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Policy planning as a joint regulation process: an approach based on tripartite networks


Policy-planning organisations may be seen as central coordinating points in the policy-making process. Thence they are a privileged field to observe the relation between large corporations and politics. Structural research on corporate political action usually relies on an approach based on the disclosure of ties between corporations and politics, whether they stem from funding or revolving doors. I rather defend an approach based on social processes, which considers the policy-planning process as a regulatory process. I focus on the analysis of the tripartite network composed of the top 40 French policy-planning agencies, the top 100 listed French companies and their respective board members in 2009. The selection of policy-planning organisations is less straightforward than the selection of companies since the usual (Anglo-American) definitions of policy-planning agencies does not perfectly match the French context. As a consequence, I pragmatically retain the organisations which were cited in at least two directories. Policy organisations are characterized by a great diversity, in terms of size, resources, the quality or quantity of research output as well as in terms of specialisation and political orientation. Previous analyses highlight the polarisation of the policy-planning network according to the specialisation and the political orientation of these organisations. The hierarchical clustering of the tripartite network yields three main clusters. The first cluster, which is the most cohesive, gathers the top corporate elite, the top financial institutions, a few large industrial corporations, and liberal policy-planning organisations. One of the latter was created in 2003 by Jacques Raiman and Pascal Salin, both members of the Mont Pelerin Society, and Henri Lepage, an economist who published books publicizing Hajek’s work. This cluster represents the main core of the network. A second cluster, less cohesive, is linked to the first cluster thanks to a few big linkers as well as to the brokering role of the Institut Aspen France. Its members are “second fiddles”, but they usually are members of the inner circle. The organisations that they connect are more diversified. The last cluster represents the periphery of the network, rather disconnected from the two main clusters and with a low density. However, a few nodes play a connecting role so that this peripheral cluster comprises an important main component. This structure shows how status deeply shapes the network. Besides, the first cluster illustrates that the ruling core favours the policy organisations which embody a liberal ideology, while there is more diversity in other clusters. These results highlight the dominant position of this ruling core related to the most powerful financial institutions.
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hal-02568297 , version 1 (08-05-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02568297 , version 1


Catherine Comet. Policy planning as a joint regulation process: an approach based on tripartite networks. Sunbelt, INSNA Conference, Jun 2018, Utrecht, Netherlands. ⟨hal-02568297⟩


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