Mahani Haji Hamdan
Assistant Professor, UBDSBE, Director, IPS
Both state and non-state actors (NSA) have played a critical role in the policy process. While the state dominates the policy formulation, design and political agenda, the contribution of non-state actors goes beyond influencing policy agenda. We argue that NSAs can even have a critical role in policy implementation. Extant literature broadly focuses on the rise in the role of NSAs, primarily among non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in various contexts and settings. However, only few looked at different types of NSAs, particularly in the role of banks in achieving the state’s public policy initiatives. Driven by corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and desires to give back to the community, banks have emerged in recent years as a powerful entity to push certain public agenda. This study carries two objectives: to analyse the collaboration and dynamic processes involved between the state and private banks in the perspective of Governance within the Brunei context; and to explore the issues and practical challenges for promoting CSR on a range of policy objectives – economic, social and environmental. Secondary sources of data and interviews with several key stakeholders are employed in the study. Results showed that although banks’ CSR practices have shown positive impacts on the public policy agenda, the benefits of engagement from the public sphere should also be considered.