To an increasing extent governments all over the world are being called upon to work out and implement joint solutions to collective policy problems — ranging from the illegal production and distribution of drugs to global climate change. At least two propositions have been offered to account for the proliferation of international policy problems. One attributes this development to increases in the volume and ‘intensity’ of communication, transactions and exchanges of externalities across borders. The underlying assumption behind this line of explanation is that, other things being equal, the higher the volume of interaction between two societies, the more sensitive and vulnerable they tend to become towards each other (Keohane and Nye, 1977, 8 f). And the greater the interdependence between two actors, the more each of them will care about what the other does. An alternative proposition focuses on changes in the role of government, the basic argument being that as the scope of government intervention into society expands — as it has done throughout most of this century — new problems have been drawn into the sphere of public policy. To the extent that these problems have international ramifications, they may in turn also become topics of intergovernmental negotiations. The driving force, according to this hypothesis, is the expanding role of government in economic activities and social life rather than changes in the level or scope of interdependence among societies (Morse, 1973; Sundelius, 1984).
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- Domesticating International Commitments: Linking National and International Decision-Making
- Springer Netherlands