Virtual issue on Asian scholarship published recently in Policy & Politics

Sarah Brown & Elizabeth Koebele

Sarah and Elizabeth

Welcome to our virtual issue featuring scholarship on Asia published in Policy & Politics in the last two years. We have a strong body of work surfacing a range of policy issues in the region with wider relevance as well and look forward to receiving similar submissions in the future!

As part of our focus on Asia, Policy & Politics is proud to be an official partner of the Annual Conference of the Asian Association for Public Administration (APPA 2022) in Shanghai, China on 3-4 December 2022. If you are presenting your work there, please consider submitting your final paper to Policy & Politics.

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How do policy transfer mechanisms influence policy outcomes in the context of authoritarianism in Vietnam?

Hang DuongHang Duong

In my recent research article in Policy & Politics, I investigate how policy transfer mechanisms influence policy outcomes in the context of authoritarianism in Vietnam. My findings show that civil service reforms in Vietnam’s merit-based policies are influenced by both Western and Asian models of meritocracy. This makes it both closer to universal “best practices” and at the same time sharpens the distinctiveness of Vietnam’s policy. While reform imperatives urge Vietnam to seek lessons from the West, the context of an Asian authoritarian regime explains their prioritising of experience from similar settings like China and other Asian countries. The pragmatic calculations of political actors in combination with the context of a one-party authoritarian state have led to transfer from contrasting meritocratic philosophies and models through mechanisms of translation and assemblage, resulting in a hybrid of convergence and divergence. Continue reading

Policy & Politics Highlights collection February 2022 – April 2022 –free to access

Image credit: Evelyn Sturdy at Unsplash

Sarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

This week we pause our special issue blog series on ‘Taking Risks and Breaking New Frontiers in Policy & Politics‘ to showcase some of our just-published articles while they’re hot off the press. In this quarter’s highlights collection, we feature three articles that provide a range of insights from different perspectives on the complexities of policy making. Continue reading

What Do We Know About How Policies Spread?

MallinsonDaniel J. Mallinson

Since the 1960s, political scientists from across the globe have been studying how and why policies spread. This substantial body of research begs the question, what have we learned? My project aims to answer that question, at least in part. It finds both substantial growth in the literature and gaps that remain to be filled.

I conducted a meta-review of policy diffusion studies that focus on the American states. By casting a wide net using Google Scholar and Web of Science, I identified all (to my knowledge) studies published between 1990 and 2018 that referred to “policy diffusion” and “berry and berry.” Berry and Berry are important because their 1990 study of state lotteries introduced the unified model of policy diffusion. Essentially, this model combined the internal characteristics of states with influences external to the states to explain policy adoption. Over time, scholars also recognized that the attributes of the policy innovations themselves condition how far and how quickly they spread. Continue reading

1st May – 31st July 2021 highlights collection on policy diffusion

Image credit: Evelyn Sturdy at Unsplash

Sarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

This quarter’s highlights collection focusses on the popular theme of policy diffusion, bringing new analyses offering fresh perspectives on this extensive area of scholarship.

In our first featured article on policy diffusion, Daniel Mallinson continues his efforts in offering the most comprehensive analysis to date on how policy innovation diffuses across American states. Although hundreds of articles have tackled the fundamental question of why innovative policies spread, none has fully grappled with the scope of their disparate results.

To fill that gap, this article presents a state-of-the-art systematic review and meta-analysis of how policy innovation flows from US state to US state and the average effects of commonly used variables in the study of policy diffusion. In doing so, it highlights important biases in the research and makes recommendations for addressing those biases and increasing international collaboration on policy innovation research and results. Continue reading

Policy & Politics: January 2014 issue

Policy and Politics coverThe January 2014 issue of Policy & Politics is now available in print and online.

In this issue our authors consider nudge, multiculturalism, ethnic residential stability, lobbying, policy translation, human rights bodies, security regulation, and procurement. We take in policy issues including water and alcohol, and include conceptual debates around neo-liberalism and legitimation. The edition has an international flavour, with perspectives taking in the UK, Turkey, Ireland, and Vietnam, as well as considering ideas around issues of policy transfer between states. We have articles that are both empirically based and more theoretical contributions.

Will Leggett’s article critiques nudge by drawing on literature including Foucault and other sociological perspectives on state-citizen relations. He suggests ‘a more explicitly political, social-democratic model of the behaviour change state’ is needed. Hannah Lewis and Gary Craig analyse the idea of multiculturalism by contrasting local initiatives and central discourses in the UK on the issue. In a related piece Katherine Farley and Tim Blackman consider ethnic residential segregation in England. They argue that, despite the political rhetoric around the ‘problem’ of segregation, there is scant evidence at neighbourhood level to support such a stance. Ben Hawkins and Chris Holden analyse the relationships between the alcohol industry and policy makers using qualitative research data. They seek to show how industry actors access and influence policy-makers. The way that ideas spread is discussed by Farhad Mukhtarov. Using the water industry, he moves on the policy transfer literature by introducing the notion of policy translation, and applies it to a case in Turkey. Sarah Spencer and Colin Harvey consider the performance of human rights and equality bodies in the UK and Ireland. By means of comparative analysis, they seek to explain the gap between expectations around and performance of these bodies. Sangeeta Khorana, William Kerr and Nishikant Mishra offer a study on Vietnam’s participation in the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement. They suggest an inverse relationship between the costs and benefits of institutional reform to support liberalisation.

This issue is available on Ingenta. Look out for blog pieces on selected articles in the issue in the coming weeks.

David Sweeting, Associate Editor