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Fast Policy

Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism

Jamie Peck

Publication Year: 2015

We inhabit a perpetually accelerating and increasingly interconnected world, with new ideas, fads, and fashions moving at social-media speed. New policy ideas, especially “ideas that work,” are now able to find not only a worldwide audience but also transnational salience in remarkably short order.

Fast Policy is the first systematic treatment of this phenomenon, one that compares processes of policy development across two rapidly moving fields that emerged in the Global South and have quickly been adopted worldwide⎯conditional cash transfers (a social policy program that conditions payments on behavioral compliance) and participatory budgeting (a form of citizen-centric urban governance). Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore critically analyze the growing transnational connectivity between policymaking arenas and modes of policy development, assessing the implications of these developments for contemporary policymaking. Emphasizing that policy models do not simply travel intact from sites of invention to sites of emulation, they problematize fast policy as a phenomenon that is real and consequential yet prone to misrepresentation.

Based on fieldwork conducted across six continents and in fifteen countries, Fast Policy is an essential resource in providing an extended theoretical discussion of policy mobility and in presenting a methodology for ethnographic research on global social policy.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

The origins of this book go back to the mid-1990s, when we both began to work—first independently and later collaboratively—on issues of “policy transfer” in the fields of welfare reform and labor-market programming. Our focus at the time was largely transatlantic because of the issues involved...

Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xiv

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Introduction: Policies without Borders

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pp. xv-xxxii

It is often observed, in this self-conscious age of globalization, that we live in a perpetually accelerating and ever-more interconnected world. New ideas, fads, and fashions, in particular, seem to be moving at social-media speed. And new policy ideas, especially those highly sought-after “ideas that...

Part I. In Pursuit of Fast Policy

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1. Geographies of Policy

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pp. 3-29

The modern policymaking process may still be focused on centers of political authority, but networks of policy advocacy and activism now exhibit a precociously transnational reach; policy decisions made in one jurisdiction increasingly echo and influence those made elsewhere; and global...

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2. Reflections: Pursuing Projects, Following Policies

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pp. 30-42

How might the social-constructivist intuitions explored in the previous chapter inform a methodological strategy? As we have indicated, the methodological repertoire for critical policy studies in this area ideally ought to be an open and reflexive one, though roles must be reserved for those...

Part II. Social Policy as Practical Science

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3. New Ideas for New York City

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pp. 45-84

New York City is a place of big ideas. During the Progressive Era, at the turn of the twentieth century, the city was a beacon for social-policy reform, forging innovations in public education and housing. By the end of the century, however, it had secured quite a different reputation, as a bastion...

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4. Globalizing Social-Policy Practice

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pp. 85-130

Befitting Mexico’s symbolic status as the anointed birthplace of CCTs, as well as the country’s complex entanglement with multilateral policymaking circuits, the city of Puebla was the location for the inaugural international summit for this new generation of antipoverty programs, “the first of its kind...

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5. Reflections: Tailwinds, Turning Points

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pp. 131-144

What does the transnational field of CCT experimentation reveal about the logics and limits of fast policy? This interlude takes the form of a reflection on the preceding case study, with a view to teasing out issues of analytical pertinence, at least one step removed from the empirical details...

Part III. Propagating Progressive Practice

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6. Porto Alegre as Participatory Laboratory

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pp. 147-168

The Brazilian city of Porto Alegre has become synonymous with both the cause and the practice of progressive policymaking. The site, since the late 1980s, of a radical experiment in participatory democracy, Porto Alegre would subsequently become the principal host city—and spiritual home—of...

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7. Democracy on the Move

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pp. 169-209

The Shanghai World Expo of 2010 was dedicated to the theme “Better city, better life”—its vision being that of “Cities of Harmony,” where the problems of a rapidly urbanizing world would meet their match in the form of an unprecedented wave of urban innovation. A centerpiece of the...

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8. Reflections: Headwinds, Hollowing Out

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pp. 210-222

Participatory budgeting is a striking example of a conspicuously fast-moving policy, one that through its transnational movement might, at first blush, appear capable of transcending the local context to deliver substantially similar results in different places. That PB, in its polyvalent forms...

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Conclusion: Exploring (Fast) Policy Worlds

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pp. 223-238

This book has been an exploration of two policy fields, both of which can trace some of their deepest roots to Latin America but which would eventually reach to every continent, in some form or another. Given that both policies—conditional cash transfers and participatory budgeting—became...

Notes

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pp. 239-266

Bibliography

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pp. 267-288

Index

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pp. 289-301


E-ISBN-13: 9781452944074
E-ISBN-10: 1452944075
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816677313

Page Count: 328
Illustrations:
Publication Year: 2015

OCLC Number: 908839628
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Fast Policy