Global Platform of International Public Policies

List of Panels – II ICPDDC

General Call For Papers

Cecilia Osorio Gonnet (Universidad Alberto Hurtado – Chile)

Giovanni Agostinis (Pontificia Universidad Catolica – Chile)

Main contact:

The political science literature has delivered in-depth research on the different processes of policy diffusion and transfer that took place in the Latin American region throughout the last three decades. These studies allowed us to know more about the objects of diffusion/transfer (e.g. CCT, pension and public health policies, urban planning, social policies against hunger), the actors involved (international organizations, national governments, federal and local authorities, academics, policy entrepreneurs, among others), the different levels (national and/or regional) and channels (bilateral and/or multilateral) of policy circulation, and the different mechanisms (e.g. learning, emulation, or coercion) that have characterized policy diffusion and transfer in Latin America.

Building upon the evidence generated by the literature, this panel aims to identify and give theoretical relevance to those aspects of policy diffusion in Latin America and the Caribbean that represent an innovation in relation to the established knowledge in comparative politics and IR. Through a case-study approach, the panel seeks to investigate the characteristics of policy diffusion/transfer in the region, shedding light on those dynamics (e.g. bottom-up and no-hierarchical), levels (e.g. multi-level), and actors (e.g. transgovernmental networks) that have been ignored by the literature so far. Additionally, the panel aims to explore the effects of these policy diffusion and transfer processes, with a particular emphasis on their impact on Latin American countries’ state capacities.

The panel’s expected outcome is a special issue to be submitted for publication in an area journal devoted to Latin American studies. The ambition of the special issue is to be the first systematic effort to grasp the characteristics and effects of policy diffusion in Latin America, which in turn shall provide a solid contribution to our understanding of how diffusion works in the Global South.


Agostinis, G. ( 2019) Regional Intergovernmental Organizations as Catalysts for Transnational Policy Diffusion: The Case of UNASUR Health. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 57: 1111– 1129., D. P., Plugaru, R., & Saurugger, S. (2019). The process of transfer: The micro-influences of power, time and learning. Public Policy and Administration, 0952076718822714.
Hadjiisky, Magdalèna, Leslie A. Pal, e Christopher Walker. 2017. Public Policy Transfer: Micro-Dynamics and Macro-Effects. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Osorio Gonnet, Cecilia (2018). A Comparative Analysis of the Adoption of Conditional Cash Transfers Programs in Latin America, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2018.1491671
Osorio, Cecilia (2018). ¿Aprendiendo o emulando? Cómo se difunden las políticas sociales en América Latina. Editorial LOM, Santiago.

Porto de Oliveira, O., & Pimenta de Faria, C. A. (2017). Research Traditions and the State of the Discipline in Brazil. Novos Estudos – CEBRAP, 36(01), 13–34.
Porto de Oliveira, Osmany; Kerches da Silva Leite, Cristiane; Montero, Sergio y Osorio Gonnet, Ceclia (Coord.) (2019) Difusão de políticas sociais na América Latina: Da importação à exportação. Anais do Seminário Internacional sobre Difusão de Políticas. Editora Hucitec, Sao Paulo (forthcoming)

Leslie A. Pal (Hamad Bin Khalifa University)
Osmany Porto de Oliveira (Federal University of São Paulo)
Main contact:

Early studies on policy transfer in the late 90’s and early 2000 focused on movement of policies among countries in the Global North (Dolowitz & Marsh, 2000; Howlett, 2000), with special attention to Europeanization process (Saurugger & Surel, 2006), or from the Global North to the Global South (Badie, 1992). In past years a second wave of research brought attention to the proactive engagement of emerging countries in promoting their policy own models abroad, for example Brazil (Milhorance, 2018; Morais de Sá e Silva, 2017; Porto de Oliveira, 2017), as well as other dynamics of policy diffusion in Asia (Betz & Neff, 2017) and Africa (Wood, 2015). In spite of the accumulated knowledge produced by comparative case studies about these nations, there is still a lack on the discussion of policy transfer in the so-called “small States” (Switzerland, Costa Rica, East Timor, Lesotho, Jordan, New Zeland and so on). According to the World Bank, more than one quarter of its members are small countries, meanwhile two-thirds of United Nations members fall into this category. Despite the variation in terms of size, geography, development and economic wealth – they face similar challenges in terms of public policymaking.

States as Singapore and Qatar have not only been important granaries of innovative solutions for public problems, but also have advanced different strategies to promote their policies abroad. These countries have been using “skilled diplomacy” (Cooper, Heine, & Ramesh, 2013) in order to include their interests on the international agenda and take part on global public policymaking. Singapore’s public administration model, developed under Lee Kuan Yew, have been travelling worldwide (Pow, 2014), meanwhile Qatar is investing heavily in education and other sectorial policies to modernize the state, combining the most cutting-edge policy instruments available in the “global market”.

In this panel we are interested to receive papers that help us to advance the debate, by tackling the following questions: What are the specificities of the engagement of small states in policy transfer? How are diplomacy and development cooperation combined in policy transfer process? Which transfer agents participate in the process and how are policies translated? We expect papers presenting advanced result findings that could be developed to prepare a Special Issue on this topic.]


Badie, B. (1992). L’État importé: L’occidentalisation de l’ordre Politique. Paris: Fayard.
Betz, J., & Neff, D. (2017). Social policy diffusion in South Asia. Journal of Asian Public Policy, 10(1), 25–39.
Brooks, S. M. (2005). Interdependent and Domestic Foundations of Policy Change: The Diffusion of Pension Privatization Around the World. International Studies Quarterly, 49(2), 273–294.
Cooper, A., Heine, J., & Ramesh, T. (Orgs.). (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy.
Dolowitz, David P., & Marsh, D. (2000). Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy Making. Governance, 13(1), 5–24.
Howlett, M. (2000). Beyond Legalism? Policy Ideas, Implementation Styles and Emulation-Based Convergence in Canadian and U.S. Environmental Policy. Journal of Public Policy, 20(3,), 305–329.
Milhorance, C. (2018). New Geographies of Global Policy-Making: South–South Networks and Rural Development Strategies. 245.
Morais de Sá e Silva, M. (2017). Poverty Reduction, Education, and the Global Diffusion of Conditional Cash Transfers.
Osorio Gonnet, C. (2018). A Comparative Analysis of the Adoption of Conditional Cash Transfers Programs in Latin America. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 1–17.
Porto de Oliveira, O. (2017). International Policy Diffusion and Participatory Budgeting: Ambassadors of Participation, International Organizations and Transnational Networks. Palgrave Mcmillan.
Pow, C. P. (2014). License to travel. City, 18(3), 287–306.
Saurugger, S., & Surel, Y. (2006). L’européanisation comme processus de transfert de politique publique. Revue internationale de politique comparée, 13(2), 179.
Wood, A. (2015). The Politics of Policy Circulation: Unpacking the Relationship Between South African and South American Cities in the Adoption of Bus Rapid Transit: The Politics of Policy Circulation. Antipode, 47(4), 1062–1079.

Osmany Porto de Oliveira (Unifesp)
Natália Koga (Ipea)
main contact:

Contemporary public policymaking is characterized by two emerging different dynamics of policy instruments crossing borders. On the one hand, there is a progressive engagement of the State (both national and subnational) in the internationalization of domestic policies. In fact, promoting “best practices” abroad, often via formal and informal cooperation projects, has been a constant action of governments around the world. On the other hand, the production of global agendas, standards and goals by the international community (as the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda), have compelled States to implement new practices in order to meet multilateral organizations standards. The literature on policy transfer have focused on different aspects of agency (Dolowitz & Marsh, 2000), as the role of international organizations (Pal, 2012), think-tanks (Stone, 2001), individuals (Dezalay & Garth, 2002) and their power and influence along the process. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about the micro-dynamics of state capacities operating in policy transfers, in the movements of adoption and internationalization. At the same time, policy capacity literature payed little attention to the transnationalization of public action, and researches focused on understanding skills, competences and resources for decision-making and policymaking within governments’ internal structures (Parsons, 2004: Painter and Pierre, 2005; Wu et al, 2015). Taking into account that policy transfer is not an automatic process carried out by rational civil servants, but that it is influenced by policy capacities – that can be individual, organizational and systemic (Howlett, 2015; Wu et al, 2015; Keating et al., 2012) –,we expect in this panel to advance issues as: what is a capacity to transfer (export and import) policies? How state brokers influence policy transfers? How individual civil servants’ leadership is important to policy transfer? When policy capacity is determinant to policy transfer success or failure? When does asymmetry of capacities condition the direction of policy transfer between center and periphery? How do traditional and new forms of knowledge production and diffusion affect transfer capacity in a post-truth context? The association of policy transfer, state capacities and development cooperation is a combination of research sub-areas that promises to bring important innovations on the debate. We expect with this panel to gather a set of papers based on advanced empirical research to prepare a special issue.


Dezalay, Y., & Garth, B. G. (2002). La mondialisation des guerres de palais: La restructuration du pouvoir d’État en Amérique Latine, entre noblesse du droit et “chicago boys”. Saint-Amand-Montrond: Éditions du Seuil.
Dolowitz, David P., & Marsh, D. (2000). Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy Making. Governance, 13(1), 5–24.
Howlett, M. (2015). Policy analytical capacity: The supply and demand for policy analysis in government. Policy and Society, 34(3–4), 173–182.
Keating, M, Cairney, P. & Hepburn, E. (2012) Policy Convergence, Transfer and Learning in the UK under Devolution, Regional & Federal Studies, 22:3, 289-307, DOI: 10.1080/13597566.2012.688272
Pal, L. A. (2012). Frontiers of Governance: The OECD and Global Public Management Reform. Palgrave McMillan.
Painter, M., & Pierre, J. (2005). Challenges to state policy capacity: Global trends and comparative perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Parsons,W.(2004). Not just steering but weaving: Relevant knowledge and the craft of building policy capacity and coherence. Australian Journal of Public Administration,63(1), 43–57.
Stone, D. (2001). Think Tanks, Global Lesson-Drawing and Networking Social Policy Ideas. Global Social Policy: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Public Policy and Social Development, 1(3), 338–360.

Danilo Marcondes de Souza Neto (Brazilian War College-ESG)
Monica Herz (PUC-Rio)
Manuela Trindade Viana (PUC-Rio)
Main contact:

Policy diffusion linked to issues of security often deals with how state and non-state actors address violence, insecurity and instability. While these problems have often been associated with a perceived lack of governance in the Global South, in recent years, Southern countries have come to constitute not only a source of risks to security, but also a source of solutions in the domain of security. Indeed, regions such as Latin America are increasingly portrayed as providing useful lessons and models to be replicated in the security domain of other countries – both in the Global North and South.
In order to understand these new flows of security practices, recent contributions have sought to understand how these Southern responses are framed and taken to locations outside of their initial context.
The panel seeks to engage in this debate, by (i) mapping the main mechanisms allowing for this diffusion to take place; (ii) discussing the implications of such dynamics to certain groups/communities; (iii) exploring the politics running through the privileging of some approaches over others in the domain of security; and (iv) reflecting on how this Southern agency affects security practices in a global perspective.

The panel welcomes contributions addressing issues such as:
● The role of public forces in diffusing their experiences in addressing drug and human trafficking, terrorism and gang violence.
● The participation of Southern countries in UN peacekeeping missions, including in training for peacekeeping participation.
● The engagement of international institutions (UN, World Bank, OECD, etc) in the diffusion of Southern responses related to peace, security and defense.
● The connections between transnational technocratic networks in the domain of security and the re-positioning of the Global South in these global flows of practices.


Amar, Paul (ed.)(2013). Global South to the Rescue. Emerging Humanitarian Superpowers and Globalizing Rescue Industries. New York, Routledge.
Leander, Anna & Waever, Ole (2019). Assembling exclusive expertise. Knowledge, ignorance and conflict resolution in the Global South. New York, Routledge.
Marcondes, Danilo; Siman, Maíra; Oliveira, Ricardo (2017). South-South cooperation and training for peacekeeping participation. Journal of International Peacekeeping, v. 21, p. 197-223.
Müller, Markus- Michael (2016). Entangled pacifications: peacekeeping, counterinsurgency and policing in Port-au-Prince and Rio de Janeiro. In Jana Honke and Markus-Michael Müller (eds.) The global making of policing. Postcolonial perspectives. New York, Routledge.
Porto de Oliveira, Osmany (2017). International Policy Diffusion and Participatory Budgeting: Ambassadors of Participation, International Institutions and Transnational Networks. London, Palgrave Macmillan.
Viana, Manuela Trindade (2019). Reorganizando la violencia: la ‘historia de éxito’ colombiana y los límites del discurso del posconflicto. Revista CIDOB D’Afers Internacionals, v. 121, p. 135-156.

Christopher Walker (Australia and New Zealand School of Government – ANZSOG)
Main contact:

This panel aims to explore the potential of Social Network Analysis as a research methodology in the area of policy transfer and policy development studies. As the title suggests, Social Network Analysis is a process of analysing networks, the relations and patterns of relations that proponents of this theory see as the building blocks of social life (Marin and Wellman, 2016). Visual representations of ‘nodes’ (individuals, organisations or other units) and ‘ties’ or ‘edges’ (the relations between the nodes) are often created in the process, providing researchers with a map with which to understand and interpret social relations. What value does this methodology offer policy diffusion, circulation and transfer studies? How applicable and practicable is Social Network Analysis as a research method for understanding policy transfer? And what unique insights does this methodology reveal about diffusion, circulation and transfer processes?
This panel is seeking contributions from scholars who are working with or have utilised Social Network Analysis in their research, outlining their experience of the methodology and the results produced. Experience in policy development or policy transfer work is particularly relevant for this panel. The insights gained from this analysis and experience will be discussed, looking at the value and potential benefits this research process offers to further the study of policy transfer and policy development. This panel may be of interest to scholars who explore the practices of regulatory intermediaries and their role in transfer, the role of stakeholders in the policy transfer process and the relationships between a variety of agents, arenas and the actions involved in the sharing of ideas, the development, transfer and diffusion of policy (Baker and Walker, 2019).


BAKER, T. & WALKER, C. (eds.) 2019. Public Policy Circulation. Arenas, Agents and Actions, Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar.
MARIN, A. & WELLMAN, B. 2016. Social Network Analysis: An introduction. In: SCOTT, J. & CARRINGTON, P. J. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Social Network Analysis. London: SAGE Publications LTD.

Johanna Kuhlmann (University of Bremen)
Amanda Shriwise (University of Bremen)
Main contact:

The analysis of diffusion processes has become an important strand of social policy research that often relies on a four-element typology of mechanisms: coercion, emulation, learning, and competition (Dobbin et al., 2007). Although these mechanisms have improved our understanding of transnational social policy dynamics, scholars have repeatedly highlighted that diffusion mechanisms need further analytical refinement (Obinger et al., 2013). Yet, the articulation of advanced or alternative models that capture these processes continues to be rare.
Against this background, this panel welcomes both theoretical and empirical contributions that critically engage with this topic and provide links for further theory development. Potential topics may include but are not limited to: the distinctiveness of the four diffusion mechanisms; policy dynamics beyond the well-known distinction between horizontal and vertical diffusion; the role of different policy actors in transnational policymaking; and the procedural dimension of how social policy travels (Kuhlmann et al., forthcoming; Shriwise, forthcoming). What is more, while diffusion research often analyses recent policy exchanges between independent nation states, we also welcome contributions that focus on transnational social policy dynamics in different historical time periods (e.g. colonialism, phases of conflict) and at critical junctures. Finally, we are interested in contributions that critically engage with what, if any, distinctions may exist between diffusion and causal mechanisms.


Dobbin, Frank; Simmons Beth; Garrett, Geoffrey (2007): The Global Diffusion of Public Policies: Social Construction, Coercion, Competition, or Learning? Annual Review of Sociology 33: 449–472.
Kuhlmann, Johanna; González de Reufels, Delia; Schlichte, Klaus; Nullmeier, Frank (forthcoming): How Social Policy Travels – A Refined Model of Diffusion. Global Social Policy.
Obinger, Herbert; Schmitt, Carina; Starke, Peter (2013): Policy Diffusion and Policy Transfer in Comparative Welfare State Research. Social Policy & Administration 47(1): 111–129.
Shriwise, Amanda (forthcoming): From Context to Causation: Advancing Transnational Approaches to Social Protection in the Global South. In Schmitt, Carina (ed) From Colonialism to International Aid: External Actors in Social Protection in the Global South, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Nele Noesselt (Institute of East-Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen)
Giulia C. Romano (Institute of East-Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen)
Kidjie Saguin (National University of Singapore)
Markus Taube (Institute of East-Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen)
Main contact:

In the recent decade, policy diffusion and policy transfer studies went beyond the classical border of this field of studies – Europe and North America –, to analyze this type of phenomena in other sites of the world. These developments not only provided us rich information about transfers in other corners of this world, but also suggested expanding our sets of questions to better explore the specific characteristics of these phenomena. For instance, in view of the emergence of several directionalities of transfer and diffusion, associated with the arrival on the global scene of new actors, what are the meanings attached to this diffusion of “made in the South” or “made in the East” policies, ideas and even institutions? What are the drivers for the countries where models originate and the recipient countries? These questions are surely very relevant for the (North and South) East Asian area, a part of the world that is attracting more and more attention from researchers interested in policy transfer and policy diffusion (see Romano forthcoming; Saguin and Howlett 2019; Howlett, Ramesh and Saguin 2018; Balme 2017; Liu and Leisering 2017; Zhang and Marsh 2016; Zhang 2016; Kim and Yoo 2015; de Jong 2013), but that we still have to explore more in detail.
For instance, given the specific nature of the state in many East Asian countries – the Chinese Party-State, the Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean “developmental states”, etc. – researches can explore in detail who the actors promoting transfers from these countries are and how they operate; and how the specific configurations of these states (at the national and/or local level(s)) have an impact on policy adoption and adaptation. This aspect can also include making considerations on the role of informality, a common characteristic of many of these countries. Given the very strict hierarchies that exist in some East Asian societies, researches can also explore the impacts of hierarchies on the capacities for learning and adaptation in these countries (see Romano forthcoming). In recent years, a number of scholars also explored transfers within East Asia, wondering whether cultural proximity is a facilitator of transfer (Lim and Horesh 2016; Ortmann and Thompson 2014). Papers can also contribute to better elucidate this aspect.
This panel welcomes papers that engage with these questions, shedding light on processes of policy transfer, diffusion, learning and adaptation in East Asian countries, seen both as donor and as recipient countries. As a guide, papers can address the following questions:

– Who are the actors of transfer and diffusion from East Asian countries and do they significantly differ from the ones policy transfer scholars have identified? What roles do they play?
– At which level of the government – state, sub-national, organizational – do the transfer and diffusion occur? How does multi-scalar policy transfer and diffusion differ from the transnational kind?
– What are the meanings attached to the transfer and diffusion of policy ideas and policy models from East Asian countries and what are their drivers (think for instance China’s One Belt One Road Initiative, or Singapore’s diffusion of “recipes for good government”?)
– What is the role of informality in the process of transfer / diffusion and/or adaptation?
– How does the specific politico-historical-“cultural” (see Wedeen 2002) configuration affect the adoption and translation of policy ideas and models?
– Does “cultural proximity” – provided that we define it – facilitate transfers?

Papers are invited from any discipline that examine the processes of policy transfer, diffusion and mobilities in East Asia. While theoretical papers are welcome, empirical applications are particularly encouraged in any sector of sub-national, domestic or international policy. Comparative analyses using policy transfer as a lens are also welcome, particularly when it looks at the differences and similarities between and across the countries in the region.


Balme, R. (2019). “Policy transfers as normative interactions. The case of environmental policy-making in China”. In L. Delcour & E. Tulmets (Eds.), Policy Transfer and Norm Circulation. Towards an Interdisciplinary and Comparative Approach. London and New York: Routledge.
De Jong, M. (2013). China’s art of institutional bricolage: Selectiveness and gradualism in the policy transfer style of a nation. Policy and Society, 32 (2), 89‑101.
Howlett, M., Ramesh, M., & Saguin, K. (2018). Diffusion of CCTs from Latin America to Asia: the Philippine 4Ps case. Revista de Administração Pública, 52(2), 264-284.
Lim, K.F., & Horesh, N. (2016), The “Singapore Fever” in China: Policy Mobility and Mutation. The China Quarterly, 228, 992-1017.
Liu T., & Leisering L. (2017), Protecting injured workers: how global ideas of industrial accident insurance travelled to China. Journal of Chinese Governance, 2 (1), 106-123.
Kim, E., & Yoo, J. (2015). Conditional Cash Transfer in the Philippines: How to Overcome Institutional Constraints for Implementing Social Protection. Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, 2(1), 75-89.
Ortmann, S., & Thompson, M.C. (2014). China’s obsession with Singapore: learning authoritarian modernity. The Pacific Review, 27 (3), 433-455.
Romano, G.C. (forthcoming). Changing urban renewal policies in a Chinese city: policy transfer and policy learning under multiple hierarchies. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Saguin, K., & Howlett, M. (2019). Policy Transfer and Instrument Constituency: Explaining the Adoption of Conditional Cash Transfer in the Philippines. Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies.
Wedeen, L. (2002). Conceptualizing Culture: Possibilities for Political Science. American Political Science Review, 96 (4), 713-728.
Zhang, Y. (2016). Theory and Practice of Policy Transfer in a Changing China. Reading: Paths International Ltd.
Zhang, Y., & Marsh, D. (2016). Learning by doing: the case of administrative policy transfer in China. Policy Studies, 37 (1), 35-52.

Patrick Hassenteufel (University of Versailles Paris-Saclay, Printemps)
Ulrike Zeigermann (University of Magdeburg)
Main contact:

This panel aims to analyze translation processes in policy transfer processes and to explore the role of translators. Translation has developed into a popular concept in multiple disciplines. In political science, however, the concept of policy translation has emerged only recently as a new research question and analytical framework which adds to conventional approaches for studying policy transfer and diffusion. As such, the study of translation processes and the specific interactions of translators offers a new perspective to policy analysis and transfer, taking into account power struggles, the intercultural character of transfer processes and challenges related to the reformulation of policy ideas, designs and instruments.
Translation can be considered as a framework corresponding to four analytical displacements related to policy transfer studies. The first one is that a main attention is drawn to the national and local levels rather than to the international level. Therefore (second displacement), regarding the policy process, the approach grasps not only policy formulation (the key stage in policy transfer studies) but also policy decisions and the implementation of policy ideas, designs and instruments elaborated at other levels. Therefore translation can also be defined as a shift from an exportation perspective to an importation perspective. The third displacement is the attention given to the complexity of the policy process by focusing on actor’s interactions in a specific institutional and political context.Last, the translation framework corresponds to a move towards an actor-centered perspective taking into account the sociology of translators.
The panel is open to theoretical, empirical and methodological papers in order to deepen our understanding on the discursive, actor`s and institutional dimensions of translation processes. Potential research questions can focus on (but are not limited to) the following questions: What are the origins of the translation notion outside and inside political science? What are analytical and methodological approaches for studying translation processes? How can we characterize translation processes across different institutions, political systems and policy fields? What are similarities and differences?

Michelle Morais de Sa e Silva (The University of Oklahoma)
Main contact:

The literature on policy diffusion has recently grown with a number of studies dedicated to examining the global mobility of policy models that aim to reduce poverty (Morais de Sa e Silva, 2017; Plech Garcia, 2018), to promote food security (Gyoeri, Miranda, Soares, 2016), to promote participatory budgeting (Porto de Oliveira, 2017), among others. This growing literature indicates that social policies have proven as fertile ground for the exchange and traveling of policy ideas, instruments, and discourses.

This panel will examine experiences of policy diffusion in the field of social policy, seeking to identify arenas, actors, and actions (Baker and Walker, 2019) that may be particular to the field. The panel will be especially dedicated to social policy diffusion within the Global South in order to explore the question: do South-South relations add new and different dynamics to policy diffusion processes?

Additionally, the panel will also open possibilities to explore the connections between social policy transfer and democracy. With the growing number of authoritarian and right-wing populist governments, what are the implications for social policy in general and for social policy diffusion in particular? How does democratic decline impact the social policy agenda and consequently the global drive for policy diffusion?

The panel welcomes case studies and encourages comparative and multipolicy studies.


Baker, T. Walker, C. (2019). Public policy circulation: Arenas, agents, actions. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Gyoeri, Miranda, Soares (2016). Linking vulnerable smallholder farmers to school feeding programmes: the experience of PAA Africa. Policy in Focus, 13 (2).

Morais de Sa e Silva, M. (2017). Poverty reduction, education, and the global diffusion of conditional cash transfers. Palgrave Macmillan.

Plech Garcia, D. (2018). Difusão de conhecimento de políticas públicas no âmbito da cooperação internacional: como a governança e o fluxo de informações influenciaram na eficácia e na descontinuidade da Iniciativa Brasileira de Aprendizagem por um Mundo Sem Pobreza (WWP – World Without Poverty). Unpublished Masters Thesis. Brasilia: Escola Nacional de Administração Pública, 2018.

Porto de Oliveira, O. (2017). International policy diffusion and participatory budgeting: ambassadors of participation, international institutions and transnational networks. Palgrave Macmillan.

Gilles Pradeau (University of Westminster)
Main contact:

Participatory approaches have been associated with decentralized powers and development projects for a long time. New tools have appeared at the national and regional scale, addressing issues such as abortion (citizens’ assembly in Ireland) or climate change (in France), investment priorities (national participatory budgeting in South Korea, Portugal, state participatory budgeting in Brazil and in Russia). Other tools are less recent such as the national policy conferences (in Brazil). Such practices travel across the world and are adopted to different political contexts, even in authoritarian regimes. On the other hand, there was scepticism about the possibility of scaling up participation, where political elites tend to be well-established and distance may dwindle the perception of decisions at stake. In this context, the degree of transferability of these participatory mechanisms may sometimes be up for debate. They may be seen as flexible tools able to renew legitimacy of decision-making but they could also be considered as institutionally inadequate. How to explain new dynamics of municipal “best-sellers of participation” being used at a greater scale (regional, state or national level)? How effective are participatory institutions when they are built via national legislation, constitutional norms and other top-down incentives? How do some local elites manage to promote and transpose participatory policies in higher levels of government? Why some tools fail to be adopted at a wider scale while others succeed? In this panel we expect to receive cutting-edge researches drawing on case studies and comparative analysis addressing these questions, in order to prepare a special issue.

Avritzer, L. and Ramos, A. (2016). “Democracia, escala y participación. Reflexiones desde las instituciones participativas brasileñas”. Revista Internacional de Sociología 74(3):e040. (doi:10.3989/ris.2016.74.3.040)
Bherer, L., Gauthier M., & Simard L. (2017). The Professionalization of Public Participation. London: Taylor and Francis.
McNulty, S. (2019). Democracy from Above? The Unfulfilled Promise of Nationally Mandated Participatory Reforms, Stanford University Press.
Pogrebinschi, T. (2013). « The Squared Circle of Participatory Democracy: Scaling up Deliberation to the National Level ». Critical Policy Studies, 7 (3), 219-41. (doi:10.1080/19460171.2013.805156).
Porto de Oliveira, O. (2017), International Policy Diffusion and Participatory Budgeting, Palgrave.
Spada, P. and Ryan, M. (2017) The failure to examine failures in democratic innovations. PS: Political Science & Politics, 50 (3), 772-778. (doi:10.1017/s1049096517000579).

Magdaléna Hadjiisky (Université de Strasbourg)
David Dolowitz (University of Liverpool – TBC)
Rianne Mahon (Wilfrid Laurier University – TBC)
Main contact:

The growing and multi-faceted role IOs play in policy transfer processes has been rightly highlighted in the literature (Ambrus et alii, 2014; Barnett, Finnemore, 2004, p.21, 33; Biermann F. and Siebenhüner, 2009; Broome et alii, 2018; Dolowitz, Marsh, 2000, p.11; Pal, 2012). The aim of this panel is to examine to what extend and with what consequences the growing role of IOs in policy transfer processes relates to the power and legitimacy gained by economic and financial IOs. IOs like the World Bank (WB), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or the World Trade Organization (WTO), whose mandates are primarily concerned with economic policies, have, since their outset, broadened their competencies beyond their initial domains.
What difference does make the participation of economic IOs to policy transfer processes? What are the effects of the extension of the activities of economic IOs into policy domains in which market efficiency and monetary profit were not initially the main driving forces? How does this affect the international networks of professionals and experts generally associated with transnational policy transfers in the policy domain in question? Conversely, does this relatively new broadening of their interests (and responsibilities) alter economic IOs themselves?
To answer these questions, our panel will go beyond the image of uniformity given by the legal definition of ‘IOs’: -by focusing on one type of international organisations (and rejecting the tendency to treat “IOs” all together), -by approaching them as social spaces, whose actors and activities require in-depth empirical analysis and –by considering that IOs don’t work in isolation and rely on the arenas, partners and networks in which they are involved and which contribute to their power.
The panel welcomes empirically grounded case studies dealing with policy transfers in which economic IOs are involved. It will be structured around three series of questionings nourished by the literature:
-Does the implication of economic IOs lead to a progressive commodification of the policy domains in which they intervene? Does the legitimization of the economic IO’s expertise into new (non-economic) policy domains favour the adoption of economised frames to interpret the ‘problems’ and the ‘solutions’ in the diverse policy domains concerned (Erkkila and Piironen, 2014; Djelic and Sahlin-Andersson, 2006)? And, linked to this phenomenon, do these organisations enter in competition with other organisations (like sectoral UN organisations or national aid agencies) and with what consequence?

-Does the nature of internationally diffused economic expertise conform to the ‘governing by numbers’ hypothesis (Broome, Quirk, 2015; Davis et al, 2012)? The argument assumes that economic IOs are standardizers to a greater extent than others because of the dominance of mathematic models in modern economics (Dezalay, Garth, 1998; Woods, 2006, 53-54).
-Underneath the apparently broad ideology consensus, are economic IOs so similar to each other or are they separated by debates and divergences? The notion of “economic IOs” can indeed unify different realities artificially. Some economic IOs, that share the same global liberal frame, develop contrasting recommendations on the same policy question (Mahon, 2010). Sometimes, these divergences cross these organisations from the inside, especially when their agents work on the ground with (and within) partner or beneficiary countries (Fontdevila and Verger, forthcoming, 2020). The panel will refine the category of “economic IOs” by characterizing more precisely the activities, methods, resources and partnerships of the different types of economic institutions involved in policy transfers.

Ambrus M., Arts K., Hey H., Raulus H. (2014), The Role of ‘Experts’ in International and European Decision Making: Advisors, Decision Makers or Irrelevant?, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barnett, M.N. and Finnemore, M.G. (1999), ‘The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations’, International Organization, 53 (4), 699-732. Barnett, M.N., Finnmore, M.G. ed. (2004), Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Bierman, F. and Siebenhüner, B. (eds.) (2009), Managers of Global Change. The Influence of International Environmental Bureaucracies, Cambridge and London: The MIT Press. Broome, A, Homolar, A., Kranke, M. (2018), ‘Bad science: International organizations and the indirect power of global benchmarking’, European Journal of International Relations, 24 (3), 514-539.
Broome, A., Quirk, J. (2015), ‘The politics of numbers: the normative agendas of global benchmarking’, Special Issue ‘The politics of numbers’, Review of international studies, 41 (5), 813-818.
Davis, K. E., Kingsbury, B. and Engle Merry, S. (2012), ‘Indicators as a Technology of Global Governance’, Law & Society Review, 46 (1), 71-104.
Dezalay Y. and Garth B. (1998), ‘Le « Washington consensus ». Contribution à une sociologie de l’hégémonie du néolibéralisme’, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, March, 3-22.
Djelic, M.-L., Sahlin-Andersson, K. (2006), Transnational governance. Institutionnal Dynamics of Regulation, New-York: Cambridge University Press.
Dolowitz, D. P. and Marsh, D. (2000), ‘Learning from abroad: the role of policy transfer in contemporary policy-making’, Governance, 13 (1), 5-23.
Erkkilä T. and Piironen O. (2014), “(De)politicizing good governance: the World Bank Institute, the OECD and the politics of governance indicators”, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 27 (4), 344-360
Mahon, R. (2010), ‘After Neo-Liberalism? The OECD, the World Bank and the Child’, Global Social Policy, 10 (2), 172–192
Mahon R., McBride S. (eds.) (2008), The OECD and transnational governance, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press.
Pal L. A. (2012), Frontiers of Governance: The OECD and Global Public Management Reform, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pollitt C., Bouckaert, G. (2000 [2004]), Public Management Reform: a Comparative Analysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Serré M. and Pierru F. (2001), ‘Les organisations internationales et la production d’un sens commun réformateur de la politique de protection maladie’, Lien social et Politiques, 45, 105-128
Woods, N. (2006), The Globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank, and Their Borrowers, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.

Roberta Sakai (King’s College London)
Camila Saraiva (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)

Main contact:

This session aims to explore how geographies of power (Herod and Wright, 2002) relates to urban policy mobilities, by examining how micro and macro dynamics of policy transfer (Hadjiisky, Pal and Walker, 2017) are interconnected with urbanisation processes and the making of cities (Robinson, 2018, p. 227). Power issues, alliances, conflicts, and contestations are still overlooked in policy transfer literature, more attentive to positive and successful examples of diffusion (Porto de Oliveira and Pal, 2018, p. 211).

We look forward to receiving contributions that emphasise a geopolitical understanding of urban policy transfer by regarding:
1) How does the urban struggles embodied in the construction and representation of the city (Hulbert, 2009; McCann, 2017) relate to the export, travel or import of ideas and practices?
2) How does the ‘complex scalar hierarchies of the territories’ (Bénit-Gbaffou, Didier and Peyroux, 2012, p. 883) impact on the circulation of models, ideas, and practices?
3) How does belonging to the ‘geopolitical North’ or the ‘geopolitical South’ (Milani et al., 2017, pp. 593–594) delineate power relations in epistemic communities?

Bénit-Gbaffou, C., Didier, S. and Peyroux, E. (2012) ‘Circulation of Security Models in Southern African Cities: Between Neoliberal Encroachment and Local Power Dynamics’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 36(5), pp. 877–889. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01134.x.
Hadjiisky, M., Pal, L. A. and Walker, C. (2017) Public policy transfer: Micro-dynamics and macro-effects. Edited by M. Hadjiisky, L. A. Pal, and C. Walker. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Inc.
Herod, A. and Wright, M. W. (eds) (2002) Geographies of power: Placing scale. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. doi: 10.1002/9780470773406.
Hulbert, F. (2009) ‘L’espace politique de la ville : plaidoyer pour une géopolitique urbaine’, L’Espace Politique. Département de géographie de l’université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, (8). doi: 10.4000/espacepolitique.1330.
McCann, E. (2017) ‘Mobilities, politics, and the future: Critical geographies of green urbanism’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 49(8), pp. 1816–1823. doi: 10.1177/0308518X17708876.
Milani, C. R. S. et al. (2017) ‘Brazil’s foreign policy and the “graduation dilemma”’, International Affairs, 93, pp. 585–605. doi: 10.1093/ia/iix078.
Porto de Oliveira, O. and Pal, L. A. (2018) ‘New frontiers and directions in policy transfer, diffusion and circulation research: Agents, spaces, resistance, and translations’, Revista de Administração Pública. Fundação Getulio Vargas, 52(2), pp. 199–220. doi: 10.1590/0034-761220180078.
Robinson, J. (2018) ‘Policy mobilities as comparison: urbanization processes, repeated instances, topologies’, Revista de Administração Pública. Fundação Getulio Vargas, 52(2), pp. 221–243. doi: 10.1590/0034-761220180126.

Melissa Pomeroy (Articulação Sul)    

Juliana Costa (Federal University of São Paulo/Articulação Sul)

The role of international organizations in policy transfer have been widely addressed (Dolowitz, Marsh, 2000; Barnett, Finnemore, 2004; Ovodenko, Keohane, 2012; Pal, 2012) and this topic is also being discussed in studies related to south-south cooperation (SSC) mediated by multilateral institutions (Jules, Sá e Silva, 2008; Milhorance, 2013; Constantine, Shankland, 2017; Milhorance,  F Soule-Kohndou, 2017; Santos, 2013; Santos e Euzebio, 2018).

Building upon the contributions of these studies, this panel seeks to understand and debate policy transfer in Triangular South-South Cooperation (TSSC) from a critical perspective (Cox, 1981; Bergamaschi, Tickner, 2017), based on the so-called Southern epistemologies (Mignolo, 2000; Lander, 2005; Said, 2007; Santos, Meneses , 2010; Morin, 2011), taking into account the diversity of Global South that has increasingly became a provider of public policies reordering the international system of Development Cooperation (Mawdsley, 2012).

We seek contributions to think about new references to theories from South and the practice of South-South cooperation that take into account new categories that are not conditioned to hegemonic power structures of international cooperation implemented by North, but are forged from alternative concepts that come close to contexts and historical statistics and local collective policies. These papers must consider inequalities, differences in class, race, ethnicity and gender, asymmetries between center and periphery, between countries and regions in the international system, focusing on the notion of individual well-being, in line with Bandung’s founders.

Our goal, therefore, is to discuss CTSS practice considering the following questions (Carrasco-Miró, 2018):

To what extent policy diffusion – through TSSC – is capable, or not, to prevent old and new forms of imperialism and colonialism?

TSSC is really creating genuine alliances and solidarity between societies for the benefit of the poorest and most vulnerable in society or just benefiting Southern and Northern elites and corporations?

How to address, through SSTC, deeper structural problems, without ignoring the colonial, gendered, historical, economic, and social roots of these problems?


BARNETT, M; FINNEMORE, M. (2004) Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

BERGAMASCHI, I.; TICKNER, A. (2017) “Introduction: South-South Cooperation Beyond the Myths – A Critical Analysis”. In: BERGAMASCHI, I.; MOORE, P.; THICKNER. A. (eds.) (2017). South-South Cooperation Beyond Myths. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

CARRASCO-MIRÓ, G. (2018). “Trilateral South-South Cooperation for development: towards a decolonization of solidarity.” Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internationals, n. 120.

CONSTANTINE, J.; SHANKLAND, A. (2017) “Da transferência de políticas ao aprendizado mútuo?” Novos Estudos Cebrap, v. 36, n. 1.

COX, R. (1981) “Social Forces, State and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory”. Millenium: Journal of International Studies, v. 10, n. 2.

DOLOWITZ, D.; MARSH, D. “Learning from abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy -Making”. Governance, v. 13, n. 1, 2000.

ESCOBAR, Arturo. Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. 2ª Edição. Princeton University Press, Nova Jersey, 2012.

JULES, T. D.; SÁ e SILVA, M. de. (2008) “How Different Disciplines have Approached South-South Cooperation and Transfer”. Society for International Education Journal, V. 5, n. 1.


LANDER, E. (org.) (2005) A Colonialidade do saber: eurocentrismo e ciências sociais, perspectivas latino-americanas. Colección Sur-Sur. Buenos Aires: Clacso.

MAWDSLEY, E. (2012). The changing geographies of foreign aid and development cooperation: Contributions from gift theory. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, v. 37.

MILHORANCE, C. (2013). “A política de cooperação do Brasil com a África Subsaariana no setor rural: transferência e inovação na difusão de políticas públicas”. Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, V. 56, n. 2.

_____________; SOULE-KOHNDOU, F. (2017). “South-South Cooperation and Change in International Organizations”. Global Governance, v. 23, n. 3.

MIGNOLO, W. (2000). Local histories/global designs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Press.

MORIN, E. (2011) “Para um pensamento do sul.” In: Para um pensamento do sul: diálogos com Edgar Morin. Rio de Janeiro: SESC, Dep. Nacional.

OVODENKO, A.; KEOHANE, R. “Institutional diffusion in international environmental affairs”. International Affairs, v. 88, n. 3, 2012.

PAL, L. (2012) Frontiers of Governance: The OECD and Global Public Management Reform. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

SAID, E. (2011) Cultura e imperialismo. Tradução: Denise Bottman. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras.

SANTOS, M.C.R. A Cooperação Sul-Sul brasileira a partir da análise da cooperação em registro civil de nascimento com Guiné-Bissau: uma aplicação da teoria da policy transfer. 2013. 114 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Desenvolvimento Sociedade e Cooperação Internacional) – Estudos Avançados Multidisciplinares CEAM, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, 2013.

SANTOS, M. C. R. C. F.; EUZEBIO, U. A cooperação sul-sul brasileira analisada à luz da policy transfer: o caso de Brasil e Guiné Bissau na área de registro civil de nascimento. Revista de Ciências Sociais. Fortaleza, v. 49, n. 2, jul./out., 2018, p. 439–500.

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