The Phantoms of the State Theater: Mapping the Members of the Core Policy Commission Networks in Denmark

Jonas Følsgaard Grønvad, Christoph Houman Ellersgaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Commissions appointed to examine and propose solutions to policy problems play a central role in policy formulation in the Nordic countries. Commissions have traditionally been analyzed as political arenas that allow organized interests to be represented in policy (Christiansen et al., 2015). However, commissions may also involve different forms of experts to substantiate political decisions (Campbell & Pedersen, 2014; Christensen & Holst, 2018). Several studies points towards the expanding role of expert bodies (Vibert, 2007), powerful professions (Fourcade, 2006) and scientific institutions (Parkhurst, 2017) in the policy cycle. In the language of Pierre Bourdieu (1996) we argue that the members of commissions have all been given a universally recognized and legitimate position that is also highly valued on the field of power in order to maintain the economic and social order. Thus, the forms of capital of interests groups and experts do not only rev eal the relative strength of different professions on this particular arena, but also show the positions, resources and dispositions not to be overlooked. A special attention is given to members of commissions that seem to transcend specific topic areas an d instead contains a more general form of status or expertise. To identify which forms of capital is highly valued in commissions, we analyse a space of core policy commission participants. We construct this space in a two-step procedure. First, we identify the most central commissions using social network analysis of Danish policy commissions and government committees from 2005-2015. Then we explore the space of core commission members through multiple correspondence analysis. We find a group of individuals who seem to haunt the state theater of commissions, usually playing the roles of either experts, based on neoliberal economic doctrines or leaders of the key interest organizations that negotiate the Danish economy.
Commissions appointed to examine and propose solutions to policy problems play a central role in policy formulation in the Nordic countries. Commissions have traditionally been analyzed as political arenas that allow organized interests to be represented in policy (Christiansen et al., 2015). However, commissions may also involve different forms of experts to substantiate political decisions (Campbell & Pedersen, 2014; Christensen & Holst, 2018). Several studies points towards the expanding role of expert bodies (Vibert, 2007), powerful professions (Fourcade, 2006) and scientific institutions (Parkhurst, 2017) in the policy cycle. In the language of Pierre Bourdieu (1996) we argue that the members of commissions have all been given a universally recognized and legitimate position that is also highly valued on the field of power in order to maintain the economic and social order. Thus, the forms of capital of interests groups and experts do not only rev eal the relative strength of different professions on this particular arena, but also show the positions, resources and dispositions not to be overlooked. A special attention is given to members of commissions that seem to transcend specific topic areas an d instead contains a more general form of status or expertise. To identify which forms of capital is highly valued in commissions, we analyse a space of core policy commission participants. We construct this space in a two-step procedure. First, we identify the most central commissions using social network analysis of Danish policy commissions and government committees from 2005-2015. Then we explore the space of core commission members through multiple correspondence analysis. We find a group of individuals who seem to haunt the state theater of commissions, usually playing the roles of either experts, based on neoliberal economic doctrines or leaders of the key interest organizations that negotiate the Danish economy.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts : Nordic Sociological Conference 2018
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherAalborg Universitet
Date2018
Pages80
StatePublished - 2018
Event29th Nordic Sociological Association Conference. NSA 2018 - Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 8 Aug 201810 Aug 2018
Conference number: 29
https://www.nsa2018.aau.dk/

Conference

Conference29th Nordic Sociological Association Conference. NSA 2018
Number29
LocationAalborg University
CountryDenmark
CityAalborg
Period08/08/201810/08/2018
Internet address

Cite this

Grønvad, J. F., & Ellersgaard, C. H. (2018). The Phantoms of the State Theater: Mapping the Members of the Core Policy Commission Networks in Denmark. In Book of Abstracts: Nordic Sociological Conference 2018 (pp. 80). Aalborg: Aalborg Universitet.
Grønvad, Jonas Følsgaard ; Ellersgaard, Christoph Houman. / The Phantoms of the State Theater : Mapping the Members of the Core Policy Commission Networks in Denmark. Book of Abstracts: Nordic Sociological Conference 2018. Aalborg : Aalborg Universitet, 2018. pp. 80
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Grønvad, JF & Ellersgaard, CH 2018, The Phantoms of the State Theater: Mapping the Members of the Core Policy Commission Networks in Denmark. in Book of Abstracts: Nordic Sociological Conference 2018. Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg, pp. 80, Aalborg, Denmark, 08/08/2018.

The Phantoms of the State Theater : Mapping the Members of the Core Policy Commission Networks in Denmark. / Grønvad, Jonas Følsgaard; Ellersgaard, Christoph Houman.

Book of Abstracts: Nordic Sociological Conference 2018. Aalborg : Aalborg Universitet, 2018. p. 80.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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Grønvad JF, Ellersgaard CH. The Phantoms of the State Theater: Mapping the Members of the Core Policy Commission Networks in Denmark. In Book of Abstracts: Nordic Sociological Conference 2018. Aalborg: Aalborg Universitet. 2018. p. 80.