Globale Ausbreitungsmuster Umweltpolitischer Innovationen (The International Spread of Environmental Policy Innovations)
University of Potsdam; University of Potsdam
Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU)
FFU-Report No. 02-2005
Studies in comparative political science and international relations found that nations increasingly tend to adopt similar environmental policy innovations and thereby contribute to the innovations' international proliferation. In their sum, these individual policy adoptions add up to a remarkable degree of cross-national environmental policy convergence. This empirical phenomenon begs the question why and how environmental institutions, laws, policies and instruments spread across nations. Based on a unique empirical database, this study searches for answers to these questions. It explores the international spread of 22 environmental policy innovations across 43 industrialized and Central and Eastern European countries. In eight cases, even the global spread of environmental policy innovations is analyzed. The analysis starts from the assumption that the causes for national policy changes and the international spread of environmental policy innovations cannot be exclusively reduced to independent and autonomous domestic policy responses to identical environmental problem pressures. Therefore, the study puts the emphasis on the international sources of domestic policy change and cross-national policy convergence. Namely, the report identifies three distinct international mechanisms which may drive the international spread of environmental policy innovations: non-obligatory diffusion, legal harmonization and coercive imposition. For each environmental policy innovation the study demonstrates how and to what extent these mechanisms matter as sources of environmental policy convergence. The study concludes that non-obligatory policy diffusion constitutes an important source of international policy convergence which complements the mechanisms of legal harmonization and coercive imposition. Without a consideration of its impacts on the international proliferation of environmental policy innovations explanations for cross-national policy convergence remain fragmented.
Note: Downloadable document is in German.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 200
Keywords: Diffusion, policy diffusion, environmental policy, policy change
Date posted: April 15, 2005
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