Web lecture: governance and the multi actor game

Course subject(s) Module 4: Governance and Regulation in complex situation

Web lecture: governance and the multi actor game 

In the following web lecture we will give an introduction to the governance of privatized or liberalized utility sectors, like transport, electricity, natural gas or telecom.

The basic philosophy of liberalization has always been very simple. There is a network and there is a service. Or a electricity net and the delivery of electricity. The costs of the roll out and maintenance of a network are so extremely high, that no private party is willing to invest in it – so the networks should be in public hands. The owner of the network should not be the one who delivers the service – so the unbundling of network and service delivery is key in the liberalization philosophy. One of the main consequences of this philosophy is the extreme organizational fragmentation of the utility sectors. In the old days, there was sometimes only one organization, a public monopolist, that owned the network and delivered the service. Now there are many companies delivering services and there are sometimes even competing networks – particularly in the world of Internet and telecom.

So there is this fragmentation, but there is another thing – the convergence of utility sectors (see week 2) . For example, in the old days there were clear distinctions between for example electricity and transport – but now these two sectors are converging.

So fragmented sector are converging, and the result is a spaghetti-like situation. Many actors, many interdependencies – what the social scientists call ‘a multi-actor network’. Sometimes these actors have to work together. Cooperation is a multi-actor network is however, extremely difficult – because of the many different interests. How to get actors aligned, when they have conflicting interest?

So what to do? The idea is: change the game form a one issue game to a multi-issue game. Put so many issues on the agenda, that there is potential gain and potential pain for each of the players. What’s the impact of a multi-issue game (MIG)? Well, it is an incentive: 

  1. To sit down with each other
  2. For unfreezing
  3. For cooperation
  4. For learning

The more issues you have, the easier it is to get the parties aligned!

Download: 360p | 720p | 1080p | subtitles | transcript | slides

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Based on a work at https://ocw.tudelft.nl/courses/next-generation-infrastructures/.
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