9
Processes and Governmental Strategies

Governmental processes are generally linked to various broad strategies of government. Such broad strategies may involve, for example, providing for agency regulation in an area; or giving the sector over to operation by a public corporation; or imposing a system of monitored self-regulation; or delegating a public function to a private provider; or allowing the market to operate within a system of governmentally-imposed fiscal incentives. The processes that can be used are also various. Thus, for example, resort may be made to rules of different kinds but, alternatively, an array of adjudicative processes may be adopted; decisions may be made managerially; policies, actions, or decisions may be negotiated; formal or informal arbitrations may be conducted; particularized contractual arrangements may be employed; or inquiries of various kinds may be instituted. The linkage of process to strategy is, however, inevitably close, and it is accordingly difficult to claim legitimacy for a process if the overall strategy is not to be deemed worthy of support. To give an example: the maker of prescriptive regulatory rules on, say, pollution standards may rely heavily on the efficiency and due process rationales in claiming support for the processes adopted, but that support is unlikely to be forthcoming if critics are able to argue convincingly that the pollution could be controlled more efficiently and fairly by abandoning the strategy of regulating by prescriptive standard-setting and turning to another strategy -- for instance one allowing market forces to govern the issue through processes of negotiation.

For a process to be legitimate, it should be possible to make a convincing claim that it is the appropriate process combined with the appropriate strategy. Just as it should not be assumed that rules are the automatic way to implement strategies or programmes, it should not be taken for granted that the strategies involved are optimal. Renate Mayntz describes the potential pitfall thus:

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