Intermestic Approach: A Methodological Alternative in Studying Policy Change

Dyah Estu Kurniawati(1*)

(1) Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang
(*) Corresponding Author


In policy change study, there are at least two main methods used, namely the domestic and international approaches. The classification of approaches is not only based on who the actors are involved in the policy change process or where the source of influence comes from, but more fundamentally each approach emphasizes a different political arena. The domestic approach that is dominant in the study of political science and public policy administration explains policy change as an arena of domestic actors in the fight for their own self-interests. Meanwhile the international approach developed in the study of international relations oversees policy change as an arena for the achievement of the international or transnational actors’ interests who want a policy change either by pressuring for changes or providing preferences that can be selected voluntarily by the governments in the decision-making process. This paper aimed at reviewing the methodology of the two approaches that had existed previously and trying to introduce an alternative approach called intermestic (international domestic). The intermestic approach is useful to analyse the policy change in the globalization era that occurs as if the world is “borderless”. This approach starts with the explanation that the domestic and international categories are no longer relevant. In other words, the intermestic approach emphasizes the one fatal mistake that we did was precisely in the selection of the domestic and international arena in the policy change process because the world was headed for a “one space or global political arena”. However, in the intermestic approach the idea of state sovereignty is an important aspect and the government still has the main role in the policy change process in addition to those influences of other actors. Nevertheless, the role of states becomes ambiguous because the globalization process has redefined the sovereignty rights and political power of the nation state.


Policy change; intermestic approach; globalization; borderless world

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