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Cross-national policy learning and administrative reforms: the making of 'management for results' policies in Chile and Mexico (1990-2010)

Dussauge Laguna, Mauricio Ivan (2013) Cross-national policy learning and administrative reforms: the making of 'management for results' policies in Chile and Mexico (1990-2010). PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The study of whether and how learning from abroad matters for policy changes is a fundamental but hugely contested subject at the heart of contemporary policy transfer, policy diffusion, and cognate literatures. Cross-national learning is said to be one of the key mechanisms by which ideas, policies, and administrative reforms travel across jurisdictions. However, it is also said to be fraught with several difficulties, and thus to hardly exert any significant influence on policymaking. This thesis addresses this puzzle through various means. It asks a set of research questions and proposes an analytical framework to explore the relationship between cross-national learning and policy change. It then traces the making of Management for Results policies in Chile and Mexico, comparing policy developments in both countries across two decades (1990-2010). The thesis challenges conventional scholarly accounts on this subject. It shows that cross-national learning might bring about significant policy changes. However, this does not necessarily occur through the transfer or diffusion of policies or models intact. It happens through policymakers’ use of knowledge from policies abroad in many ways and at various stages of the policymaking process. Moreover, policy changes are neither secured once policy elements are adopted, nor are they completed once their process of adaptation to a receiving environment has started. In fact, policymakers need to devise strategies to ensure the new policies are effective, legitimate, and durable. Full policy convergence does not necessarily happen, but neither does absolute divergence. Across time, through sequences of learning and change, policymakers learn how to overcome cognitive biases and national barriers; how to combine experiential learning and knowledge from policies abroad; and how to better fit policies to their national conditions, while also keeping them in tune with international policy developments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Mauricio Ivan Dussauge Laguna
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Page, Edward C.

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