Beyond Harmonization: The Role of Regions in Regulatory Policy Making
20 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2012
Date Written: August 15, 2007
Is policy harmonization in the ICT realm desirable and achievable by RECs? In addition to the potential for harmonization, what other sources of value do RECs provide to national level ICT policy makers? These questions are analyzed using findings from political science research that examine the nature of policy making within regions, particular the EU. With an understanding of the complexity and dynamics of regional policy, we then turn to a critical consideration of the value of harmonization, drawing on theories of Complex Adaptive Systems and integration. Following this discussion, we then draw on empirical evidence from the EU and SADC that suggests alternate sources of value that RECs provide in the regional policy making realm. The paper is organized as follows. We begin with a discussion of the characteristics of regions, the ways in which regions make policies and a consideration of the merits of harmonization and integration. This is followed in section three by a discussion of four policy making coordination activities in which RECs engage, namely the formation of epistemic communities, knowledge sharing and capacity building, specialization and resource and demand pooling. This is followed by conclusions.
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