The Global Diffusion of Regulatory Agencies: Channels of Transfer and Stages of Diffusion
IBEI Working Papers 2009/28
24 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2010
Date Written: December 1, 2009
The autonomous regulatory agency has recently become the ‘appropriate model’ of governance across countries and sectors. The dynamics of this process is captured in our data set, which covers the creation of agencies in 48 countries and 16 sectors since the 1920s. Adopting a diffusion approach to explain this broad process of institutional change, we explore the role of countries and sectors as sources of institutional transfer at different stages of the diffusion process. We demonstrate how the restructuring of national bureaucracies unfolds via four different channels of institutional transfer. Our results challenge theoretical approaches that overemphasize the national dimension in global diffusion and are insensitive to the stages of the diffusion process. Further advance in study of diffusion depends, we assert, on the ability to apply both cross-sectoral and cross-national analysis to the same research design and to incorporate channels of transfer with different causal mechanisms for different stages of the diffusion process.
Keywords: Regulation, Diffusion, Regulatory Agencies, Globalization, Bureaucracy, Institutions
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