This paper focuses on the interactions of power as analysed through the formulation story of a recently enacted social policy, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), India. It explains the various drivers that led to the passing of this policy, with a view to analysing the extent and nature of power as was played out in the making of this policy.
The paper sets out the way in which social policy formulation can be understood to be arising from interactions and linkages between individual actors, who together make up policy coalitions and networks. These interactions are described through a four-fold classification of processes (parliamentary, executive, party political and civil society) into which the actions and contributions of these actors feed, giving rise to an iterative, messy and complex reality. Power in the policy formulation network is shown as multi-sited as well as relational. The paper concludes with an endorsement for reconfiguring the geographies of power in the form of a kaleidoscope of actors and events, within and through which power flows and is exercised.