The network approach and foreign policy
in Foreign policy as public policy?
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Chapter 7, by Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing, introduces the Network Approach. This chapter first defines the network concept, sets out the core features of the network approach and explains how and why it has emerged as an alternative lens for understanding policy-making in dispersed and interactive settings that defy description in terms of the traditional hierarchy–market dichotomy. It then compares different theories and methods for understanding policy and governance networks and discusses how these networks can be instrumental for enhancing knowledge sharing, improving inter-organizational and cross-sector coordination, and solving wicked and unruly problems in ways that both increase effectiveness and democratic legitimacy. Subsequently, the chapter describes how and why the network approach is applicable to foreign policy-making and assesses the scope conditions and merits and limits of applying the approach. It argues that the network approach is useful for analyzing how states formulate, implement, and diffuse foreign policy in response to domestic interests and global problems and events. Finally, the chapter provides a more extended example of how the network approach is applicable to core concerns of foreign policy. The example illustrates the role of networks in facilitating political cooperation to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Foreign policy as public policy?

Promises and pitfalls

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