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Jennifer Spence

Twitter is a social media tool that is used by a diverse array of actors for a boundless variety of purposes. In particular, Twitter has attracted attention as a fast and potentially powerful means for politicians, governments and other actors to communicate policy positions. But is Twitter just a mouthpiece to broadcast policy statements or does it offer a new arena for the circulation of policy ideas? This chapter examines the network of people using Twitter to exchange information and ideas about Arctic development over a one-year period (March 2016 to March 2017) to better understand Twitter as an arena for policy circulation. This chapter uses Social Network Analysis (SNA) to visualise the characteristics of this network and examine who is using Twitter to exchange ideas about Arctic development policy, what policy issues are being discussed and to what extent this network is structured to facilitate the flow of policy ideas.

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Leslie A. Pal and Jennifer Spence

Policy transfer studies tend to take the context of non-coercive transfer for granted, a context that can be summarized as the world polity or neo-liberal global order. That polity and that order have clearly been challenged and destabilized in the last decade, posing an existential threat to conventional mechanisms of policy transfer. The chapter focuses on how the regime is being defended and re-imagined by knowledge networks dedicated to supporting the global order. Two tranches of evidence are presented. The first is a content analysis of key reports and recommendations from two new networks, the T20 (and engagement group of the G20), and the Council on Global Problem-Solving (related to the T20, but distinct). The second is a network analysis of the T20 network of think tanks and related networks engaged in global governance: Council of Councils, World Economic Forum, World Government Summit, and several OECD events that have a broad global policy focus. The content analysis shows a distinctive emphasis on reframing the global order, and a new phase of integration among global think tanks and at least this subset of knowledge networks.

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Tom Baker, Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna, Roosa Jolkkonen, Olga Löblová, Pauline McGuirk, Sergio Montero, Michelle Morais de Sá e Silva, Alexandru Rusu, Titilayo Soremi, Jennifer Spence, Christopher Walker and Astrid Wood

Like philosophy, the study of policy circulation has become pluralistic and we too are faced with the question of how best to respond to such pluralism. This chapter, and the book it summarises along the way, offers one way forward. First, the chapter discusses a range of possibilities open to scholars of policy circulation in grappling with the plurality of their research field. Inspired by recent discussions in other heterodox fields of social scientific research, we argue that, to date, policy circulation studies have often been fragmented under the labels of policy diffusion, transfer, learning or mobilities. This exemplifies a form of ‘fragmenting pluralism’ that falls short of proper dialogic interaction across different research traditions and disciplines (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2012; McCann and Ward, 2012) and, indeed, often becomes an obstacle to advance knowledge on the what, how and why of policy circulation (Dussauge-Laguna, 2012; Cook, 2015). Following Bernstein (1989), we suggest that consciously embarking on a collegiate project of ‘engaged pluralism’ offers one route to a trans-disciplinary, not simply multi-disciplinary, research endeavour. Second, the chapter discusses the practices involved in creating the ‘trading zones’ (Barnes and Sheppard, 2010) through which engaged pluralism might take root in policy circulation studies, including a commitment to intellectual openness, the creation of venues for dialogue, and the (de/re)construction of coordinating concepts. We recount the circumstances involved in the creation of this book as a humble, and in many ways accidental, example of such practices.