Policy Transfer in Critical Perspective

Mark Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Citations (Scopus)


The world of public policy is becoming increasingly small due to dramatic changes in global communications, political and economic institutional structures, and to nation states themselves. This article evaluates the implications of these changes and challenges for both the study and the practice of policy transfer and provides an understanding of the relationship between systemic globalizing forces and the increasing scope and intensity of policy transfer activity. It provides: an explanation of policy transfer as a process of organizational learning; an insight into how and why such processes are studied by policy scientists; and an evaluation of its use by policy practitioners. The article argues that the limits of policy transfer analysis as a descriptive, explanatory and prescriptive theory of policy change can be addressed through the development of a multi-level ‘action based’ approach to the study of policy transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-268
Number of pages26
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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