Think tanks have also become transnational actors in a variety of ways. First, think tanks not only have research divisions addressing global and regional issues and foreign policy questions, but also often host visiting fellows or invite speakers from overseas research institutions. Second, think tanks internationalize their activities, including think tanks creating branch offices in other countries or via cross-national collaborations in think tank networks. Third, a large number of institutes have been semi-incorporated into international organizations or multilateral negotiations in what some call the ‘new diplomacy’. Fourth, certain think tanks have been created as global or regional actors, most particularly those think tanks espousing Europe Union agendas but also other initiatives like the BRICS think tank council or the think tank engagement group orbiting the Group of 20. Through their transnational research networks and alliances the think tank industry is partly constitutive of global and regional policy processes.
Epistocracy is on the rise. The chapters in this volume all document, in one way or another, the role of experts and knowledge organizations in the development of global policies and their implementation by international organizations, donor agencies, and other globally mobile policy actors. The constellations of these actors are called here ‘transnational policy commu¬nities’. They form around a specific policy problem (like refugees or ocean pollution) or alternatively around a policy sector (like global health policy or global environmental policy). Other terms have been used in this volume. Eve Fouilleux writes about the concept of a transnational ‘organizational/institu¬tional field’ that is composed of both a set of institutions, including practices, understandings, and rules as well as a network of organizations. It matters less the terminology used, and the disciplinary or conceptual frame adopted, as all the chapters point to new spaces for making global policy not only inside inter¬national organizations but also in their interactions. These transnational policy communities help fill the void of authority at the global and regional levels where there are ‘non jurisdictional spaces’ such as the oceans, the Antarctic, or global care chains.
Agnes Batory, Andrew Cartwright and Diane Stone
In this introductory chapter to the volume, the authors examine on the one hand the concepts of policy transfer and policy diffusion and, on the other, the concept of policy failure and success within the general context of Europeanization in Central and Eastern Europe. They invite contributors to address two main sets of questions: To what degree was the policy/institution/idea under consideration transferred intact or modified? And did the resulting policy or institution come to be viewed as a success or failure, or somewhere in between? The chapters that follow highlight that policy ‘transfer’ processes are often non-linear and fuzzy and sometimes counter-intuitive, and point to the central importance of the views, interests and constellations of the domestic actors that filter and interpret international influences. In this sense, the CEE experience in the years since accession is as much about active and sometimes strategic policy imports and policy distortion and perhaps less about simple receipt and incorporation of external models.
Beyond Accession in Central and Eastern Europe
Edited by Agnes Batory, Andrew Cartwright and Diane Stone
Diane Stone, Leslie A. Pal and Osmany Porto de Oliveira
The literature on policy transfers has focused on learning among governmental agentes, especially states. However, in the contemporary era, agents such as consultancies, international organizations, and specialized private agencies have acquired progressively a more relevant role in policy design and delivery, knowledge production and transnational transfers. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored projects on food security across Southern Countries. Ayala Consulting Group has been assisting to different governments to design Conditional Cash Transfer Programs. Mckinsey is developing and advocating for housing models for African cities. The Rio+ Center in Brazil have fostered sustainable development goals across the world, via the diffusion of best practices. In many instances, these organizational agents partner with counterparts to amplify messages, best-practices, benchmarks and international standards. Partnering with international organizations can provide official patronage and indirectly, legitimacy for the policy instruments or models being diffused. The effect is a convergence among models, which are not necessarily adapted to contexts where they are implemented. Considering the changes in the empirical landscape of policy transfer and the proliferation of new actors both private and intergovernmental, our aim is to present the main issues and questions about the role of the private sector on public policy transfer, as well as their type of engagement, interests, interactions and operational styles.