2 Summary of previous lectures Biggest constraint on change is existing policy and power relations underpinning policy agreementPolicy problems are produced/ framed, not selectedPolicy may be incremental with long periods of stabilityComprehensive rationality assumption of central actor undermined by MLG discussionBut … potential for short bursts of intense policy attention and change.
3 What is Policy Transfer? Refers to the evidence for - and causes of - similarities in policy across regions.Can policy change be explained by a rational process of policy learning across states?Under what conditions?Or is the process inseparable from the wider political process?
4 What Is It? Convergence: Starting point is evidence of similarities across countries: policy goals, content, instruments, outcomes and/ or styles.It could mean independent problem solving based on parallel domestic pressuresBut Bennet suggests not calling this “convergence”Term suggests moving towards similarity
5 Policy Learning (Rose) Lesson-drawing across time (i.e. own experience) then bigger focus across space (other regions)Extent of learning variesNegative lessons also learnedE.g. BSE –countries learned from UK’s mistakes
6 Policy TransferUmbrella term with overarching definition: “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)Learning is one type of transfer (voluntary)
7 Policy Diffusion Suggests more passive process? Refers to similar adoptions of policy without evidence of emulation? (link)Associated with analysis of US statesNote that a precise definition of all 4 is elusive.Differences may not be significant (bar e.g. learning as a voluntary subset of transfer)
8 Who Does It?“Usual Suspects” within political systems - elected officials, political parties, bureaucrats/ civil servants, pressure groups, etc.Policy entrepreneurs – consultants/ experts selling “best practice” (often inappropriately), NGOs, international policy communities and professionalisationSupra-national institutions – EU, OECD, World Bank, UN. Note that national governments can perform this role with devolved authorities.Note importance of exporting (e.g. US) and importing regions (e.g. UK) – although this can change (also NB within UK)
9 Why Transfer - Is it Voluntary? Remember the broader questions within political systems: why change policy? Who decides? Who influences?These questions traditionally from ‘within’Additional discussion of the role of (external or internal) coercionDolowitz and Marsh continuum of transfer
10 Voluntary transfer – following dissatisfaction with policy or a natural tendency to look abroad. A rational process?Note that transfer search can be used to legitimise existing policy.Direct Coercive transfer – borrowing country influenced (effectively forced?) to adopt a policy.Role of World Bank in developing countries, but also EU in Europe. Influence of MNCs on regulations.Indirect Coercive transfer – voluntary but driven by perceived need for region B to change policy becauseRegion A is an important market for exports,They have a close working relationship,There is a need to “keep up”.Region A’s policies may also cause externalities – a factor for Canada (US) and Wales (England).
12 Discussion of continuum Transfer may contain voluntary and coercive elements (implementation/ discretion?)Perceived need varies and is subject to internal political processesAppearance of coercion may help governments introduce unpopular policies
13 What is Transferred? Policy goals, structure and content Policy instruments or administrative techniques; InstitutionsIdeology; Attitudes; IdeasNegative Lessons?Note that policies can be transferred even if ideology is different (e.g. Patient choice)Does it matter if the same policy outcomes are caused by different processes? (e.g. UK tobacco)
14 Degrees of Transfer - Rose Complete duplication – only possible if similar starting points within countries (e.g. US states)Adaptation – taking different laws/ administration into account (NB cut-and-paste/ Scottish example)Making a hybrid from borrowing and lending countriesSynthesis of one or more programmes (eg new countries and electoral systems)Broad inspiration[Repackaging?]
15 Bear in mind: Loose boundaries between categories All elements can be contained in one policy areaSingle transfer or over period of yearsNote extent of change regardless of transfer. Effect of transfer is total minus that which would have happened? E.g. if looking for practical help rather than solution.
16 From Where Are Lessons Drawn? Learning from the past in one’s own region, then othersLessons likely to be drawn from other regions if there are shared policy conditions (particularly economic conditions)On geographical grounds (although proximity subject to choice and technological advance?)If there is a shared ideology (although remember Wales)
17 Attempt of and success of transfer affected by range of factors: If the policy is “unique” or based on inimitable conditions/ organisationsPolitical structures – e.g. note assumption of federal welfare policy that state/ local levels will supplement actionResources to implement (and capacity – e.g. private sector)Simplicity of policy with clear cause/effectKnowledge gathered of policy and likely outcomesInterdependence (Wales; Scotland and fur)When ideology/ values of importer/ exporter coincideNote links to rationality, incrementalism and implementation studies
18 Policy Transfer and Failure Discussion of implementation and policy failure qualifies idea of coercion – e.g. with the EU there is discretion to implement directives. There is power to coerce national governments but how far down the line does this extend? (e.g. of WTD and doctors)Dolowitz and Marsh discuss failure in a different sense with 3 (non mutually exclusive) aspects (example of CSA). Note the links to rationality and implementation:
19 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 transferredInappropriate 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)]
20 Summary of previous lectures Biggest constraint on change is existing policy and power relations underpinning policy agreementPolicy problems are produced/ framed, not selectedPolicy may be incremental with long periods of stabilityComprehensive rationality assumption of central actor undermined by MLG discussionBut … potential for short bursts of intense policy attention and change.
21 Agenda-setting links to Transfer Important to look at source for new ideas, but these are subject to the same processes as any other policyLessons are not just “there” – they are subject to framing when reported (e.g. success of smoking ban in Ireland?).The focus of lessons (e.g. which countries are worthy of the effort?) is subject to competition/ selectionThe pressure to learn will depend on the position of an issue on the policy agenda
22 Incrementalism links to Transfer Incrementalism – focus of learning restricted to most similar regions? Other searches unrealistic given scope for radical change.Governments learn from own mistakes and make small adjustments. Outside searches are therefore not automaticLevel of path dependence in transfer (e.g. Japan studied police in Germany after importing law and local government)
23 MLG linksAdoption of policy in one level dependent on cooperation with another?Does harmonisation take place at central government level or sub-sectoral policy community level based on expertise?Example of harmonisation of clinical methods fostered by clinical links? (Although note role of e.g. Nice)Devolution makes measurement of transfer tricky – potential to vary by policy area and level of government
24 Punctuated equilibrium links Lessons from elsewhere may be a powerful tool to challenge existing policy monopoliesMLG link – if case unsuccessful at one level of government it can be pursued at higher level and then transferred
25 Issues with transfer literature Can we distinguish these issues from broader literature?Definition of transfer/ lesson drawing is so broad – is it measurable?How is transfer demonstrated?Can we explain transfer without the transfer literature?
26 Confusion of rational and voluntary? Dolowitz and Marsh’s “Why Transfer” continuum conflates 2 discussions of policy changePolicy transfer can be entirely voluntary but not ‘rational’Note example of WFTC in notes (outdated information)Bounded rationality does not necessarily suggest coercionNote that D&M use it to mean a perceived need to e.g. keep up. Maybe this means pressure for change and less time to learn?Surely this is different type of coercion than exerted by e.g. World Bank?
27 Who is coerced?E.g. imagine 2 advocacy coalitions – one voluntary approach to tobacco, one public healthPublic health replaces voluntary as dominant coalition and successfully achieves policy changeIs the government coerced? Surely depends on which coalition key decision-makers were part of? Or did they act as a referee selecting policy on basis of new evidence?Are we talking about coercion in terms of needing to address an issue/ make a decision rather than the decision itself?
28 Final note – value of transfer? Context for domestic decision-makingChallenges temptation to view policy change only in domestic contextKey question in any policy discussion: was transfer involved?