Understanding contemporary policy mixes
1 Globalization is understood here as the extensification and intensification – ‘stretching and deepening’ in the words of Held et al. (1999) – of cross-border interactions. While much of this process comprises trade and economic interactions, it also includes cultural, political, military and ideational relations among others.
2 While the direct effects of globalization on instrument choice are limited, indirect effects are more substantial despite their informal nature. These consist of ‘spillover’ effects and of opportunities for interaction and increased learning and lesson drawing which occur as a side effect of globalization. One of the spill-over effects of increasing integration of international markets is manifested in governments’ reluctance to resort to new taxes or establish new public enterprises lest they send the ‘wrong’ signals to financial markets. While governments still can, and do, employ an extensive array of command and control tools, they must now anticipate adverse reactions and prepare to deal with them. Deregulation and privatization measures are widely reported in the international media and help to build the international reputation of governments undertaking them. Hence, a side effect of globalization is that governments may resort to increased use of information provision as a means to advertise a market-friendly outlook and a favourable disposition towards foreign direct investment. If these measures succeed in attracting foreign investment, the success is cited as a reason for further deregulation and privatization, and for further use of state advertising.
Globalization also increases opportunities for cross-sectoral and cross-national interaction among policy practitioners and commentators. Policy-makers now not only have instant access to information available on the internet but routinely get together with their foreign counterparts at countless governmental and nongovernmental meetings that are held on the entire gamut of policy subjects. The meetings are forums for learning from each other’s experiences and to better appreciate the technical, economic and political potential and limitations of different policy tools. Other countries’ experiences often form the starting point for governments embarking on national policy reforms. Thus policy learning, emulation or transfer play a critical role in efforts to reform policy instruments used to implement public policies (Huber 1991; Bennett and Howlett 1993; Hall 1993; Dolowitz and Marsh 2000; Stone 2000). Meseguer (2003) and Simmons and Elkins (2004), for instance, find learning and emulation as the key factors underlying the spread of privatization and liberalization; the former finds no evidence that international pressures played any significant role. Another example of policy diffusion through learning is the emulation of pollution trading rights in other areas after its perceived success in controlling use of CFCs (Parson and Fisher-Vanden 1999). But again we need to recognize that policy learning and emulation are constrained by political and institutional factors. Domestic political opposition to the adoption of measures that have successfully worked elsewhere is commonplace,= forcing policy-makers to baulk or at least compromise. The imperatives of path dependency – the tendency for old choices to become entrenched and institutionalized – also often make it difficult to adopt any policy instrument that is substantially different from the current practice (March and Olsen 1989, Pierson 2000)
3 The nature of regulatory activity, for example, focuses on the formal or informal nature of the legal instruments deployed in policy implementation. ‘Hard’ law is thus typically conceived as synonymous with formal, state-centric, command-andcontrol types of regulation that impose generally applicable obligations onto target groups of actors, articulated with a relatively high degree of precision and directly enforceable through the courts. In contrast, ‘soft’ law represents a weakening (or softening) along these key metrics of obligation, precision and enforceability (Tollefson 2004; Tollefson et al. 2008).
Key definitions and concepts in the study of policy design
1 While there is no doubt that some aspects of policy-making can be heavily symbolic and ritualized (Edelman 1964 and 1971), from a design perspective these are not the defining characteristics of policy-making, which is typically viewed as a much more pragmatic activity: that is, one intended to effectively alter practices on-the ground in a more or less conscious or deliberate way through the efficient use of available governing resources or the creation of new ones.
2 Other terms have been developed in the field of policy studies to describe the same phenomena, such as ‘governing instruments’, ‘policy tools’, and the ‘tools of government’, and while these sometimes are used to refer to different mechanisms and calibrations of policy means, they are more often used synonymously.
3 This distinction is apparent in common definitions of governing instruments although its significance is sometimes overlooked. Vedung, for example, has usefully defined policy instruments used in implementation activities as ‘the set of techniques by which governmental authorities wield their power in attempting to ensure support and effect social change’ (Vedung 1997). This definition can be seen to include both ‘substantive’ tools, those Hood (1986c) defined as attempting to ‘effect or detect’ change in the socio-economic system, as well as those ‘procedural’ tools designed to ‘ensure support’ for government actions.
Policy design as policy formulation
1 As Hajer (2005) has noted, the tools and techniques used to engage input about policy options can make a considerable difference in the effects of that participation, both on the policy process and on the participants themselves. Formulation instruments such as formal consultations and public hearings, for example, tend to privilege expert input and frustrate new participants, while techniques that engage participants from less established organizations and points of view can add energy and enthusiasm to the dialogue over policy options.
2 This helps to explain why different styles of policy analysis can be found in different policy fields (Howlett and Lindquist 2004; Mayer et al. 2004) since these can be linked to larger patterns of behaviour of political actors and knowledge suppliers that condition how policy advice is generated and deployed (Aberbach and Rockman 1989; Bennett and McPhail 1992; Bevir and Rhodes 2001; Peled 2002; Bevir et al. 2003; Howlett and Lindquist 2004). That is, the personal and professional components of the policy advice supply system, along with their internal and external sourcing, can be expected to be combined in different ratios in different policy-making situations (Prince 1983; Wollmann 1989; Hawke 1993; Rochet 2004). Understanding these variations is critical in understanding how policy formulation and design activities are carried out.
3 Developed originally to describe enduring sets of cognitive ideas that are present in the natural sciences, the term ‘paradigm’ was later applied to long-lasting points of view on ‘the way the world works’ that are found in the social sciences (Kuhn 1962, Kuhn and Suppe 1974; Hall 1990; 1992; 1993). The concept is closely related to traditional philosophical notions of ‘ideologies’ as overarching frameworks of ideas influencing action and to more recent sociological notions of ‘discourses’ or ‘frames’ (Goffman 1974; Surel 2000), but has a larger cognitive component.
4 In the policy realm, this notion of ideas creating claims or demands on governments was taken up by Frank Fischer and John Forester (1993) and Paul Sabatier (1987; 1988), among others writing in the 1980s and 1990s (see George 1969). The concept of causal stories, in particular, was applied to agenda-setting by Deborah Stone (1988; 1989). In Stone’s view, agenda-setting usually involved constructing a ‘story’ of what caused the policy problem in question. As she has argued:
Causal theories, if they are successful, do more than convincingly demonstrate the possibility of human control over bad conditions. First, they can either challenge or protect an existing social order. Second, by identifying causal agents, they can assign responsibility to particular political actors so that someone will have to stop an activity, do it differently, compensate its victims, or possibly face punishment. Third, they can legitimate and empower particular actors as ‘fixers’ of the problem. And fourth, they can create new political alliances among people who are shown to stand in the same victim relationship to the causal agent.
(Stone 1989: 295)
5 However, as Halligan also noted, ‘the emphasis on elements such as the role of political operatives. . . . depends very much on whether [they] are accorded seniority within the system of government’, a practice that is a feature of the US system but ‘less so in other countries’ (1995: 162), suggesting that the role played by advisors varies cross-nationally and, probably, cross-sectorally as well (Freeman 1985).
Policy design and implementation tool choices
1 Nevertheless, as late as the 1980s many critics of policy studies could still argue that much policy-making activity remained a ‘black box’. Policy implementation, especially, was criticized for being thought of simply in ‘functional’ terms; that is, as 100 per cent determined by inputs in a simple ‘input–process–output’ model of politics and policymaking (Easton 1965; Stewart and Ayres 2001) while policy formulation was criticized for being under-studied and under-investigated (May 1981).
2 Most of these studies, however, focused exclusively upon what were referred to in Chapter 2 as ‘substantive instruments’; that is, those which directly affect the production and delivery of goods and services in society. These early studies failed to adequately address procedural tools, and consequently until around the year 2000 developed only a partial description of policy tools and an understanding of how instrument choices related to policy design.
3 Salamon argued that this perspective had revealed that not only did, as traditional studies had maintained, ‘politics determine policy’, but also the reverse (Landry et al. 1998). That is, via the feedback mechanism in the policy cycle (Pierson 1992 and 1993), tool choices led to the establishment of a ‘political economy’ of a policy regime: a tool choice such as, for example, a decision to use tax incentives to accomplish some end, created a constituency for continuation of that incentive (and sometimes one opposed to it), affecting future policy deliberations and decisions including those related to instrument choices (Linder and Peters 1984; Bobrow and Dryzek 1987; Dryzek and Ripley 1988).
4 On this methodology, generally, see McKelvey (1978 and 1982) and Stevens (1994).
5 A government regulation requiring a licence in order to use a particular pesticide, for example, is a policy tool expected to give effect to a set of policy objectives (in this case a problem with externalities from pollution and information asymmetries between producers and consumers of sophisticated chemical products) within a set of aims (such as environmental protection and species preservation) and preferred implementation preferences (such as market-based service delivery within a market mode of governance). Such a mechanism requires an organization to implement it, some funding to pay the personnel involved in that activity, information notices to regulatees that a licence is required and that the requirement will be enforced, and some legal authority to create a licence scheme and enforce it. Such an instrument thus involves the use of many types of governing resources, but the primary resource it relies upon is the legal authority to enforce compliance, without which all of the other resources would be ineffective and unnecessary.
6 Salamon and Lund (1989) for example, suggested that different instruments involve varying degrees of effectiveness, efficiency, equity, legitimacy, and partisan support that affect their appropriateness for a particular situation.
7 Their work on instrument choice influenced others working on the subject at the University of Toronto, such as Michael Trebilcock, Donald Dewees, Robert Pritchard and others, who took part in a detailed discussion of instrument choice issues commissioned as part of a government ‘regulation reference’ in the late 1970s (Trebilcock and Hartle 1982; Trebilcock et al. 1982).
8 This formulation has many advantages. It is not unidimensional, although it might appear so on first reading, because it, like Kirschen, does take into account several political and contextual variables and it, like Cushman, assumes instrument choices are multi-level, with finer calibrations of instruments emerging after initial broad selections have been made. That is, it assumes that both states and societal interests in liberal-democratic regimes prefer a minimal state and choose instruments accordingly after that initial decision has been made. Preferring ‘self-regulation’, governments would first attempt to influence overall target group performance through exhortation and then add instruments only as required in order to compel recalcitrant societal actors to abide by its wishes, eventually culminating, if necessary, in the take-over of individual firms. This is not an unreasonable conclusion, based as it is on much observation of the practices of such governments, and hints at the ‘nested’ nature of instrument choices, a subject not previously as well developed in instrument studies.
However, as Woodside (1986) argued:
Experience suggest that governments do not always seek to avoid coercivesolutions, but indeed, may at times seem to revel in taking a hard line fromthe start. While there are undoubtedly many reasons for these heavy handedresponses, surely some of the most important ones include the constituencyor group at which the policy is aimed, the circumstances in which the problemhas appeared, and the nature of the problem involved.(786)
Further, Woodside noted:
The idea that politicians and officials can choose, in theory from among the
whole range of policy instruments is appealing, but it ignores how issues get
on the agenda, the highly specified and legally determined choice of instruments
available to departments and agencies, and the traditions within an area
of policy that suggest certain problems should be dealt with through the use
of a specific policy instrument. Furthermore the range of ‘politically tenable’
choices from among the possible policy instruments has varied over time in
response to ideological trends, the presence of crisis conditions and concerns
about their budgetary implications. . . . Quite clearly, political scientists need
to be more careful in their discussions of policy instruments if an unrealistic
sense of choice is to be avoided.
9 Trebilcock et al. questioned the likelihood of state actors adhering to a minimalist notion of their own proper role in society, preferring public choice inspired notions about bureaucratic expansionism and political credit-mongering motivating administrative and political policy-makers; especially notions of a political cost–benefit calculus aimed at vote maximization. See Trebilcock et al. 1982: ch. 3. These authors also questioned the notion of instrument substitutability found in Doern’s work, arguing that constitutional restraints, financial limitations and other technical criteria prevented certain instruments from being utilized in specific circumstances (Trebilcock and Prichard 1983). Thompson and Stanbury did much the same, focusing on visibility and its linkages to political advantage and disadvantage as a criterion of instrument choice. Democratic politicians, they argued, are not ideologically predisposed towards a small state or minimal instruments but would adopt whatever instrument generates the most political benefits for them while minimizing the political costs (Howard and Stanbury 1984; Stanbury 1986). Baxter-Moore, from a neo-Marxist perspective, similarly challenged Doern’s notion will generally use less intrusive instruments when seeking the compliance of the dominant capitalist class and deploy more intrusive measures to direct or control the behaviour of subordinate classes’ (Baxter-Moore 1987: 346). However, despite these criticisms, the Doern model remains one of the dominant ones in studies of public policy tools; its virtues of simplicity and parsimony apparently outweighing its empirical and conceptual difficulties.
10 It was more or less replicated, for example, though without the effector/detector distinction, in Bemelmans-Videc et al.’s influential 1998 volume on the topic which identified four basic kinds of instruments: ‘carrots’, ‘sticks’, ‘sermons’ and ‘organizations’ (Vedung 1997).
11 This also was investigated by Tinbergen and later Mundel in the economics literature. On the Tinbergen–Mundell theorem that ‘there must be as many independent policy instruments as there are policy targets and secondly that a policy instrument should be assigned to the policy target on which it has the maximal effect’, see Ergas (2010).
12 On the basis of this analysis Schneider and Ingram, following Elmore and his colleagues, identified five general types of instruments corresponding to these ‘behavioural assumptions’. These they called ‘authority’, ‘incentives’, ‘capacitybuilding’, ‘symbolic and hortatory’ and ‘learning’ instruments. As was the case with Bressers and Klok, this scheme included both ‘procedural’ and ‘substantive’ tools. While their discussion, like many in the USA at the time, virtually ignored pure public provision of goods and services by government agencies and corporations (Leman 1989), the ‘authority’ and ‘incentive’ examples cited are typical substantive instruments involving mixed provision of goods and services by a combination of private and public actors. ‘Capacity’, ‘symbolic’ and ‘learning’ tools, however, are much more procedurally oriented, affecting the policy institutions and processes within which policy decisions take place.
13 Hence, for example, the well-known implementation style found in many US policy sectors, dubbed ‘adversarial legalism’ by Robert Kagan, is composed of a preferred substantive instrument – regulation – and a characteristic procedural one – judicial review – based on widespread, easily accessible, legal procedures. See (Kagan 1991).
14 Assessing these interaction effects in practice can be quite difficult. For examples of sophisticated, if somewhat subjective, efforts to do so, primarily in the energy and climate change areas see Bonnekamp 2006; Oikonomou and Grajakos 2010; and del rio 2010.
Organizational implementation tools
1 However, this distinction in the nomenclature is not maintained rigorously.
2 Hence, for example, in Canada the Ontario Auditor’s Act defines ‘public enterprise’ as ‘a corporation which is not an agency of the Crown and having 50 percent or more of its issued and outstanding shares vested in the government or having the appointment of a majority of its Board of directors made or approved by the Lt. Gov in Council’, thus including a specified level of ownership and a means of control within the definition itself (Prichard 1983).
3 The difference between the two figures having to do with the fact that many expenditures are composed of transfers to individuals which can involve large sums but only a small administrative overhead – for example, unemployment insurance or old age security payments.
Authoritative implementation tools
1 For an empirical assessment of European regulatory agencies using similar criteria see Wonka and Rittberger (2010).
2 Even in banking, the most globalized sector, there is little or no evidence of an overall decline of regulation, and the market and credit crises of 2008 have led to increased moves in a re-regulatory direction in many countries, from Iceland to the USA (Busch 2002; Harris 2004).
3 The key issue with consultations is: who is involved and who is not, and who makes this determination. Many are structured as ‘stakeholder’ representative groups, but ‘stakeholder’ is a very poorly defined term. Glicken (2000: 306), for example, defines it very broadly as: ‘A stakeholder is an individual or group influenced by – and with an ability to significantly impact (either directly or indirectly) – the topical areas of interest.’
4 This discussion has often led to the linking of specific instrument choices to larger issues such as levels of trust in government (Levy and Spiller 1994) and other aspects of administrative traditions and governance modes (see McAllister 2009; Kagan 2001; Klijn et al. 2010). A general tendency to shift regulatory activity from enforcement to persuasion has been noted but also with significant variations by nation and sector (Pautz 2009; McAllister et al. 2010) as governments attempt to deal with the nature of targets and their behaviour in complex coercion-avoidance games (Scholz 1984; 1991).
5 Understanding why deregulation occurs has proved to be a challenge to regulatory theorists, since many of the imperatives regarded as the source of regulation – such as industry collusion and the desire to retain market share through the erection of barriers to entry to new firms – continue to be vital in the deregulatory context (Crew and Rowley 1986). Some analysts have therefore searched for exogenous causes – such as foreign or technical pressures for regulatory harmonization (Derthick and Quirk 1985; Libecap 1986; Quirk 1988; Lazer and Mayer- Schonberger 2002; Garcia-Murillo 2005).
Financial implementation tools
1 Corporatism was the official fascist mode of social organization. In order to avoid this association and connotation, modern studies tend to use the term ‘neocorporatism’ to distinguish modern forms of (liberal-democratic) corporatism found in states such as Austria or Sweden from older ones – though examples also exist of this form in liberal-democratic states in crises, e.g. wartime or e.g. the Rooseveltian New Deal
2 Other variants also exist, such as, for example, consociationalism – where corporatist systems exist but divisions are on ethnic or religious grounds (e.g. The Netherlands); or ‘concertations’ (France) where there is more pluralism in some areas than others (e.g. social versus economic planning); or ‘parentela pluralism’ (Atkinson and Coleman 1989) where divisions are partisan (e.g. Italy) (Lijphart 1969; Lehmbruch 1979). Until recently, interest group theory in North America was largely pluralist (Bentley 1908; Truman 1964) whereby it was argued that interest group formation was a quasi-automatic, ‘naturalistic process’ in which state activity was minimal. The empirical basis for this assessment, however, was lacking (see Mancur Olson 1965; Salisbury 1969, Bachrach and Baratz 1970; and especially Jack Walker 1991 and later Anthony Nownes 2000).
3 Olson had the idea that this could be overcome by providing ‘selective incentives’ for membership in mass groups – a practice followed, for example, by many environmental groups who offer a variety of services and free goods, like calendars and book discounts, to attract and retain members. More recent works, however, point to the significance of a variety of factors in the process of group creation, such as the nature of a country’s associational rights, the existence of ‘focusing events’ raising the public profile of an issue, and especially the presence of outside funds for seed money as key factors in the creation and growth of interest groups.
4 Most business groups, as well as many others, prefer ‘insider action’ and only revert to ‘outside agitation’ in order to attract new members in a competitive situation with other groups (based on Binderkrantz’s (2005)) work on Danish groups. Designing these programmes can therefore be quite complex. See Phillips, Laforest and Graham 2010 for an overview of the issues involved.
5 Over fifty organizations in Stanbury’s sample were funded by a single federal agency – the Federal Secretary of State – mainly in the area of multiculturalism. Pal found a total of $80 million going from the Federal Secretary of State to minority language groups over the period 1970–82, $50 million in 1978–82 alone while multicultural groups received over $125 million from 1976–88, $94 million in 1983–88. Women’s programmes received $63 from 1973–88 and $46 million over 1984–88 (Stasiulis 1988; Pal 1993; Stanbury 1993). Phillips (1991) found the Federal Secretary of State to have spent $130 million over much the same period on over 3,000 groups with five major areas accounting for about one-third of all recipients: 337 groups for official languages; 457 women’s groups; 195 disabled groups; 160 aboriginal groups; and 175 multicultural groups.
Information-based implementation tools
1 The federal government of Canada, for example, has been the largest advertiser in the country since 1976 (Stanbury et al. 1983) with the larger provincial governments in the top ten as well. Ryan (1995) noted that federal advertising expanded from $3.4 million in 1968 to $106.5 million in 1992, a 3,000 per cent increase. Even inflation adjusted this amounted to a 665 per cent increase in 25 years. Specific national issue campaigns, in particular, can be very costly. Alasdair Roberts and Jonathan Rose (1995) for example, conducted an in-depth study of a mass media campaign conducted by the Federal Government of Canada to introduce a new goods and services tax (GST) in 1989–90. They found the federal Department of Finance to have spent $11.6 million on public education in a combined print/radio/TV campaign, $5 million on direct mail materials, $5 million on a call centre; Revenue Canada (Customs) to have spent $10.6 million on advertising, $9.2 million on instructional material; Revenue Canada (Taxation) to have spent a further $28 million advertising a GST credit; while a specially created GST Consumer Information Office spent $7.4 million on advertising and $6.9 million on production. The total for this one campaign was $85 million. This was more than the largest private sector advertisers spent in all of 1989. For example, Proctor and Gamble, with its hundreds of consumer products, had a total advertising budget of $56.7 million. This has led to some calls in some countries for greater regulation or control on government advertising, but these proposals have shown few results (Young 2007).
Understanding contemporary policy designs
1 While the different phases of regulatory activities are little studied, Bernstein (1955) postulated the existence of a regulatory ‘life cycle’ moving from birth to senescence and regulatory decline and termination or deregulation. In Bernstein’s work the idea was that a regulatory agency or regime would gradually suffer a decline in autonomy due to the accumulation of decisions which would generate a cadre of skilled regulators who moved back and forth between regulators and regulatees, undermining the independence of the regulating body and its legitimacy as an impartial protector of the public interest. Eventually the regulator would be ‘captured’ by the regulatee and the regime would decline into oblivion (Bernstein 1955). However the linkages between the different phases are not well understood and recent studies suggest that rather than just decline into abolition, regulatory agencies and regimes move in cycles of regulation–deregulation–re-regulation (Jordana and Levi-Faur 2004; Ramesh and Howlett 2006). While deregulation certainly occurred in many areas in the 1980s and 1990s, studies are very limited with respect to clarifying the general historical processes through which this step took place and whether or not this was due only, or always, to regulatory capture. Some early studies of deregulation initiatives in North America and Europe do exist (Swann 1988; Rubsamen 1989; Gayle and Goodrich 1990; Richardson 1990; Beesley 1992; Collier 1998), as do some theoretical works attempting to explain the origins of that deregulatory initiative (Crew and Rowley 1986; Derthick and Quirk 1985; Hammond and Knott 1988; Daugbjerg 1997; Lazer and Mayer- Schonberger 2002) but they are far from conclusive.
These studies generally show that regulatory regimes everywhere evolved gradually, emerging in response to the turbulence caused by industrialization and the growth of unfettered market capitalism (Eisner 1993; 1994a; 1994b). Their development, in fact, is co-terminate with that of the enhancement of the bureaucratic capacity of the modern state (Hodgetts 1964; Skowronek 1982). As an inexpensive and plentiful source of government control, it was often invoked by governments eager to reduce their direct government agency-level involvement in the provision of goods and services in society but unwilling to trust politically important functions entirely to market actors. Although regulation was often initially opposed by industry and many professional economists as promoting inefficiency, it was generally accepted in mainstream policy circles as essential for addressing market imperfections and dealing with the uncertainties of modern economic and social life. It is only recently that a broad body of opinion emerged which regards regulations as often inefficient and burdensome for the state itself (Cheung 2005). The expansion of reservations and even antipathy towards regulations led to two quite distinct movements: towards, on the one hand, ‘regulatory reform’ and, on the other, ‘deregulation’. These two movements are quite different and represent two separate approaches to resolving ‘the regulatory dilemma’ highlighted in Bernstein’s work (Birch 1984). However, as Eisner has pointed out, deregulatory activities and regulatory reforms, or streamlining, are often incorrectly juxtaposed (Eisner 1994). While regulatory reform has involved activities such as the mandating of cost–benefit analyses before the enactment of any new rules, deregulation involves the wholesale roll back and even abolition of existing rules (McGarity 1991).
2 Lloyd Brown-John (1979) counted 1,500 in the USA at the state and federal levels.
3 As Dion argued as early as 1973, at least part of this growth is due to the decline of political parties as a vehicle to aggregrate public interests, and of legislative and representative institutions to articulate them, and is very compatible with corporatist and other forms of governance (Dion 1973). Over the past several decades new avenues for public participation – various kinds of boards, commissions, and tribunals – have provided more institutionalized means for citizen involvement. In many countries and sectors, the 1990s in particular ushered in an era in which a number of new procedural authoritative instruments were established through which the public’s participation was actively sought by the state. Environmental task forces, round tables, land-use planning commissions, and other advisory tools have been used by governments in various countries and sectors, while new legislation – embodying processes such as mandatory environmental assessment reviews – created additional instruments mandating public participation. However problems with limited community group resources and too many consultative exercises can lead to diminishing returns and ineffectiveness if they are utilized too often (Cook 2002; Ross et al. 2002) and regulations preventing participatory abuses, such as legislation controlling lobbyists through mandatory registration, have also been deployed (Chari et al. 2007).
4 This ‘hidden welfare system’ he argued, since it is based primarily on nonrefundable tax incentives, mainly favoured the middle class, i.e. those with taxable incomes who can benefit from these programmes – like pensions plans (US$76 billion in 1995); home mortgage deductions (US$50 billion in 1995); deferral of capital gains on home sales (US$17 billion); and employer health insurance (US$77 billion).
5 This pattern of government funding typically has some negative consequences for recipient groups (De Vita and Twombly 2005; Pittel and Rubbelke 2006; Guo 2007; Knott and McCarthy 2007). As Laforest and Orsini argued
Rather than seeing a multiplicity of innovative practices, voluntary organizations are actually using fewer tools and fewer strategies to influence the policy process, investing most of their energy in research and evidence-based advocacy . . . becoming depoliticized and professionalized as they engage more in research and develop finely honed analytical skills . . . While voluntary organizations are increasingly being consulted and engaged in policy-making, the basis of these interventions too often lies in their capacity to generate empirical evidence and data, not in their ability to articulate the interests of their constituents.
(Laforest and Orsini 2005: 482; see also Cairns et al. 2005)
6 Any general diminishment of state power in this area can be easily reversed in times of war or crisis, as has been the case in many countries in the post 9/11 environment of the US-led ‘war on terror’. Freedom of information versus privacy balancing, for example, is very important ideologically in many liberal-democratic countries as it pits individual rights to know what a government is doing against individual rights to privacy (De Saulles 2007). And concerns with state and collective security in times of war or terrorism can lead to a renewed emphasis on restricting information disclosure, as we have seen recently in many countries.
7 Empirical evidence of the existence of these kinds of long-term overall governance arrangements exists in the work of Theodore Lowi, for example, who noted that while the historical record in general throughout the world has been one featuring the constant expansion of the range and scope of instruments used in governance, that in the case of the United States, at least, these arrangements proceeded through four principle periods. As he argued in ‘Four Systems of Policy, Politics, and Choice’ (Lowi 1972: 300): ‘It is not hard to document historically that the overwhelming proportion of policies produced by the U.S. federal government during the 19th century were distributive’, while regulatory policies were introduced in the late nineteenth century and redistributive ones in the twentieth (see also Orren and Skowronek 1998 and Skowronek 1982). These arrangements roughly correspond to rotating periods of Considine’s legal, market and corporate modes of governance.