Who writes the rules for the governance of the world economy? The Professions in International Political Economies (PIPES) project is concerned with how professional actors compete in public and private arenas to provide solutions to policy problems. This project provides an original framework to understand how actors in professions shape global economic governance in a manner that commonly ignores public-private distinctions. Rather than conforming to public-private or national-international distinctions, actors create networks through their professional skills. From this context, networks of actors form strategies that link their profession to others to dominate how particular policy problems should be understood.
Actors in professions form coalitions and alliances to protect their power and prestige, as well as to create consensus on how to treat policy problems and what represents world’s best practice. Since actors never really have control over how ideas are interpreted they must strategize in an ongoing fight for control over how certain problems should be understood. PIPES is concerned with mapping how professions fight over how to solve policy problems across a range of issue-areas in the world economy where there is a change in economic practices and markets. These are divided into four areas of governance: finance; health; capacity building; and the environment. Among others, topics to be studied include risk management technologies in finance, low fertility problems in the OECD, and the development of carbon ratings markets. The PIPES research team employs a mixed methods approach that combines qualitative structured and focused comparisons from primary evidence (interviews and primary documents) and participant observation, as well as quantitative analysis through network and content analysis of professional associational contexts. PIPES will also use Case Study Integrity Fora to facilitate knowledge exchange between scholars and practitioners.
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