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Author

Ian Roberge

Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science

Supervisor

Professor Tony Porter

Abstract

By constructing a theory of multi-level governance, the thesis advances a framework to study the internationalization of public policy and that of the international economy. The theory is used to analyse the autonomy of states and national governments in a globalizing environment. The thesis looks at the policy process in Canada and France in the financial services sector to determine the effects of multi-level governance on the way states take policy decisions. In Canada, the policy process for Bill C8, often incorrectly referred to as the merger legislation, was studied noting the changes that have occurred in the policymaking process since the last cycle of reform in the early 1990s. In France, the same type of analysis is provided for the newly adopted Financial Safety Bill, comparing the process for this legislation to that of the country's 1984 Bank Act. In both states, the discourse was adapted to include commitments and market opportunities provided through multi-level governance. The policy options studied took into account (though were not directed by) multi-level governance participation. The issue of competition was a dominant consideration in the policy process for both Canada and France. Lastly, the actors involved in the policy process have changed partly as a result of multi-level governance. Just as importantly, multi-level governance has strengthened the role of both public and non-governmental actors in policymaking. Contrary to those who see political globalization as restricting accessibility of policymaking processes, the strengthening of multi-level governance leads to greater openness of policy networks. Non-governmental actors, including private actors and consumer and civil society groups, are more prominent in these networks, but they do not exercise control, but rather engage further in broad-based policy consultation and negotiation. A striking feature of this thesis is the autonomy retained by states, even in Europe, in policymaking despite the internationalized nature of the fmance industry.

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