Governance, Globalization and Public Policy

Governance, Globalization and Public Policy

Edited by Patricia Kennett

Governance, Globalization and Public Policy is concerned with exploring the nature of the policy arena in the context of globalization and the reconstitution of the state. The contributors to this book seek to broaden, extend and integrate theoretical, conceptual and substantive policy debates. The book begins by exploring the concepts and perspectives associated with globalization and governance, the relationship between them and the repercussions for public policy and the state. It also considers developments at the global and regional levels and the implications of the emergence of new regulatory regimes in the context of liberalization and privatization. The focus then turns to a broad range of substantive areas of public policy such as human rights, health and health care, housing markets, poverty, security and counter-terrorism.

Chapter 4: Transnational Governance and National Employment Regulation: The Primacy of Competitiveness

Otto Holman

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy


Otto Holman1 INTRODUCTION The concept of governance is a very versatile one. It is used in various (sub)disciplines to denote different phenomena at different levels of analysis. The burgeoning literature on ‘corporate governance’ in economics and the recent emphasis on ‘good governance’ in international development studies are cases in point. But even if we focus on European governance, we find distinct uses of the concept and different definitions (although the concept is more often bandied about than defined). In the European Commission’s White Paper on European Governance, governance is defined as the ‘rules, processes and behaviour that affect the way in which powers are exercised at European level, particularly as regards openness, participation, accountability, effectiveness and coherence’ (European Commission, 2001, p. 8). The normative underpinnings of this definition – that is, ‘better’ governance in terms of more efficient and transparent rules, processes and behaviour is aimed at – resembles a common assumption in the so-called multilevel governance (MLG) literature that state sovereignty is in retreat – and with it state-centric or intergovernmental interpretations of European integration – and that a new and to a certain extent unique polity is emerging which is supposed to be ‘closer to the people’ and better equipped to enhance democratic legitimacy and effective decision-making. In this respect, the descriptive value of bringing in sub- and supranational (non-state) actors and multiple levels of government turns into an apology of recent (political) attempts to substantiate the principles of subsidiarity...

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