Policy Transfer: A Classification of the Extant Literature into Waves, A Critique of the Existing Waves and A Proposal for a New Wave

Lucky Benson


This paper presents a critical review of the extant literature on policy transfer. The aim is to classify transfer literature into waves, highlight the problems with the existing waves and propose a new wave that addresses the limitations in the extant literature. The purpose is to make theoretical contribution to the literature on policy transfer especially in the areas that the existing waves have ignored. The first part of the paper is organised around concepts associated with the extant literature on the first wave of policy transfer. The focus is on the work of Rose (1991, 1993) on lessons drawing as a driver to Dolowitz and Marsh (1996, 2000) famous literature on policy transfer. This is then followed by the second wave of policy transfer literature. The focal point of the second wave is a critique of the literature on the first wave of policy transfer. Following on for this second wave of policy transfer literature is a new wave that addresses the problems raised in the extant literature on the first and second waves of policy transfer. This is important because it provides the opportunity to cover the limitations of the first and second waves literature on policy transfer and make theoretical contributions.

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