Introduction: The International Diffusion of Liberalism

International Organization, Vol. 60, No. 4, pp. 781-810, October 2006

31 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2009

See all articles by Beth A. Simmons

Beth A. Simmons

University of Pennsylvania

Frank Dobbin

Harvard University - Department of Sociology

Geoffrey Garrett

Pacific Council on International Policy

Date Written: October 1, 2006

Abstract

Political scientists, sociologists, and economists have all sought to analyze the spread of economic and political liberalism across countries in recent decades. This article documents this diffusion of liberal policies and politics and proposes four distinct theories to explain how the prior choices of some countries and international actors affect the subsequent behavior of others: coercion, competition, learning, and emulation. These theories are explored empirically in the symposium articles that follow. The goal of the symposium is to bring quite different and often isolated schools of thought into contact and communication with one another, and to define common metrics by which we can judge the utility of the contending approaches to diffusion across different policy domains.

Keywords: liberalism, diffusion

Suggested Citation

Simmons, Beth A. and Dobbin, Frank and Garrett, Geoffrey, Introduction: The International Diffusion of Liberalism (October 1, 2006). International Organization, Vol. 60, No. 4, pp. 781-810, October 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1518465

Beth A. Simmons (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3501Sansom
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
7817990076 (Phone)

Frank Dobbin

Harvard University - Department of Sociology ( email )

33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Geoffrey Garrett

Pacific Council on International Policy ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

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