International Journal of Public Policy (15 papers in press)
The Role of Government in Post-Legislative Scrutiny: Case Study of Revision to the Indonesian Fisheries Law
by Abubakar Eby Hara, Agus Trihartono, Himawan Bayu Patriadi
Abstract: This paper discusses the post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) of Indonesia's Fisheries Law. This law was issued in 2009 but was not implemented until 2014, when Joko Widodo was elected president. In the context of PLS, the role of the legislature is essential to enforce a system of checks and balances in a democratic government. But in the case discussed, it is the executive who was active in the implementation and supervision of this law. Why such things happen is the main question of this paper. We argue that in the case of Indonesia, PLS depends on whether the law has a significant political magnetism. Unlike the system in established democracies where the PLS mechanism is crucial and efficient, in the case of Indonesia, PLS is primarily determined by the political will of the government. In other words, PLS cannot be applied directly in contexts different from its origin but must look at the political context that developed at one time.
Keywords: Post-Legislative Scrutiny; Indonesia; Joko Widodo; Indonesia Fisheries Law; democracy.
Dynamic Relationship between Fiscal Deficit and Current Account Deficit in India: Multivariate Cointegration and Causality Analysis
by Manoranjan Sahoo, M. Suresh Babu, Umakant Dash
Abstract: This study examines the dynamic relationship between fiscal balance and current account balance and also tests the twin deficit hypotheses for India using quarterly data from 1996q1 to 2016q1. Empirical results support the existence of the twin deficit hypothesis and also suggest a reverse causality running from the current account balance to fiscal balance. These results have important policy implications for maintaining a lower current account deficit and fiscal deficit for India in the long run.
Keywords: fiscal deficits; current account deficits; granger causality test; twin deficit hypothesis; India.
Analyzing complex policy problems: a critical review of the literature
by Carolina Milhorance, Marcel Bursztyn, Eric Sabourin
Abstract: The governance of complex policy issues such as food security, climate change, global health, and migration often calls for integrative approaches, as progressing in one goal may result in either synergies or tradeoffs in others. A large body of literature has addressed concerns regarding the multiple combinations of policy instruments, cross-sectoral interfaces and conflicts, governance involving a growing number of stakeholders, governance levels, and policy goals. This study presents a cross-cutting literature review of the different concepts developed to address these challenges, along with their origins, thematic focus, theoretical approaches, and recent developments, aiming to identify their points of contact and to critically analyze their strengths and research gaps. The results are expected to support the academic debate and provide a heuristic outline for research while calling for further theorization and the development of assessment methods and case studies beyond the traditional geographic focus.
Keywords: policy integration; policy mix; nexus approach; cross-sectoral governance; multilevel governance; literature review.
Currency Exchange Rate as a Business Climate Factor for Foreign Investors in the Russian Federation
by Yury Zaytsev, Anna Loshchenkova
Abstract: The economic crisis in Russia between 2014 and 2017 revealed several patterns associated with changes in the exchange rate of the Russian currency and the dynamics of incoming foreign direct investment (FDI). Based on macroeconomic modelling, the authors assess the impact of the exchange rate on FDI flows into different countries as well as into Russia at the regional and sectoral levels. They conclude that strengthening the rubles real exchange rate increases the potential of the domestic market of region and industries within Russia, and of the country as a whole, and leads to an influx of FDI into the Russian economy.
Keywords: foreign direct investments; exchange rate; Russian ruble; horizontal investments; vertical investments; Russian Federation; business climate; economic sanctions.
Regional Strategies for Sustainable Healthcare The Winding Ways from UN SDGs into Swedish Regional Healthcare Systems
by Elin Wihlborg, Mattias Örnerheim, Carl-Johan Sommar
Abstract: Sustainable development has been defined by 17 UN goals, with the third goal (SDG3) focusing on a universal healthcare system that ensures healthy lives and wellbeing. To implement these ambitions, the goal needs to fit a regional setting before it can achieve and support healthy lives and wellbeing amongst the population. This article analyses how four Swedish regions incorporate SDG target 3.4 on non-communicable diseases and mental health into their respective healthcare organisations. The comparative analysis applies the lens of normative institutional theory to policy documents and interviews. All the regions recognise SDG3.4 by acknowledging the need for health promotion. The results show a general absence of similarities in organisational practices and policy outcomes, which is explained by region-specific factors and a lack of governmental coordination. The analysis shows that local policy core values and the related logic of appropriateness predict local outcomes of implementation of general global policies.
Keywords: Normative Institutionalism; UN Sustainable Development Goals; SDG; Regional Healthcare; Localization; Sustainable health care; Local Government.
Special Issue on: Risk, Malign Policy and Policy Volatility
The smartphone and the coup. How Myanmars conflicts are entangled with digital technologies, policies, and violence
by Stefan Bächtold
Abstract: In February 2021, a coup by the Myanmar military ended a ten-year democratisation process. After a rapid digitalisation of Myanmars political struggles, the military blacked out the countrys internet access. Drawing on the sensitivities of science and technology studies for the intersection of digital technology with societal power structures, this paper examines digital policies and practices of the protest movement, the Myanmar military, and Facebook. This analysis reveals uncanny similarities: Through their opaqueness, the latter actors policies create uncertainty on what is allowed and what isn't; limit means of recourse; and perform authority over the population by directly reaching into people's everyday lives. This article thus de-centres established narratives on Myanmars political environment in the aftermath of the coup, but also points out the highly ambiguous agency that digital technologies develop in assemblages of political conflict, the (global) discourse on terrorism, and government.
Keywords: Myanmar; digital technology; democratisation; coup; assemblage; science and technology studies; critical policy studies; malign policies.
Managing Policy Risk by Big Data Analytics in the Pandemic Era: VUCA and Wicked Policy Problems
by Jae Moon, Sabbine Lee
Abstract: This study aims to examine the nature of policy risk, particularly as it relates to emerging wicked policy problems. Presenting a theoretical framework of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), this study will illustrate how policy risks disturb policy results based on cases selected from policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study will also offer prospects and challenges for future policy science. We argue that data analytics have become an increasingly significant and feasible instrument for managing policy risks. With growing computing power and analytical tools, big data analytics are expected to help policymakers identify policy problems, analyze the positions of stakeholders, assess alternative solutions, and evaluate policy effectiveness, which jointly help to manage various policy risks. This study will also discuss potential challenges concerning data analytics for wicked policy problems in future.
Keywords: Policy Risk; VUCA,Wicked Problems; Pandemic.
Bureaucratic gaming: causes and consequences for policy-making
by Jeannette Taylor, Joshua McDonnell, Hang Duong
Abstract: Performance management (PM) systems are now widely used by governments to hold public organisations to account for the delivery of public policies. Yet, numerous empirical studies have reported that these systems have encouraged bureaucrats to manipulate their behaviour and engage in gaming of performance measures and targets. This article on bureaucratic gaming of performance measures and targets addresses three questions. First, what is bureaucratic gaming? Second, what are the primary causes of bureaucratic gaming? Third, what are the main consequences of bureaucratic gaming for policy-making? A review of empirical studies on bureaucratic gaming points to issues relating to policy performance, the well-being of policy-takers, and policy actors trust in PM.
Keywords: performance; performance management; performance measurement; performance monitoring; evaluation; gaming; efficiency; effectiveness; quality; equity; risk-taking; trust.
Policy Volatility and the Propensity of Policies to Fail:
Dealing with Uncertainty, Maliciousness and Compliance in Public Policy-Making
by Michael Howlett, Ching LEONG
Abstract: Most policy research to date has underemphasized the difficulties encountered developing and putting policies into practice. Some of these problems are inherent to policy-making in contexts that are highly uncertain while others arise when policy-makers act maliciously or policy-takers fail to comply with government wishes. These risks of uncertainty, maliciousness and non-compliance contribute to policy volatility (the risk of failure). The article stresses the need for improved risk management and mitigation strategies in policy formulation and policy designs if volatility is to be minimized. It sets out these three inherent vices of policy-making and develops an approach borrowed from product failure management in manufacturing and portfolio management in finance to help better assess and manage policy risk.
Keywords: Policy Risk; Policy Volatility; Uncertainty; Maliciousness; Compliance; Non-Compliance; Risk Management.
Bureaucratic bastardry: Robodebt / debt recovery, AI and the stigmatisation of citizens by machines and systems
by Adam Graycar, Adam Masters
Abstract: Automation in public administration is inevitable and can bring great benefits. Seventy years ago, Isaac Asimov foresaw the need to protect humans from their creations in his novel I, Robot, drafting three laws to ensure robots (1) did not injure a person, or allow them to be harmed; (2) obeyed orders, that did not conflict with the first law; and (3) protected their own existence without compromising the First or Second Laws. The first two laws can apply to the automated systems created by government to administer public service. This paper examines the failed policy to automate welfare debt collection in Australia. Despite repeated warnings the malign policy caused considerable harm to clients and resulted in a billion dollar settlement against the government. Using a framework centred on the concepts of organizational evil and bureaucratic animosity, we suggest that such complex undertakings could benefit from reference to Asimovs laws.
Keywords: malign policy; Robodebt; public values; administrative evil; bureaucratic bastardry.
The Malign System in Policy Studies: strategies of structural and agential political exclusion
by Tim Legrand
Abstract: The disciplinary development of policy studies has long been shaped by scholars working within liberal democratic traditions. In consequence, a long-held assumption that policy-making is, prima facie, motivated exclusively by the pursuit of the public interest has gone unchallenged, even while intersecting critical traditions - particularly in political science - have opened up research agendas on institutional and agential harms. This article critiques the latent assumptions of benevolence in policy studies. The article employs political exclusion as a methodological means to surface deviations from liberal democracys precepts of legitimacy. It applies this approach to analysing malignity in policymaking to the case of asylum seeker policy in Australia. In doing so, the article posits a conceptual binary of malignity in policy studies with respect to: (i) structural exclusion from participation in policy and politics; (ii) agential exclusion from the sphere of political participation.
Keywords: POLITICAL EXCLUSION; MALIGN POLICY; PROSCRIPTION; ASYLUM SEEKERS; POLICY STUDIES; BLACKLISTING; STRUCTURE AGENCY; HIDDEN AGENDAS.
NON-COMPETE PROVISION: IMPLICATIONS FOR STAKEHOLDERS OF PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS IN THE ENERGY SECTOR OF A DEVELOPING COUNTRY
by Alex Nduhura, Muhiya Tshombe Lukamba, Thekiso Molokwane, Innocent Nuwagaba
Abstract: To serve citizens better governments have undertaken a series of reforms. Public private partnerships (PPPs) have manifested as a popular public sector reform over the last decades. By nature, the adoption of PPPs has been aimed at co-producing public services with the private sector in times when governments are faced with unmatching revenue, limited technology and expenditure patterns. Existing studies indicate that private partners are lured into PPPs by government incentive frameworks such as non-compete clauses. Since PPP concessions are usually opaque we searched online for any secondary data on non-compete provisions in PPP agreements. Based on secondary data review, this paper reveals that a range of government guarantees are designed, agreed and included in concession agreements but remain vulnerable for abuse during implementation by government and its state departments. The breach exposes the government to serious consequences albeit the changes in laws that governments may initiate to salvage the effects of non-compete clauses. The outcome of the study is an elaboration of non-compete clauses and illuminates the flexible approaches for dealing with non-compete clauses. By implementing the flexible approaches within the non-compete provisions and changes in law clauses, PPPs will have a high chance of success since options of reducing conflict tension and mistrust are identified and elaborated
Keywords: Public private partnerships,energy; government guarantees; non-compete provision; change in law clause.
Climate risk perceptions and policy ambition
by Oliva Jensen
Abstract: This article investigates the factors which influence national climate change policy ambition, as they are reflected in states commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in United National climate change (UNFCCC) negotiations. The paper specifically investigates the relationship between policy ambition and public perceptions of the threat posed by climate change employing a 140-country nationally representative dataset of risk perceptions conducted in 2019. The analysis shows that while public opinion does correlate overall with policy ambition across countries, in a sizable minority of countries, public threat perceptions are high while policy ambition is low. In these countries, climate change policy is found to be malign in two senses: first, that policies are not consistent with achieving the global public good of climate change control; and second, in the sense that policies are not aligned with the level of concern of citizens about this issue.
Keywords: Climate policy; risk perceptions; policy-making; malign policy; LRF World Risk Poll.
Trends in the Management of Policy Volatility: Managing Internal Policy Risk in Three OECD Countries
by Michael Howlett, Ching LEONG, Sonam Sahu
Abstract: Most studies of risk management examine only exogenous risks that is, those external to the policy-making process such as the impact of climate change, extreme weather events, natural disasters or financial calamities. But there is also a large second area of concern - internal risks or those linked to adverse or malicious behaviour on the part of policy makers. This behaviour to deceive or game the intentions and expectations of government is a part of the policy world which also requires risk management. The paper reviews three archetypal cases of efforts to manage this side of policy risk in the UK, the US and Australia and draws lessons from them about how this dark side of policy-making can be managed.
Keywords: policy risk; risk management; policy volatility; OECD.
Whither Energiewende? Strategies to manufacture uncertainty and unknowing to redirect Germanys Renewable Energy Law
by Dieter Plehwe, Kardelen Günaydin
Abstract: Germanys renewable energy act of 2000 has been subject to several reforms. Feed-in tariffs for renewables originally provided a stable environment for investment. The strongly increasing market share of renewables threatened incumbent electricity producers and led to legal and regulatory challenges. The mandated feed-in tariff eventually has been replaced by auctioning in 2014, breaking the momentum of decentralized electricity production from renewable sources. The public opposition to the EEG has been driven by diverse groups, most notably by academic, corporate and partisan think tanks. Most of the groups opposing Energiewende officially acknowledge global warming and proclaim the need of mitigation. Nevertheless, they are highly active in attempting to undermine what has been a highly successful strategy of renewable energy conversion and decentralization. While previous research has focused on the relevance of strategic ignorance in the prevention of policies (e.g. climate denial), the Energiewende case in Germany stresses the importance of strategies of unknowing (McGoey 2019) carried out in efforts undertaken to undermine and transform successful policy solutions.
Keywords: Energy Transition; Renewables; Climate Change; Lobby; Think Tank; Uncertainty; Ignorance.