Global Platform of International Public Policies

Proposal Submission

Policy Transfer and State Capacity: An Introduction

Paper abstract

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 aim of this paper os to bring together the concepts of policy transfer, state capacities and development cooperation. It presents a literature review and analytical possibilities combining the three notions. References: 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.

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Rescheduling of II ICPDDC – São Paulo, Brazil

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We would like to thank you for your contribution to the II ICPDDC. Due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus (COVID – 19) all over the world and the recent confirmation of 200 cases in Brazil, we regret to inform you that the II ICPDDC must be rescheduled.

This was a difficult decision to make. We have been monitoring the evolution of the situation on a daily basis in the past weeks, as well as the recommendations World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health in Brazil. Considering the health of participants, different university travel bans and the advice of Brazilian institutions to cancel public meetings, we concluded that hosting the conference in May was not prudent.

At this stage, we will work on the Conference logistics of the rescheduling and consult our partners to determine a new date, which will be announced in a few weeks. For participants who won’t be able to attend the conference on the new date, registration fees will be refunded.

All the updates about the Conference will be on our website If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:

With kind regards,

Osmany Porto de Oliveira
ICPDDC Organizer