Literature Report: A Review of Policy Learning in Five Strands of Political Science Research
INSPIRES Working Paper
21 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2015
Date Written: March 31, 2015
This paper reviews the notion of policy learning in the political science literature. I argue that the term learning occurred in five strands of political science research. Firstly, authors have coined learning as social learning, which is closely related to the broader ideas and paradigms in politics. Secondly, researchers referred to learning in terms of instrumental learning, which relates to specific policies. Thirdly, learning has been discussed as a part of the policy diffusion literature. Fourth, authors have referred to learning in the work on policy transfer. Both, the diffusion and the transfer literatures are above all interested in the direction of learning. Eventually, researchers have referred to learning as political learning, in the sense that policymakers learn above all politically, i.e. how to adapt their strategies on how to stay in power. Based on its discussion of learning in different strands of political science research, this paper contributes a comprehensive overview on the use of learning in the political science literature.
Keywords: Policy learning, literature review, diffusion, transfer, ideas, instruments
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