Public Policy Circulation
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Public Policy Circulation

Arenas, Agents and Actions

Edited by Tom Baker and Christopher Walker

Policy-making is more globally connected than ever before. Policy ideas, experiences and expertise circulate with great speed and over great distances. But who is involved in moving policy, how do they do it, and through which arenas? This book examines the work involved in policy circulation. As the first genuinely interdisciplinary collection on policy circulation, the book showcases theoretical approaches from across the social sciences—including policy diffusion, transfer and mobility—and offers empirical perspectives from across the world.
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Chapter 7: Failure is an option: epistemic communities and the circulation of Health Technology Assessment

Alexandru Rusu and Olga Löblová


Policy transfer failure is an understudied topic as literature tends to overemphasise successful examples of policy circulation. However, failure is as much a part of public policy as success and it is far from being the end of the story. In fact, the initial failure to reach a preferred policy objective will take its toll on the agents of transfer as well as on the policy itself. This chapter explores failed and partial policy transfer by focusing on the activities of its agents. It shows how the behaviour and choices of epistemic communities affect the fate of the circulated policy following an initial failure to push through their policy projects. The empirical basis for our analysis is the case of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), a region where HTA has been met with varying degrees of interest, resulting in varieties of non-adoption and partial adoption.

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