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Policy Learning and Policy Failure$
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Claire Dunlop

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447352006

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447352006.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Between policy failure and policy success: bricolage, experimentalism and translation in policy transfer

Between policy failure and policy success: bricolage, experimentalism and translation in policy transfer

Chapter:
(p.71) 4 Between policy failure and policy success: bricolage, experimentalism and translation in policy transfer
Source:
Policy Learning and Policy Failure
Author(s):

Diane Stone

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447352006.003.0004

This chapter re-assesses some of the literature on policy transfer and policy diffusion, in light of ideas as to what constitutes failure, partial failure, or limited success. Rather than frame a policy transfer as a failure or success, scholars must recognise transfer (and so failure) as a messy process involving an array of meso-level actors. Two aspects are of particular note. First, the treatment of imperfect transfer as underscored by flawed lesson-drawing is useful as it takes one back to questions about the depth of learning. Second, the chapter highlights two aspects of learning that are often overlooked in mainstream accounts: ‘negative lesson-drawing’ and selective learning. Negative lesson-drawing is a quest to avoid policy failure where policy learning is not synonymous with policy adoption. Instead, policy lessons can help crystallise what ideas and policy paths decision-makers do not wish to follow.

Keywords:   policy transfer, policy diffusion, policy failure, depth of learning, negative lesson-drawing, selective learning, policy learning

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