Exploring terms related to policy transfer

Policy transportation, which typically involves instances where one state or authorities imports knowledge about policies or plans that exist abroad[ 1 ]( see Rose, 1993 ; Bennett, 1991 ; Dolowitz and Marsh, 1996 and 2000 ) , has been of turning importance amongst policy practicians in recent times and accordingly the topic of a burgeoning political scientific discipline literature. This literature identifies a figure of footings related to policy transportation, including policy acquisition ( Common 2004 ) , lesson-drawing ( Rose, 1993, 2001 ) , policy convergence ( Bennett, 1991 ; Dolowitz, 1998 ) , emulation ( Dolowitz and Marsh, 1996 ) and diffusion ( Marsh and Sharman, 2009 ) . While there are of import differentiations to be made between these footings, for the intents of this paper ‘transfer ‘ is used as an umbrella term for the remainder.

Given that many states face similar jobs across many Fieldss, for the rational analyst, policy transportation cuts clip and information costs when compared to developing policy from the land up and potentially reduces the hazards associated with execution when following or emulating an invention already proven elsewhere ( mention ) .

The purpose of this paper is non to progress a review of the bing literature ; instead, it seeks to place the common properties of rational policy transportation that lead to successful results in the adopting state.

The chief organic structure of this paper is structured in two parts. The first subdivision provides a general overview of the literature and seeks to condense the common ingredients of rational policy transportation that lead to successful results in the adopting state. The 2nd subdivision provides a comparative analysis of two Australian instance surveies – the debut of the Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) and WorkChoices – and investigates how those ingredients were combined as a formula for successful transportation in the former instance while the consequence was an unpalatable failure in the later.

Policy transportation literature and ingredients for rational transportation

The over-arching definition of policy transportation advanced by Dolowitz and Marsh ( 2000: p.5 ; besides 1996: p.344 ) is “ the procedure by which cognition about policies, administrative agreements, establishments and thoughts in one political system ( past or present ) is used in the development of policies, administrative agreements, establishments and thoughts in another political system ” . This definition infers a rational acquisition model and foreground the fact that a assortment of policy-related objects may be transferred crossing all facets from policy design through execution. Negative lessons and hence facets of transportation to be avoided, may besides be learned ( Dolowitz, 2003 ; Stone, 1999 ) .

Transportation may incorporate voluntary or coercive elements ( Dolowitz and Marsh, 1996 ) which can be seen on a continuum. Coercion may be direct, for illustration, where the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) or the World Bank seek to coerce policy on members bespeaking fiscal aid[ 2 ]. More often nevertheless coercion will be indirect and may originate from a sensed demand to reassign, even without strong influence. As an illustration, Hoberg ( 2001, p.127 ) suggests ‘international economic integrating ‘ brought about through planetary trade and capital mobility creates a feeling of force per unit area to understate obstructions to foreign direct investing or trade in a part. Rational transportation[ 3 ]tends to propose a certain degree of discretion and hence focal point here is on instances where transportation of policy acquisition is voluntary.

The extent of transportation that occurs is besides viewed as a continuum runing from complete duplicate or copying, through version, hybridization, synthesis to wide inspiration ( Rose 1993, p.30 ) . Directly copying policies or plans is less common but may originate where the nature of the policy is straight-forward, the political constructions and administrative agreements are similar in both states and where both portion the same cultural values.

Importantly, it needs to be understood that policy transportation is non independent of, nor a replacement for, the broader policy development procedure ( James and Lodge 2003, p.190 ) . A rational attack to reassign hence should continue along similar lines to multi-step policy analysis processes such as Bardach ‘s ( 1995 ) job work outing theoretical account, dwelling of job definition ; piecing grounds ; concept options ; choice standards ; face tradeoffs ; make up one’s mind between options ; and execution.

Taking this procedure as a usher, we can place our first nucleus ingredient for rational policy transportation as drift for alteration. Dissatisfaction with the position quo ( Dolowitz and Marsh 1996 ) or a sense of failure with bing policy, even a alteration in authorities, will bring forth an drift for new inventions and policy solutions. Where such drift exists, as Bennett ( 1991, p.200 ) observes “ there is a natural inclination to look abroad, to see how other provinces have responded to similar force per unit areas, to portion thoughts, to pull lessons and to convey foreign grounds to bear within domestic policy-making procedures ” .

Our 2nd ingredient, purpose to convey about policy alteration, is closely related to the impression of voluntary transportation. Evans ( 2009, p.244 ) maintains that analysis of policy transportation should be restricted to intentional larning – that which takes topographic point consciously and consequences in policy action – and hence distinguishes policy transportation from policy convergence as the later may happen accidentally.

The usage of evidence-based policy from abroad provides a 3rd ingredient for rational transportation as it can offer valuable and immediate penetrations into possible results, intended and unintended, through a prospective policy rating ( Mossberger and Wolman, 2003 ) . Mossberger and Wolman specify three phases of rating – consciousness, appraisal and application – that must happen such that the policy-makers may measure the consequence of a policy or plan before it is implemented. Evaluation consists of measuring the bing plans in their current scene and their application to a new scene. Analysis of different scenes should integrate structural developments in footings of political, societal and economic establishments, political civilization, public sentiment, available resources, and the being of other policies that affect efficaciousness. Policies selected for transportation would be those that have proven successful, have been implemented in states with of import similarities culturally and institutionally and/or have addressed a similar job ( Mossberger and Wolman, p.430 ) .

The 4th ingredient for rational transportation references ‘who does it ‘ , the histrions necessary to drive the procedure. Many of these histrions such as “ elective functionaries, political parties, bureaucrats/ civil retainers, force per unit area groups ” will already be portion of the domestic policy procedure ( Dolowitz and Marsh, 1996, p.345 ) and will be involved in the job definition, grounds assemblage and policy development phases. However, while structural developments identified through grounds assemblage provide drift and chance for transportation, the procedure besides requires the battle of cardinal histrions to successfully drive the procedure ( Eccleston, 2006, p.8 ) . Similarly, Evans ( 2009, p.246 ) states that the cogent evidence of transportation lies in its execution. This implies a more normative function for these and extra histrions including policy enterprisers[ 4 ]and supra-national administrations[ 5 ]( Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000, p.10 ) . Evans and Davies ( 1999 ) recommend a policy transportation web attack to organize a multi-level, multi-disciplinary coaction of cardinal agents to drive the transportation procedure. Evans and McComb distinguish policy transportation webs, which are set up with the specific purpose of technology policy alteration ( Evans and McComb, 1999, p.32 ) from the constructs of international policy communities ( Bennet, 1991 p.224 ) and epitemic communities[ 6 ]which endure over clip.

While in no manner an thorough list, our concluding ingredient for rational transportation is a sense of timing. While this element receives much less attending in the literature, timing may be critical to the success or otherwise of intended transportation as the debut of any new reform or change to institutional scenes will be highly hard without wide community perceptual experience that things need alteration. The sensed demand for policy transportation will change over clip harmonizing to the drift for alteration and its significance on the policy docket. Harmonizing to Page ( 2000, p.5 ) this could happen through a individual act or could necessitate alteration over many old ages.

Factors lending to policy failure include ‘uninformed transportation ‘ where the adoption state has deficient information on the public presentation of the policy in the state from which it was borrowed ; ‘incomplete reassign ‘ where important elements of the policy in the initiating state have non been adopted ; and ‘inappropriate transportation ‘ where deficient consideration has been given to the societal, economic, political and ideological differences between the two states ( Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000, p.17 ) .

Case surveies

Two major policy reforms shaped the beginning and terminal of the Howard disposal – the debut of the GST and WorkChoices – yet both these reforms can follow their initial drift to the economic crisis of the 1970 ‘s[ 7 ]. The oncoming of stagflation and planetary recession highlighted structural jobs with revenue enhancement systems and labour market ordinances and resulted in neo-liberalism emerging as the new economic orthodoxy ( Eccleston, 2006, p.12 ) . Neo-liberal theory advocated a paradigm of revenue enhancement neutrality so that market forces ‘rather than the elaboratenesss of the revenue enhancement codification… dictated forms of investing and ingestion ‘ ( Eccleston, 2006, p.12 ) .

A broad-based ingestion revenue enhancement was foremost proposed in 1975 as a recommendation of the Asprey revenue enhancement reappraisal ( Asprey, 1975 ) but received small political and community support. By this clip a ingestion revenue enhancement had already been implemented in 11 European economic systems supplying comprehensive empirical grounds to measure its virtues and transferability ( Eccleston, 2006, p.6 ) . The thought received political protagonism from federal Treasurer Paul Keating at the 1985 Tax Summit ( Keating, 1985 ) but once more was dropped after force per unit area from brotherhoods and public assistance groups. A 3rd effort at debut came from the Liberal resistance ‘s “ Fightback ” bundle ( Liberal Party, 1991 ) but was defeated after the celebrated ‘birthday coat interview ‘[ 8 ]passing so Prime Minister Keating an unexpected election triumph.

Despite confidences by John Howard as resistance leader to ‘never of all time present a GST ‘ , one time elected in 1996 the ‘budget black hole ‘ inherited from the surpassing Labour authorities provided the necessary crisis linguistic communication and drift for reform ( Goldfinch 2006, p.75 ) . Furthermore, by 1996 concern and public assistance groups had identified a common set of reform aims including replacing the antediluvian indirect revenue enhancement base[ 9 ]( Eccleston, 2002, p.298 ) . These histrions were influential in arousing community support for reform leting Howard to run for re-election in 1998 seeking a authorization with clear purpose to present the GST. The reform was later enacted in 2000 after amendments were made to derive support of the Democrats who held the balance of power in the Senate.

Despite political manoeuvrings that delayed the GST ‘s debut, there was widespread credence among the policy elite of the demand for this reform. The eventual successful transportation of this policy is for the most portion due to persistence among bureaucratic elites and policy enterprisers, notably Treasury functionaries, over many old ages.

Australia ‘s system of pay indexation had besides been under increasing force per unit area since the economic crisis of the 1970 ‘s supplying the drift for reform. The outgrowth of stagflation coincided with declining support for pay indexation ( Weller, 2007, p.8 ) . During the 1980s and 1990s the Hawke-Keating disposals negotiated a series of Monetary values and Incomes agreements to supply a tradeoff of direct pay additions in exchange for authorities additions in the ‘social pay ‘ . Arguably, the success of the Accords negated the demand for farther extremist reform to the industrial dealingss system.

Despite this the Howard disposal was captive on cut downing the influence of brotherhoods and the powers of the Industrial Relations Commission. It enlisted the support of neoliberal think armored combat vehicles such as the Centre for Independent Studies and the Tasman Institute in a hunt for a movable solution. While taking inspiration from US industrial jurisprudence ( see Brody, 2009 ) the eventual solution, WorkChoices[ 10 ]was adapted from the New Zealand 1991 Employment Contracts Act ( ECA ) which introduced a extremist system of single contracts in employment, turn overing a century long pattern of province sponsorship and ordinance of labor markets ( Goldfinch 2006, p.74 ) . WorkChoices was introduced after the Coalition was re-elected and won control of the Senate at the 2004 election. This occurred despite the negative lessons that should hold been drawn from the New Zealand experience where jobs with the ECA had been associated with worsening productiveness and the subsequent replacing 2000 with a more moderate act ( Goldfinch, p.75 ) .

Several factors contributed to this policy transportation failure which was both ‘uninformed ‘ and ‘inappropriate ‘ . First, it lacked impetus given the success of the earlier Accord procedure. Second, after a period of15 old ages of uninterrupted economic growing and lowest unemployment degrees in decennaries it was ill timed. Third, it lacked support of a policy community recommending alteration. Finally, it failed to culturally absorb the policy into the new environment and insulted precious cultural values ( Brody, 2009, p.191 ) . The failure of this policy brought about the ruin of the Howard authorities, with WorkChoices instantly replaced by the Fair Work Act after the election of the Rudd Labor authorities in 2007.


This paper identified five cardinal ingredients for rational policy transportation as necessary but non sufficient conditions for success: A strong drift for alteration through dissatisfaction with the position quo ; purpose to drive alteration ; a clear evidence-base to warrant transportation ; a web of histrions to drive alteration ; and appropriate timing. Where the policy to be transferred is merely or uncontentious and where political and institutional constructions are similar between the adoption and loaning states all of these ingredients may non be required. However, where major reform is attempted it is necessary to click all these boxes if transportation is to be successful as was demonstrated with the eventual debut of the GST.

Policy transportation can be derailed where ideologically penchants take over from rational appraisal of what is accomplishable as has been demonstrated with WorkChoices. Timing is besides of import to the formula – ‘never of all time ‘ did non last for really long with regard to the reintroduction of the GST on the political docket, and despite the demonising of the revenue enhancement prior to its debut it is ‘part of the furniture ‘ now. WorkChoices may be ‘dead, buried and cremated ‘ in the current election run but it remains to be seen

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