T06P09 - “Learning from Abroad” and Policy Implementation: Actors, Processes and Effects

Topic : Policy Implementation

Panel Chair : Federica Infantino - federica.infantino@ulb.ac.be

Panel Second Chair : Tobias Eule - tobias.eule@oefre.unibe.ch

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

This panel proposes to analyze the ways in which learning from abroad shapes policy implementation in local settings. Implementation is the process of learning how to deliver policies (Freeman 2006).  What is the role that the exchange with actors pertaining to other organizations, most notably from foreign contexts, plays in local policy implementation? How does exchange happen? Are there transnational arenas in which communities of practitioners gather? Are international and supranational organizations transferring implementation practices or models of ways of doing things? This panel is interested in unpacking such influences to assess whether they are constituted by frames, organizational conditions, local knowledge (Yanow 2004). Its objective is also to question the effects on policy-making on the ground. This panel would like to shift the focus from “transnational administration” (Stone and Ladi 2015) to the effects on policy implementation in national/local settings. This panel aims at unraveling interconnectedness in policy implementation, by following the line of “methodological transnationalism” (Stone and Ladi 2015) and by encouraging “transnational comparisons” (Hassenteufel 2005) privileging continuities rather than discontinuities. 

The global diffusion of public policy is a well-established field of research (Dobbin, Simmons, Garret 2007). In an attempt at analyzing and explaining the processes involved in the transfer of ideas and policies across countries, Dolowitz and Marsh (2000) have defined policy transfer in terms of diffusion and uses of knowledge. This panel proposes to stretch the concept of policy transfer by applying it at the implementation stage by questioning the diffusion and uses of knowledge about how to put policy into practice and the effects on policy-making on the ground. This panel puts policy implementation first, meaning that it does not treat policy implementation as a test to verify the effectiveness of policy transfer (Stone 1999). It questions the actors, processes and effects of transfer at the implementation stage.

Call for papers

This panel invites papers that focus on actors, processes and effects of policy transfer at the implementation stage. Who are the actors of transfer? How do they interact and carry knowledge in other settings? What is the role of non-state organizations? To which extent is this knowledge production and sharing visible? What kinds of arenas are relevant? The panel invites papers analyzing the processes whereby knowledge is shared and is carried across borders of polity. Are these processes of inter-organizational socialization or community of practitioners? Finally, the panel would like to shed light on street-level implementation and to understand what happens in day-to-day policy-making. How knowledge is used in local settings? How is it translated? How are new and old elements mixed?    

While we invite submissions that address different policy areas, we particularly encourage submissions covering migration and border control and qualitative studies. Theoretical contributions, empirical contributions, and works in progress are welcome. 

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