Learning Lessons and Transferring Policy across Time, Space and Disciplines



An area of recent interest in the International Relations and Comparative Politics literature concerns ‘policy transfer’. This is a dynamic whereby knowledge about policies, administrative arrangements or institutions is used across time or space in the development of policies, administrative arrangements and institutions elsewhere. Policy transfer is deemed to be on the increase in an era of globalisation. Indeed, some governments and international organisations are proactive in promoting harmonisation and convergence or exporting policy lessons. This paper surveys the state of the burgeoning literature, identifies some methodological issues in studying policy transfer, and outlines some additional routes of research.