Global Public Policy, Transnational Policy Communities, and Their Networks


Research for this article was funded by the Non-Governmental Public Action Programme of UK Economic and Social Research Council.


Public policy has been a prisoner of the word “state.” Yet, the state is reconfigured by globalization. Through “global public–private partnerships” and “transnational executive networks,” new forms of authority are emerging through global and regional policy processes that coexist alongside nation-state policy processes. Accordingly, this article asks what is “global public policy”? The first part of the article identifies new public spaces where global policies occur. These spaces are multiple in character and variety and will be collectively referred to as the “global agora.” The second section adapts the conventional policy cycle heuristic by conceptually stretching it to the global and regional levels to reveal the higher degree of pluralization of actors and multiple-authority structures than is the case at national levels. The third section asks: who is involved in the delivery of global public policy? The focus is on transnational policy communities. The global agora is a public space of policymaking and administration, although it is one where authority is more diffuse, decision making is dispersed and sovereignty muddled. Trapped by methodological nationalism and an intellectual agoraphobia of globalization, public policy scholars have yet to examine fully global policy processes and new managerial modes of transnational public administration.