Challenges and Prospects
New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by John Fenwick and Janice McMillan
Chapter 4: Understanding Policy Transfer in the Competition State
Mark Evans First, if any individual points have been well made by previous writers, let us try to follow them up; then from the collection of constitutions we must examine what sort of thing preserves and what sort of thing destroys cities and particular constitutions, and for what reasons some are well administered and others are not. Aristotle (384 to 322 BCE), Nicomachean Ethics (X, 1181b) EVOLVING OPPORTUNITY STRUCTURES FOR POLICY TRANSFER There is nothing new about the concept of policy transfer or its practice. As early as 315BCE Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics advised fellow citizens of the rationality of engaging in lesson-drawing from positive and negative administrative experiences elsewhere. Although policy transfer has been habitual practice since the dawn of civilization, it is common to see observations that the scope and intensity of policy transfer activity have increased as a consequence of changes to the field of action (see Common, 2001; Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000; Evans and Cerny, 2004). It is claimed that this is largely the function of the world of public policy becoming increasingly small due to dramatic changes to global political and economic institutional structures and to nation states themselves. Moreover, because public organizations in Britain do not always possess the expertise to tackle the problems they confront they often look outside the organization to other governments or non-governmental organizations for the answers. Further, the public demands more from government than ever before and this expectation has been mediated through politicians to civil servants. As...
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