Title

Converging On Competitiveness: Garbage Cans And The New Global Economy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2002

Publication Title

Environment & Planning C: Government & Policy

Department

Politics and Government

Abstract

In this paper I build on Krugman's work on the ‘obsession’ with competitiveness, accepting as inescapable fact what Krugman laments: the emergence of the global economy and competitiveness as focal points for policy debate is a political phenomenon understandable in terms of agenda setting and issue framing. I explore trade politics in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s in light of two related propositions. First, globalization's domestic effects and the policy requirements imposed by the world economy are at once real and negotiated in the political process—the global economy is ‘socially constructed’ for domestic political/purposes. Second, the ways that the world economy has been constructed can be well understood by using the issue framing and ‘garbage can’ literatures from policy studies. Understandings of the domestic policy requirements of the world economy are at once manufactured in the political process as interests seek to connect old solutions to promising new problems and shape that process as those understandings come to mark the limits of political economic possibility.

Volume

20

Issue

1

pp.

1-18

ISSN

0263-774X