chapter  5
25 Pages

Internationalization and policy paradigm change: The case of agriculture


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, analysts argued that a paradigm shift was under way in the agricultural policies of industrialized countries, including the United States, members of the European Union, Australia and Canada. They saw a transition away from a paradigm of ‘state assistance’ (Coleman et al. 1997; Skogstad 1998) or ‘protected development’ (Coleman 1998) under which governments intervened appreciably in agricultural markets and supported

This debate about whether paradigm change has occurred in agriculture and the role of internationalization in agricultural policy change is joined here in a study of Canadian agriculture. The chapter addresses central questions in this collection related to clarification of the dependent variable – policy change – including the distinction between radical or paradigmatic change and programmatic change, and the drivers of different types of policy change. The first objective of the chapter is to clarify the meaning of policy paradigm change and circumstances under which paradigm change is hypothesized to occur. The chapter reviews theories of policy paradigm change, building on Hall’s (1993) analytical framework and its modification by other researchers. This review highlights several domestic factors that contribute to paradigm change, including policy anomalies and failure; the availability of alternative viable paradigms; a shift in authoritative sites of decision-making and governing coalitions, or, alternatively, a re-configuration of closed policy networks. It also suggests the importance of discourse and timing of events in the political and material context. The second objective of the chapter is to examine how changes in the international political economy that have led to the internationalization of domestic politics affect the likelihood, scope and direction of agricultural policy change.