Examining Episodes of Limited Diffusion: The Politics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

28 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 31 Aug 2012

See all articles by Andrew J. Karch

Andrew J. Karch

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2010


Despite many important advances in the study of policy diffusion, this research has overemphasized episodes of widespread adoption and underemphasized the rejection of innovations. This paper addresses that crucial gap in the existing scholarly literature by examining the politics of embryonic stem cell research in the American states. State officials had multiple policy options at their disposal, none of which gained widespread adoption. A systematic examination of bill introduction patterns between 1999 and 2008, however, suggests that this episode of non-diffusion was not due to a lack of awareness about these diverse options. Bill introduction, especially of proposals meant to facilitate the research, was widespread. The introduction of such enabling proposals was linked to strong state scientific capacity and a competitive political environment, while educational attainment and the state unemployment rate were linked to the introduction of enabling as well as restrictive legislation.

Keywords: Policy diffusion; agenda setting; stem cell research; state politics

Suggested Citation

Karch, Andrew J., Examining Episodes of Limited Diffusion: The Politics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1642960

Andrew J. Karch (Contact Author)

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