one specific type of interaction involved in the definition of policy problems: either the articulation of problems, the development of solutions, or their enactment. Rather than involve all subsystem actors, this article argues that three separate sets of actors are involved in these tasks: epistemic communities are engaged in discourses about policy problems; instrument constituencies define policy alternatives and instruments; and advocacy coalitions compete to have their choice of policy alternatives adopted. Using this lens, the article focuses on actor interactions involved both in the agenda-setting activities Kingdon examined as well as in the policy formulation activities following the agenda setting stage upon which Kingdon originally worked. This activity involves the definition of policy goals (both broad and specific), the creation of the means and mechanisms to realize these goals, and the set of bureaucratic, partisan, electoral and other political struggles involved in their acceptance and transformation into action. Like agenda-setting, these activities can best be modeled using a differentiated subsystem approach.
Public policies are the result of efforts made by governments to alter aspects of behaviour—both that of their own agents and of society at large—in order to carry out some end or purpose. They are comprised of arrangements of policy goals and policy means matched through some decision-making process. These policy-making efforts can be more, or less, systematic in attempting to match ends and means in a logical fashion or can result from much less systematic processes. “Policy design” implies a knowledge-based process in which the choice of means or mechanisms through which policy goals are given effect follows a logical process of inference from known or learned relationships between means and outcomes. This includes both design in which means are selected in accordance with experience and knowledge and that in which principles and relationships are incorrectly or only partially articulated or understood. Policy decisions can be careful and deliberate in attempting to best resolve a problem or can be highly contingent and driven by situational logics. Decisions stemming from bargaining or opportunism can also be distinguished from those which result from careful analysis and assessment. This article considers both modes and formulates a spectrum of policy formulation types between “design” and “non-design” which helps clarify the nature of each type and the likelihood of each unfolding.
Policy and program design is a major theme of contemporary policy research, aimed at improving the understanding of how the processes, methods and tools of policy-making are employed to better formulate effective policies and pro-grams, and to understand the reasons why such designs are not forthcoming. However while many efforts have been made to evaluate policy design, less work has focused on program designs. This article sets out to fill this gap in knowledge of design practices in policy-making. It outlines the nature of the study of policy design with a particular focus on the nature of programs and the lessons derived from empirical experience regarding the conditions that enhance program effectiveness.
The analysis in this report is structured around a theoretical framework I have developed for the larger comparative project- that industry competitiveness depends on policies that guide: markets, institutions, networks, and supply chains. We apply the framework to the British Columbia (BC) Canada wine industry, with an emphasis on the area with the greatest concentration, the Okanagan Valley (OKV). Our approach focuses on the potential role of public and collective support institutions to promote industry competitiveness in clusters. By clusters, we mean geographically concentrated producers in the same industry. I take an evolutionary view of the role of such institutions, reflecting my recent work that a successful public-private partnership requires continual adaptation to changes in markets (Hira, forthcoming). I therefore completely reject the false dichotomy that prevails that either markets (private companies) or states (governments) determine economic success. Productive public-private interactions are fundamental to successful industries. The analysis in this report strongly reinforces this point- to be successful BC needed and will need public-private partnerships that are responsive, flexible, and pro-active.