Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))


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In the realm of trade, such research can play a role to guide the choice of instruments at a certain point in the decision-making process. The product of such research is often put forward in rational, technocratic terms and is aimed at addressing an existing policy problem. The chapters in this volume cover all three categories see Table 1—1.

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For the purposes of this study, we adopt a broad definition of research to encompass any systematic exercise to increase the existing stock of knowledge. In the context of trade, this may include various forms of knowledge generation, such as academic research conducted at universities, policy briefs and papers from research think tanks, critiques by advocacy groups, and consultancy reports, as well as statistical analyses of trade flows conducted by national statistical institutes. Such research may therefore be conducted by a variety of individuals, including academics, policy consultants, researchers in major international financial institutions, advocacy groups and government statisticians.

As the policy becomes embedded the need for data takes the lead, and research becomes more demand driven with a short-run dictating the need.

Prevailing ideas may be an important determinant of policy choice and persistence. Scholars have offered arguments with respect to the power of broad visions of reality, or epistemes, that provide the assumptions from which policies follow and shape the pattern of politics along time. Common External Tariff of Mercosur —94 Chapter 4.

Ministerial summit of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Chapter 3. Effective participation in rulemaking in the World Trade Organization Chapter 8. Note: The types of influence in this table are drawn from Carden, Neilsen, Smutylo et al. The term epistemic communities refers to a congregation sharing the same world view or episteme. It is an international network of professionals with recognised expertise and competence in a particular domain and an authoritative claim to policy-relevant knowledge within that domain or issue area.

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The professionals in an epistemic community have a shared set of normative and principled beliefs: common casual beliefs, which are derived from the analysis of practices leading or contributing to a central set of problems in their domain and which then serve as the basis for elucidating the multiple linkages between possible policy actions and desired outcomes.

They also share notions of validity and a mutual policy enterprise. The policy ideas of epistemic communities generally evolve independently, rather than under the direct influence of government sources of authority, but they are in close contact with policy events. The inclusion of some academics in state policy-making bureaucracies or in the decision-making process further entrenches the influence of the knowledge-based community see Chapter 6 by Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim.

The result in turn may be the creation of the proper constructions of reality with respect to a particular issue area as well as mutual expectations and a mutual predictability of intention. Members of international epistemic communities can influence state interests either by directly identifying them for decision makers or by illuminating the salient dimensions of an issue from which the decision makers may then infer their interests.

Within this framework, epistemic communities are international sources of policy innovations. Economic and political networking allows them to control the channels by which these innovations diffuse and to become the torchbearers of new ideas, setting standards for some policies and freezing out others as wrongheaded.


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The reform of trade policy can be viewed as a process by which intellectual innovations were carried out by domestic and international organisations and were introduced into the policy process to become the basis of new or transformed domestic interests. Likewise, under specified conditions, international politics can be seen as a process by which innovations are diffused to become the basis of new or changed international practices.

While the proliferating reforms of the s can be explained by the influence of hegemonic epistemic communities, trade negotiations cannot be explained away under the same rubric. They require more interest-based problem solving and hands-on research. Agenda setting, assessment, and the construction of counter-proposals involve continuous evaluations and filtering to suggest alternative modes of actions.

Research is more a servant of policy-in-the-negotiating-mode rather than its master. A negotiating strategy includes a comparison of the potential advantages of a negotiated solution with alternatives available away from the negotiating table. The strategy of walking away should be based on sound analysis of the likelihood of securing a better or more acceptable outcome through negotiations. Clear analyses of BATNAs are important factors in a successful negotiating strategy because they allow for wise decisions on whether to accept a negotiated agreement.

As such, BATNAs provide a standard that will prevent a party from accepting terms that are too unfavourable and from rejecting convenient terms. This will allow for the most effective use of pressure and the most appropriate demands being placed upon the other negotiating team.

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In the process of negotiation, analyses and integration of different proposals is required. The gap between the interests is breached when each side gives something to the other side and vice versa. This is possible through issue linkages; each party makes concessions in different topics so that the balance produces relative satisfaction. Parties must work to develop potential options for such issue linkages and need to have something to offer each other.

Negotiators can enlarge the space of agreement by identifying and discussing a range of alternatives, by improving the quality and quantity of information available to the other parties, and by trying to influence the perception of the other party. Much of trade negotiation involves such integrative bargaining because parties can enlarge the area where their interests overlap by identifying and discussing a range of alternative options and opinions Saner ; Narlikar ; Odell The purpose of research cannot be understood narrowly as self-serving because the most important function is to justify and explain demands of one group to other groups.

Tainted by special interests, it must reach out to others. Facing the demands of complex and perennially moving agendas, negotiators seek research-based support that is usable for a specific place and space of time. Governments may therefore need the capacity not only to produce their own research but also to critically examine what is produced by authoritative centres, such as the World Bank and other multilateral organisations, which may have been shaped by perspectives that do not reflect national priorities.

As demands for such context-specific research arise, networks of communities of specialists capable of producing and providing it emerge and proliferate. The episodes studied in this book show how prevalent these sources of research are in trade negotiations and how intense the chains of transmission from policy to the research community are see the chapters by Rafael Gomez and Morley Gunderson, Mercedes Botto and Andrea Bianculli, and Kehinde Ajayi and Philip Osafo-Kwaakoy.

They emphasise the social and constructive character of research and how it is continuously reproduced and negotiated, and hence always dynamic and provisional. Research produced by insiders or outsiders that are plugged into the machinery as compared to research produced outside is based on quite different forms of problem conceptualisation. The ways in which research is used in the policy process also differs substantially.

The chances of directly influencing the policy regime are greater, but the chances of mutual enlightenment drip by drip are also high. Thus the generation of research advances in a dialogic and evolutionary process that manifests itself in the interpersonal and inter-institutional exchanges of the policy community. Several analysts argue that policy-making processes can usefully be investigated using notions such as policy community or advocacy coalition see, for example, Kingdon ; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith While these two notions differ, they broadly share the view that some specialists, such as academics, consultants, and other researchers, in a particular policy area, will help form a community that is bounded.

However, without a focus on the political and institutional context within which research and policy interact, such dynamics may be lacking. Although international influences are important, they also need the systematic and active engagement of actors within a country to be translated into policy.

It is important to distinguish the initial acceptance of a new idea from the embedding of the research in policy see the chapters by Abhijit Das and Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim on the moment of uptake. To be able to do so, an idea requires what Peter Hall calls viability. Differences between countries become more evident in this transition than in the generation of research, and the complex role of internal social and political structures and institutions is revealed.

As an idea moves from acceptance to being embedded and as a country moves from reform to negotiations, political influences of particular sectional and regional interests come into play, influencing the political potential of research insofar as they imply support for a particular sector such as export agriculture , social group such as import competition , or geographical region such as a regional grouping.

It is this political dissonance between general principles and particular influences that often underlies the adoption of—as opposed to the acquiescence to—a policy proposal. In the process of adopting the proposal, considerable degrees of adaptation, translation, and integration take place, and local community of practice comes into play see Chapter 4 by Mercedes Botto and Andrea Bianculli. Few if any of the authors in this volume consider external leverage to be the overriding determinant of uptake in trade negotiations. Rather, internal political structures respond to and modify the products of knowledge, so that the interaction between external leverage and internal agendas determines how research is played out through a complex and contested process of social decoding, feedback, and redefinition.

The third driver identified by Weiss—the forces of internal politics and group interest—becomes more important as the discussion shifts from the issue of policy shifts to trade negotiations. Trade negotiations occur at two levels Evans et al.


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The first refers to the relation between the country authorities and the external partner. The second refers to the in-country negotiations with relevant actors, legislature, business, trade unions.

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These games occur simultaneously and interact with each other constantly along the process. At the second level, negotiations with domestic interests take place, in order to reflect those point of view at the first level and ensure that the results will be subsequently accepted and ratified. At the second level, all stakeholders that can influence the process or the final ratification are alert, and active, either on the offensive or the defensive.

These may range from legislative members to various representatives of civil society.

Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98

Negotiations require more interest-based, problem-solving, hands-on research, from inside the policy process. In practice trade remains an inherently and overtly political process and, consequently, research uptake is also political. Research matters, but it is shaped by geography and it needs to respond to demand in order to be effective. Research is not produced nor does it exist in a vacuum.

The interaction between the production of research and the policy process make it possible to understand when and why research influences trade negotiations. Research and policies evolve as the product of a cycle in which events lead to new thinking and new policies the consequences of which, in turn, often reveal new problems, thereby giving rise to further developments in thinking and policies.

But both thinking and policies are heavily influenced by powerful interest groups, themselves shaped by the consequences of policy. Scholars have made significant progress in explaining how ideas and research can influence policy decisions Weiss ; Carden ; Court et al. However, it remains difficult to pinpoint when policy change is due to influential research and how the trade policy process incorporates and embeds research-based innovations. One way to examine this question is to start with the research and look out to the influence that intervention had on the policy canvas, pinpointing how a body of research is called in when a window of opportunity opens or when interests can be hooked on to it.

The case studies in this book have employed a contrasting dynamic, tracking backward from policy to identify research-based influences see Chapter 10 by Fred Carden.

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The episode study is a particular approach to a case study, where the episode of policy influence is the starting point for the case study. Thus, this method focusses on a clear policy change and tracks back to assess what impact research had among the variety of issues that led to such policy change. In order to define an episode of policy change we first need to be clear as to what we mean by policy.

Policy is commonly used to refer to many different things but policy can be grouped into two general types. One classical and relatively straightforward type of policy is primarily defined as a product or object; typically it is the result of a choice or a series of interrelated choices to undertake some course of action or inaction. Expressions of general purpose, specific proposals, decisions, and formal rules all fit within this conception of policy Minogue A second, more interaction-based type of policy refers more to the processes of negotiation and influence than to the products of that process.

Examples of what constitutes policy in this conception include particular ways of defining problems within organisations, and the range of participants and the diversity of their agendas that are brought to bear on the activities of negotiation and decision making.


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Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))
Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))
Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))
Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))
Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))
Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))
Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))
Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund)) Growth Experience in Transition Countries, 90-98 (Occasional Paper (Intl Monetary Fund))

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