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OR: Week 9.2 Regime change, humanitarian intervention, socialisation, conditionality ….

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Presentation on theme: "OR: Week 9.2 Regime change, humanitarian intervention, socialisation, conditionality …."— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 9.2 Policy Transfer, Policy Learning, Policy Convergence, Policy Diffusion.

2 OR: Week 9.2 Regime change, humanitarian intervention, socialisation, conditionality ….

3 Lecture Aims What is policy transfer? Who does it? Why do they do it?
What do they transfer? How Much? Where do they transfer from? Does it work? Normative aspects: should it happen in this form and in this way? Tobacco example – domestic and international transfer Links to previous lectures

4 What is Policy Transfer?
3 descriptions to look out for: The evidence for similarities in policy across regions*. The causes of similarities in policy across regions. The pursuit of similarities in policy across regions. The term ‘region’ if often used in the same sense as ‘area’ to suggest that this is not necessarily a country-country process

5 Policy Diffusion Suggests a passive governmental process?
Refers to similar adoptions of policy without evidence of emulation? Associated with the analysis of policy spreading across US states

6 Policy Convergence Evidence of similarities across countries: policy goals, content, instruments, outcomes and/ or styles. Movement towards similarity It could mean independent problem solving based on the same pressures But Bennet suggests not calling this “convergence” Bennett, Colin J. (1991) “What is Policy Convergence and What Causes It?”, British Journal of Political Science, 21, 2,

7 Policy Learning (Rose)
Focus on ‘lesson-drawing’ Regions learn from their own past experience … then from other regions Negative lessons also learned* A voluntary process? E.g. BSE - other countries learned from the UK’s mistakes

8 Policy Transfer “The process by which knowledge about policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in one political system (past or present) is used in the development of policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in another political system” (Dolowitz and Marsh)* * It should be clear that this is an attempt to provide an umbrella term with an overarching definition. Dolowitz and Marsh (2000: 5; see also 1996: 344) Dolowitz, David and Marsh, David (1996) “Who Learns What from Whom: a Review of the Policy Transfer Literature”, Political Studies, XLIV, Dolowitz, David and Marsh, David (2000) “Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making”, Governance, 13, 1, 5-24

9 Who Does It? The “usual suspects”*
New suspects - policy entrepreneurs, NGOs, epistemic communities Supra-national organisations – EU, World Bank, UN* The US?* Note exporters and importers “Usual Suspects” within political systems - elected officials, political parties, bureaucrats/ civil servants, pressure groups, etc. This leads James and Lodge (2003) to wonder if the transfer process can be distinguished from the general political process - James, Oliver and Lodge, Martin (2003) “The Limitations of ‘Policy Transfer’ and ‘Lesson Drawing’ for Public Policy Research”, Political Studies Review, 1, Policy entrepreneurs – consultants/ experts selling “best practice” (often inappropriately), NGOs, international policy communities and professionalisation Supra-national institutions – EU, OECD, World Bank, UN. Note that national governments can perform this role with devolved authorities. *The US? Although Dolowitz and Marsh (and others) discuss coercive transfer, regime change is not discussed. Maybe this is too wholesale a change to be included in t he continuum. However, the importation of electoral systems could be included - Norris, P. (1997) ‘Choosing Electoral Systems: Proportional, Majoritarian and Mixed Systems’ International Political Science Review 18, 3, Note importance of exporting (e.g. US) and importing regions (e.g. UK) – although this can change (also NB within UK)

10 Why Transfer? Is it voluntary?
Does the force for change come from within? Or is it coercive? Does the force for change come from elsewhere?

11 Voluntary transfer Associated with learning
Follows dissatisfaction with policy or a natural tendency to look abroad. Suggests a rational process? Transfer search also used to legitimise existing policy.

12 Direct Coercive transfer
Borrowing country forced to adopt a policy. Most associated with the US? The role of the World Bank comes close? Increasing role for the EU* *But Dolowitz and Marsh (1996; 2000) suggest that since members states joined the EU voluntarily …

13 Indirect Coercive transfer
Voluntary but driven by perceived need for region B to change because: Region A is an important market for exports A and B have a close working relationship A perceives a need to “keep up”* Region A’s policies may cause externalities* *E.g. When Canada’s government originally complainedwhen it became subject to acid rain caused by pollution in the US. It soon found out that US regulations were more stringent than Canada’s and this spurred Canada to follow suit – see G. Hoberg, ‘Sleeping with an elephant: the American influence on Canadian environmental regulation’, Journal of Public Policy, 11 (1991), * a factor for Canada (US) and Wales (England) since they are relatively small and lying next to the elephant. Eg tuition fees in England put a large strain on Wales’ abilities to not follow suit.

14 Policy Transfer Continuum


16 Humanitarian Intervention?
Difficult to place on the continuum What is the level of imposition? Defined by the interests of the state or its population? Based on shifting international norms and rules Variable consistency with norms and rules Humanitarian interventions seem to be particularly difficult to place on the continuum, since: (a) their level of imposition may relate to a level of legitimacy related to intervention which is based on shifting international norms and rules (in other words, we may argue that a humanitarian intervention is not imposed if it is implicitly accepted by a country’s population but not its state); (b) their actions may, to a greater or lesser extent, be based on the need to be consistent with these norms and rules. For example, Wheeler (2000: 8) argues that ‘humanitarian claims were not accepted as a legitimate basis for the use of force in the 1970s but … a new norm of UN-authorized humanitarian intervention developed in the 1990s’. Wheeler, N. (2000) Saving Strangers (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Heavy Demand Whe


18 Discussion of continuum
Transfer may contain voluntary and coercive elements* Perceived need varies and is subject to internal political processes Appearance of coercion may help governments introduce unpopular policies *In one example we are back to the EU and the argument that membership implies consent; Dolowitz and Marsh (2000: 11) also suggest that if governments hire consultants to advise them on government reforms to meet international expectations (or World Bank funding) then this is a complex mix of voluntary and coercive elements.


20 How much? Ranges from complete duplication to broad inspiration
Duplication only possible with similar starting points* Adaptation more likely Or countries synthesise policies from a range of sources Or make a hybrid from borrowing and lending countries Broad inspiration – pitfalls? See Rose, Richard (1993) Lesson-Drawing in Public Policy (New Jersey: Chatham House) Ros *Rose has in mind the diffusion of policies across US states – all have the same political structures and responsibilities Adaptation suggests taking different laws/ administration into account – eg when importing from a federal to a unitary system Synthesis – eg new countries taking a pick’n’mix approach to their new electoral systems

21 What is Transferred? In different terms – range from complete policy content to negative lessons* Or from single transfer in one year to wholesale over a number* Policy goals, structure and content Institutions, policy instruments or administrative techniques; Ideology; Attitudes; Ideas Which actually suggests that no transfer takes place E.g. Page (2000: 6) suggests that Japan borrowed Germany’s police system because it had already borrowed related aspects in law and local government.

22 From Where Are Lessons Drawn?
Lessons likely to be drawn from other regions if they share: Policy conditions (particularly economic) Ideology* ‘Geographical propinquity’* Although often the same policy can be justified in similar terms, with a different underlying ideology. E.g. Wales’ second offer scheme in the NHS is similar to England’s Patient Choice, but is geared more towards government planning than consumer driven operations. Note that nearness may be increasingly difficult to define – nearness in physical distance or country conditions or ability to communicate?

23 Policy Transfer and Failure
Based on adaptability, knowledge, resources to implement Dolowitz and Marsh discuss 3 aspects of failure - uninformed, incomplete, inappropriate transfer* Transfer failure qualifies idea of coercion? Or successful coercion? When discussing the transfer of the Child Support Agency from the US to the UK (2000: 17-18): Uninformed transfer – the borrowing country has incomplete information on key elements of success in lending country (e.g. the length of time to phase in policy; the role of the courts in pressure release and ensuring discretion) Incomplete transfer – when those key elements are not transferred Inappropriate transfer – when not enough attention is paid to adaptation and/ or the original policy aims of the exporter [e.g. addressing those in arrears rather than focussing on those who could afford to pay (to reduce PSBR)]

24 Normative aspects Should it happen in this form and in this way?
Remember MLG and incrementalism concepts: this is how it is done and how it should be done It is more difficult to detect this argument in the transfer literature

25 Tobacco example Demonstrates the range of processes and issues
Multi-level Governance* Advertising: EU encourages UK but coerces Germany Smoking ban: minimal EU power; the rest of the UK coerces England FCTC = humanitarian intervention? Developed countries challenging tobacco company shift to developing countries *Within the European Union (EU), three levels of government now have responsibilities for tobacco control: (1) the EU itself; (2) the central governments of member states; and (3) in federal or quasi-federal systems, the provinces or devolved level of government. The EU has issued directives on minimum levels of taxation, maximum levels of tar, product labelling and tobacco advertising; UK policies on these issues go beyond the EU requirements and apply to Scotland; Scotland controls NHS treatments such as smoking cessation clinics and nicotine replacement therapy. In May 2003, the 192 member states of the World Health Assembly unanimously adopted the FCTC, the first global public health treaty to be initiated and negotiated through World Health Organization. The FCTC became international law in February 2005 after 40 countries ratified it. As of March 2007, it has been signed by 168 countries and ratified by 145 countries (including the EU). The FCTC represents an accumulation of scientific knowledge on tobacco (including authoritative reports by the US Surgeon General, Royal College of Physicians and World Bank) and a continuous adoption of tobacco control policies at the local, national and regional levels over five decades. This “bubbling up” phenomenon was facilitated by the activities of non-state actors (both tobacco control and tobacco industry) and by certain developed countries and regions with the intention of transferring and empowering developing countries to take action against the rising trend of tobacco use. The FCTC development process began in 1995 and by 2003 it succeeded in putting tobacco control on the agenda of almost all developing countries.

26 Links to previous lectures

27 Comprehensive Rationality
Perfect rationality at one end of transfer continuum Conflates rationality and lack of coercion? Comprehensive Rationality discussion suggests that policy transfer can be entirely voluntary but not ‘rational’ Maybe they mean pressure for change reduces time to learn?

28 Incrementalism Governments learn from own mistakes first?
Focus of learning restricted to most similar regions? Other searches unrealistic/ inappropriate given scope for radical change. Path dependence in transfer* In other words, it may be useful to link Rose’s discussion of learning with his discussion of inheritance before choice in public policy NB example of Japan and Germany

29 Agenda-setting/ punctuated equilibrium
Lessons are not just “there” – they are subject to framing when reported The focus of lessons is subject to competition/ selection The pressure to learn will depend on the position of an issue on the policy agenda But lessons from elsewhere may be a powerful tool to challenge existing policy monopolies

30 MLG and venue shift At which level of government does transfer take place? Or which type? Remember epistemic communities

31 Advocacy Coalition Framework
Does coercion come from within? E.g. imagine 2 advocacy coalitions – one voluntary approach to tobacco, one public health Public health replaces voluntary as dominant coalition and successfully achieves policy change Is the government coerced?

32 Lecture Aims What is policy transfer? Who does it? Why do they do it?
What do they transfer? Where do they transfer from? Does it work? Normative aspects: should it happen in this form and in this way? Tobacco example – domestic and international transfer Links to previous lectures Is policy transfer a valuable concept?

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