Creative Learning and Policy Ideas: The Global Rise of Green Growth
Allan, Bentley B. and Jonas Meckling (forthcoming). Creative Learning and Policy Ideas: The Global Rise of Green Growth. Perspectives on Politics.
37 Pages Posted:
Date Written: January 12, 2021
Ideas play an important role in policy change. Theories of policy change, such as models of rational and bounded learning, bracket what needs to be explained: the creation of new ideas. We develop a theory of creative learning that we develop for international organizations (IOs). It posits that IO officials respond to new problems and state practices by creating novel concepts and policy ideas. New ideas help IO officials to manage multiple pressures in their organization’s strategic situation. They enable officials to mediate and channel principal demands while seeking to mobilize client states. We theorize three modes of creative learning that generate new ideas: conceptual combination, translation, and repurposing. Empirically, we explain a major change in global environmental policy: the rise of green growth ideas among major IOs. Green growth ideas include new arguments drawn from Keynesian and Schumpeterian economics which claim that environmental policies can drive economic growth. We show how these ideas were a creative response to the problem of climate change and emerging state interventions in support of clean energy. Our theory of creative learning applies beyond IOs to domestic politics and takes on added significance in times of transformative change that challenge the scripts of policymaking.
Keywords: policy idea, policy change, environmental policy, economic growth, international organization
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