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Seminar Series: Decarbonizing the Dragon: Policy Communities and the Power of Networks
November 16 — 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
Jiaqi (Jackie) Lu is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (joint Ph.D. program) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research interests include the political economy of energy transitions and climate change, as well as the intersection of governance and technology development.
Paper and presentation abstract: Policymakers often engage in networks of social relations involving various stakeholders and social actors. I argue that the diversity of policy networks in which decision makers are embedded contributes to compliance and effective policy delivery because heterogeneous connections provide them with more information and alternatives for securing political support. I test this argument by examining local governments’ preferences for renewable energy development in China. Drawing on original network data on local policymakers’ networks, I show that local governments are more likely to comply with the central government’s goal for renewable development when policymakers are embedded in pluralistic policy networks. I also employ a quasi-experimental design and qualitative interviews to explore the mechanisms of engagement. My findings emphasize the structure of embeddedness and draw attention to how policy actors can leverage structural positions within the network to advance their policy agenda.
The La Follette School Seminar Series engages participants in discussion of a range of public policy issues and showcases the research of faculty from the La Follette School, other UW–Madison departments, and outside the UW–Madison community. Faculty, students, and visitors take part in lively dialogue about topics such as poverty and welfare, health, education, international affairs, trade and finance, and the environment. For more information, email Professor Tim Smeeding.