National Government Interventions in a Global Arena
Edited by Frank Wijen, Kees Zoeteman, Jan Pieters and Paul van Seters
Chapter 18: Governments and Policy Networks: Chances, Risks, and a Missing Strategy
Charlotte Streck and Eleni Dellas SUMMARY Governments have engaged in a multitude of networks in attempts to respond flexibly to the rapidly changing political environment. A variety of international networks, fulfilling different roles, have been created between governments, governmental agencies, and private actors. This chapter describes and analyses different types of networks in which governments participate, and gives examples of governmental, transgovernmental, and public-private networks. The chapter also makes a case for a proactive governmental strategy with respect to these new tools of global governance. Recognising both the opportunities (in terms of flexibility and efficiency) and threats (especially with respect to control and legitimacy) of international networks, governments have to decide in which initiatives to participate, and how to manage, monitor, and evaluate them. Finally, global networks should complement rather than replace formal national authority. INTRODUCTION For a long time, international environmental governance, firmly based on treaty law, was the unchallenged arena of diplomats and negotiators representing the interests of sovereign states. However, since the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD), when governments agreed to include partnerships between different sectors in the official outcomes of the Summit, alliances between governments, businesses, and nongovernmental groups have increasingly taken centre stage in international cooperation. This official recognition of partnerships as part of the broader picture of environmental governance mirrors a change in the elements that constitute 510 M2782 - WIJEN TEXT.indd 510 16/11/2011 11:30 Governments and Policy Networks 511 the system of global governance. Today, powerful transnational corporations dominate the...
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