The development of public policies is not restricted to the nation state. Rather, governments have always cooperated at the international level in order to address common problems that cannot be effectively addressed by individual countries. In fact, it was the existence of transboundary effects and externalities that stimulated the creation of international regimes such as the Basel Convention governing the international movement of hazardous waste, or the United States–Canada Great Lakes water quality regime. As a result, there is an increasing number of public policies that reach beyond the nation state. While interdependencies are certainly one of the most important drivers of this process, social, political, economic and technological changes equally contribute to it. In light of these developments, it is our central objective in this chapter to identify analytical factors that influence the formulation and implementation of public policies beyond the nation state; i.e. international public policies. We will first offer a general assessment of the rationales for international cooperation and provide an overview of the actors and institutions involved in policy-making beyond the nation state. This step involves combining public policy analysis with the disciplines of international relations and international political economy. We will then address interest constellations and mechanisms affecting the dynamics of policy formulation at the international level. Finally, we turn to the peculiarities and challenges that characterize the implementation of these policies. In this way, we take up once again two important stages of the policy-making process; namely, decision-making and implementation.
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