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Follow your Neighbor?: Regional Emulation and the Design of Transparency Policies


Berliner, Daniel


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Körperschaftlicher Herausgeber Freie Universität Berlin, FB Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
Abstract How do countries make policy in an uncertain world? Do policymakers look inward, rationally designing policies to fit domestic interests, ideas, and institutions? Or do they look outward, imitating policy elements from other countries? And if the latter, where do they look? Focusing on the specific policy area of Freedom of Information laws, I argue that regional emulation plays an important role in shaping policy design. Policymakers face substantial uncertainty over the consequences of different design choices, and so emulate other countries as policy models. I further argue that, due to availability bias, countries in thesame region serve as the most important such models. After reviewing numerous examples of such emulation, I model the policy similarity between 4,096 pairs of countries, and find that countries in the same region, or more geographically proximate, tend to have more similar laws than other country-pairs. These results are robust to different categorizations of region, fixed effects capturing country-specific features, and testing against alternative forms of emulation as well as alternative diffusion mechanisms of competition, coercion, conditionality, and learning. This approach also highlights the diffusion of policy design, as opposed to adoption, as an important future direction for policy diffusion research.
Thesaurusschlagwörter freedom of information; political decision; decision making process; policy implementation; decision making; regional comparison; political reform; reform; government; political actor
Klassifikation Allgemeines, spezielle Theorien und Schulen, Methoden, Entwicklung und Geschichte der Politikwissenschaft; politische Willensbildung, politische Soziologie, politische Kultur
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2013
Erscheinungsort Berlin
Seitenangabe 28 S.
Schriftenreihe KFG Working Paper Series, 55
ISSN 1868-7601
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Deposit Licence - Keine Weiterverbreitung, keine Bearbeitung