What is Policy Convergence and What Causes It? Essay

With recent economic tendencies pitching more towards globalisation. it is going more and more evident that single corporations can no longer move entirely on their involvements. Furthermore. there is increasing force per unit area to concentrate on the overall consequences and yet follow best patterns for specific operational concerns that would lend to the accomplishment of the coveted underside line. On a certain degree. such a tendency in corporations can similarly be applied to political concerns that would impact the policy doing competences of certain provinces. International dealingss no longer halt at the doorsill of a country’s following door neighbour.

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Common concerns are no longer limited to immediate boundaries. In fact. these boundaries are easy being eroded. The construct of a preferable spouse is going obsolete as new participants with better resources irrespective of geographical distance get into the disturbance. Globalization has broken down barriers and technological progresss had made distance a affair of mere position. Utility corporate for the province and best patterns with policy and the coming together and premise of these patterns that best suits the province will supply you with the illustration of the construct of policy convergence.

Colin J. Bennett. in his article.What is Policy Convergence and What Causes it?( 1991 ) . posits that this illustration is simply one of the four procedures that have been identified that determine convergence. Bennett pointed out that “convergence is usually associated with the scope of societal and economic forces produced by industrialism” ( p. 215 ) and the illustration merely given as respects planetary corporations did in fact support this statement. However. in affairs of political and economic theories. nil is every bit simple as it looks. There were different factors identified and documented as to the grounds why convergence had all of a sudden become a cardinal subject.

To show these. Bennett had drawn on and referred to old surveies made and compiled four grounds as the determiners of policy convergence. It bit by bit becomes evident that policy convergence is most important merely when applied to industrial societies that are economically more developed and is non much of a factor to those which have remained to be preponderantly agricultural and comparatively concentrated on domestic trade. This can be explained with a quotation mark by Walt Rostow from his articleThe Stages of Economic Growth( 1968 ) that “as societies adopt a increasingly more industrial substructure. certain determinate procedures are set in gesture which tend over clip to determine societal constructions. political procedures and public policies in the same mould” ( cited in Bennett 1991. p. 216 ) .

Still. such a guess led to farther statements and resistance as other theoreticians can non accommodate this common denominator of industrialisation because of certain deductions such as the chance of a “convergence of Communist and capitalistic regimes” ( Brzezinski & A ; Huntington. cited in Bennett 1991. p. 216 ) and that it “obscures complex political and ideological factions” ( Castles & A ; McKinlay. cited in Bennett 1991. p. 216 ) .

Bennett justly veered off from taking on these argumentative issues and qualified his article as being less concerned with “societal convergence” and focused alternatively on the “more precise construct of ‘policy convergence’” ( p. 217 ) . Be that as it may. the instances that were found in the more “advanced industrial democracies” were preferentially selected and from which were considered the different but traditional policy sectors such as instruction. wellness. environment. etc. in order to restrict the range but non restrain the analysis.

Bennett continues by specifying policy convergence in the context of what it encompasses which could be of five varied classs. that is. policy ends. content. instruments. results or manner. Convergence may fulfill one of these classs or interface with two or more. This interaction may make the sort of impact that could take to how these convergences are viewed and what organize it takes. For case. in one of the instances studied refering ordinance of chemicals. Brickman. et. Al. ( 1985 ) had noted. “What is legislated in one state ( simply ) corresponds to administrative action in another” ( cited in Bennett 1991. p. 218 ) .

However. one should be wary of falling into the booby trap of declaring similarities or uniformity of policies as a true convergence. Bennett pointed this out by showing the differentiation that convergence is more of a procedure of ‘becoming’ instead than a status of ‘being’ more alike” ( p. 219 ) . He gave extreme accent to the dynamism of policy-making and this is frequently repeated throughout the article.

In malice of evident similarities or differences. for that affair. policy doing should non be approached with a box as it is in its really nature to trust on assorted factors and relational positions before a conceptualisation and subsequent execution of these policies can even be started. It is. therefore. for this ground that Bennett described the determiners of policy convergence as procedures in order to define it against a inactive feeling.

In order to set up if these procedures are every bit distinguishable as Bennett introduced them to be. allow us look closely at their prescribed differences.

The first of these procedures that Bennett has identified is “convergence through emulation” ( p. 220 ) . He made usage of surveies and articles on comparative policy analysis to support this choice. To put his foundation. he quoted Siegel & A ; Weinberg ( 1977 ) from their articleComparing Public Policies: United States. Soviet Union and Europethat “from the beginning of their being. states have sought to borrow and follow constructions and policies from other societies” and this was seconded by Leichter in his articleComparative Public Policy: Problem and Prospectsby detecting that “public policy and job resolution is an inordinately imitative art” ( cited in Bennett 1991. p. 220 ) .While this is similar to the construct that is progressively being used by transnational companies taking to accomplish operational excellence and systems by using best-practices within the planetary organisation or extraneously but still within the same industry. nevertheless. in the context of policy devising. it does non intend straight-out acceptance on a one to one footing.

Given the progresss in engineering and communicating. it is non far-fetched that a province on the brink of doing a determination would happen or come into information about similar issues and circumstance that had already been addressed and resolved by another province. It is. hence. likely. that lessons will be drawn from these actions and declarations with the relevant determinations emulated to come up with one’s ain policy invention. It is for this ground that Bennett conjectured that emulation would simply account for “convergence of policy ends. of policy content or of policy instruments as it is more “the theoretical account instead than the elaborate content. that is being emulated ( p. 221 ) .

Similar with transnational corporations. provinces are wont to stress separating characteristics that would put them apart from the theoretical account and do plausible claims of betterment. invention and customization to the context for which the policy was formulated. As with corporations within the same industry presuming best pattern extraneously who will ne’er acknowledge to emulation but alternatively suggest invention. it is the same with provinces who for affairs of national pride and for a projection of an image of liberty. they would non readily acknowledge their inspirational theoretical accounts for their policies ( p. 223 ) .

The 2nd procedure of convergence identified is “convergence through elect networking and policy communities” ( p. 224 ) . This is driven normally by professional organisations whose specific concerns are for their industry but have impacts across boundaries. therefore making a demand for policies that would likewise spread over these same boundaries. This is particularly apparent in the conveyance logistics sector where single provinces are made signers to specific conventions peculiarly held to put understandings sing their sector. Customarily. an international organic structure is established to stand for this professional organisation and to modulate the execution of these understandings. Common jobs are usually laid out and common solutions arrived and manifested as policies that would turn to these jobs.

A pronounced difference that distinguishes this procedure is that this “results from an interaction and consensus amongst an elite that operates. in the first case. above the disturbance of domestic policies” ( p. 225 ) . This has less to make with considerations of who will profit and who will take the lead. but more with the constitution of ordinances that all would hold to stay by. therefore puting down a comparatively even playing field. This differentiation is particularly of import to retrieve s this procedure tend to overlap with the 3rd procedure that Bennett presented inasmuch as dealingss across international lines are involved.

The 3rd procedure identified is “convergence through harmonization” ( p. 225 ) . As provinces move towards increased cooperation to accomplish common terminals. or the alleged win-win solutions. intelligibly there originate a demand for the “existence of intergovernmental and supranational establishments ( that ) facilitates the defining of a common response to common jobs. to extenuate the unintended external effects of domestic policy” ( p. 225 ) . This common response is manifested through policies that touch on issues which could impact dealingss on international trade. security. communicating and environment.

With international being the operative word. Bennett remarked that it is because of this tht comparative surveies on a regular basis neglect to categorise this as a determiner of policy convergence and alternatively sort it under international dealingss. He contended that these “international governments are ( in fact ) a powerful determiner of policy convergence” ( p. 226 ) . Indeed. these international organisations were explicitly formed in order to organize a common apprehension of the demands and more significantly the preparation of declarations that would turn to these demands and interpret them into policies.

This is where policy convergence is most apparent as members come into these organisations with different dockets and different precedences bring their ain involvements and yet if need be. assent to compromise taking to a convergence of thoughts and finally into policies. However. there remains the contention that the indicant of forfeit of liberty for harmoniousness tallies contrary to the identified cause of policy convergence. Regardless. it does non reason against it explicating that in this case convergence does happen in the sense of policy result ( p. 224 ) .

Last. the concluding procedure is identified as “convergence through penetration” ( p. 227 ) . Siegel and Weinberg as quoted by Bennett presented a more exemplifying definition of the procedure in saying that it is “one in which externally based histrions take part in the choice of ends. the allotment of costs. and the mobilisation of resources and capablenesss in the domestic policy process” ( p. 227 ) . One can therefore reason that the same international governments that promote policy convergence through harmonisation may likewise work its corporate influence to enforce its ain will on the minority through punishments and exclusion.

Powerful states. such as the United States. had historically shown no scruple about driving policies that would meet with its ain set of policies. Bennett made usage of Jill Hill’s articleDeregulating Telecommunications: Competition and Control in the United States. Japan and Britain( 1968 ) as an illustration which tacitly implied that the of the deregulating of telecommunications was due to the force per unit area exerted by the United States and which would seemingly “establish a technological and economic lead in information-related services” and every bit good intend “an onslaught on protectionist authorities policies” all in favour of the involvements of American telecommunication industry ( cited in Bennett 1991. p. 228 ) .

Recently. rigorous security policies were issued by the U. S. which merchandising spouses or those who aspire to be were obligated to follow. Otherwise. they will ne’er accomplish acknowledgment and be acknowledged as legitimate trading spouses and accordingly. goods that manage to come in the U. S. from these states will be unimpeachably destroyed. Bennet emphasized. nevertheless. that the issue here is non the failing of capitalist economy but a convergence of policies that would let for the smooth flow of good and services from one trading spouse to another ( p. 228 ) .

Bennett had adequately summed up in his decision the distinguishable differences of the four procedures that he presented as determiners of policy convergence. This served to farther separate one from the other as classs on their ain. At first glimpse. the procedures may overlap given that international organisations may be seen as synonymous and that harmonisation may really look to be more acute.

Bennett’s presentation of these procedures in the context of researching the conditions for its happening. served to adequately pull the line to put each one apart. He explained that. “Emulation is associated with corporate insecurity under conditions of policy invention ; elite networking roots from the desire to portion expertness ; harmonisation consequences from mutuality and the sensed demand to co-operate ; incursion is more an look of power” ( p. 229 ) .

While Bennett was clear in indicating out the procedures that lead to policy convergence. he was besides careful to indicate out that it should no be taken at face value. As much literature there are available to back up the policy convergence hypothessis. there are similarly every bit much literature available to disclaim it.

Remembering the classs used earlier to specify the veracity of policy convergence. he introduced uncertainties by mentioning inquiries posed by its critics such as that by George Hoberg. Jr. ( 1986 ) who expressed his incredulity of policy results as grounds of convergence by uncovering in his paperTechnology. Political Structure and Social Regulation: A Cross-National Analysisthat despite sensed similarities. the procedures used to bring forth these results are really persistently different ( cited in Bennett 1991. p. 229 ) . There was reference every bit good of Goldthorpe. a critic of convergence theory who stated that industrial societies are in fact taking on more divergent waies.