Games Real Actors Play: Actor-Centered Institutionalism in Policy Research

By Fritz W. Scharpf | Go to book overview

European Parliament. On the other hand, it would seem desirable to slow the relentless progress of economic integration by relaxing some of the legal constraints of negative integration and by allowing member states to regain some degree of control over their economic boundaries ( Scharpf 1996).

But these are questions beyond the scope of a book that is meant to be about the tools of political analysis rather than about the analysis of a specific political constellation. They have been raised here merely to show how the analytical tools presented in the preceding chapters can indeed be employed to advantage in order to clarify some of the most vexing problems of multilevel governance in an ever more interdependent world. Whether I have succeeded in this demonstration remains, of course, for the reader to judge.


NOTES
1.
The background assumptions of Andreas Ryll's game-theoretic model are a bit complicated: Sickness funds compete for members, and they differ in the risk composition of their membership. It is further assumed that patients think that doctors will pay more attention to the members of better-paying funds. With this in mind, physicians' associations will begin the annual round of fee negotiations by dealing with those funds that have the most favorable risk composition among their members (and hence the highest ability to pay without having to raise membership charges). In order to avoid a competitive disadvantage, however, other sickness funds will then find themselves compelled to accept these more favorable settlements as well (which then forces them to raise contributions).
2.
These forms of "collibrating" intervention have been systematically analyzed by Andrew Dunsire ( 1993; 1996).
3.
In this context, the objective weakness of hierarchical coordination is turned into a tactical strength. The fact that the government has a serious "Hayekian" information deficit and that, as a consequence, unilateral administrative action might be unnecessarily burdensome increases the incentive for industry to avoid this eventuality.
4.
In the industrial training example, industry cooperation lapsed after the statute authorizing the training levy was struck down by the Constitutional Court on procedural grounds and when it became clear that the Social-Liberal government did not have the votes in the (opposition-dominated) Bundesrat to pass it again.
5.
At the time of this writing, the "cooperation principle" is again employed in a major role: On March 27, 1996, the German government announced that its plans for an energy tax or a carbon dioxide tax were being shelved in exchange for a commitment by nineteen industrial associations to reduce aggregate carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent in comparison to the 1990 level by the year 2005 (FAZ 1996). Other examples where self-regulation in the shadow of the state has been effective in Germany include regulations governing the security of bank deposits ( Ronge 1979; Deeg 1993) and the control of stock exchanges.
6.
I distinguish between capital markets and other markets because only the former have become truly global, whereas markets for goods and services, though surely transcending national boundaries, are still segmented by the importance of transportation costs and by significant differences in consumer tastes and consumption cultures.
7.
It should be recognized that the effect of regulatory competition is not necessarily a "race to the bottom." As is true in the market, there may be quality competition as well as

-214-

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Games Real Actors Play: Actor-Centered Institutionalism in Policy Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Tables and Figures xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 18
  • 1 - Policy Research in the Face of Complexity 19
  • Notes 34
  • 2 - Actor-Centered Institutionalism 36
  • Notes 49
  • 3 - Actors 51
  • Notes 67
  • 4 - Actor Constellations 69
  • Notes 93
  • 5 - Unilateral Action in Anarchic Fields and Minimal Institutions 97
  • Notes 114
  • 6 - Negotiated Agreements 116
  • Notes 147
  • 7 - Decisions by Majority Vote 151
  • Notes 168
  • 8 - Hierarchical Direction 171
  • Notes 193
  • 9 - Varieties of the Negotiating State 195
  • Notes 214
  • Appendix 1 - A Game-Theoretical Interpretation of Inflation and Unemployment in Western Europe 217
  • Notes 237
  • References 240
  • Appendix 2 - Efficient Self-Coordination in Policy Networks -- a Simulation Study 245
  • Notes 273
  • References 276
  • References 281
  • About the Book and Author 303
  • Index 305
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