Big philanthropic foundations constitute prominent agents of transnational policy circulation, furthering new approaches to policy formation and delivery in the context of development. This chapter presents a case study on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest representative and driver of contemporary philanthropy in development. The chapter explores the comparative advantages and distinct limitations experienced by philanthropic donors as policy suppliers and identifies the particular approaches to policy circulation deployed by the Gates Foundation in the global development community and one of its aid-receiving countries, Tanzania. The findings offer valuable insights on the unique factors hampering and facilitating policy circulation by big philanthropies as well as their sources and uses of power as transnational policy agents.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), are central actors in implementing welfare policies in countries of the Global North and Global South, as well as transnationally. Beside the welfare provision function, NGOs are recognized as prominent policy advocates furthering social transformation by shaping development and social policy agendas. NGOs thus represent a fundamental building block of the welfare mix, known as the division of welfare provision between the state, market, family and the third sector in which they are typically included. Despite the congruent roles NGOs hold in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the academic study of NGOs has taken two divergent paths. NGOs operating in the Global South have been mainly studied as ‘development NGOs’ in the field of development studies, while NGOs operating in the Global North have been investigated as ‘charities’ and ‘non-profits’ belonging to the third sector in the field of social policy. This chapter explores the role of NGOs in the welfare mix as deliverers of and advocates for welfare policies, and highlights the existing interface between social policy and development theory and practice.
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.