Understanding policy transfer: A multi-level, multi-disciplinary perspective

Mark Evans, Jonathan Davies

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    317 Citations (Scopus)


    At the same time that comparative and international political scientists have been confronting the problems of analysing state behaviour under conditions of uncertainty, state-centred political scientists are attempting, somewhat belatedly, to deal with the increasing complexity and uncertainty which underpins modern governance. Yet despite similar research agendas these disciplines have continued to speak past each other. This article contends that policy transfer analysis can provide a context for integrating some key concerns of these disciplines. Further, we argue that the process of policy transfer should be examined through a structure and agency approach with three dimensions: global, international and transnational levels, the macro-level and the interorganizational level. This three-dimensional model employs the notion of a policy transfer network as a middle-range level of analysis which links a particular form of policy development (policy transfer), micro-decision making in organizations, macro-systems and global, transnational and international systems. It is hoped that this approach will stimulate an empirical research agenda which will illuminate important policy developments in domestic and world politics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)361-385
    Number of pages25
    JournalPublic Administration
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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