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Introduction: The International Diffusion of Liberalism

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  • Simmons, Beth A.
  • Dobbin, Frank
  • Garrett, Geoffrey
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    Abstract

    Political scientists, sociologists, and economists have all sought to analyze the spread of economic and political liberalism across countries in recent decades. This article documents this diffusion of liberal policies and politics and proposes four distinct theories to explain how the prior choices of some countries and international actors affect the subsequent behavior of others: coercion, competition, learning, and emulation. These theories are explored empirically in the symposium articles that follow. The goal of the symposium is to bring quite different and often isolated schools of thought into contact and communication with one another, and to define common metrics by which we can judge the utility of the contending approaches to diffusion across different policy domains.For helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article, the authors wish to thank Barry Eichengreen, Lisa Martin, and John Meyer. Nancy Brune and Alexander Noonan provided excellent research assistance. The authors also wish to acknowledge and thank the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, the UCLA International Institute, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University for funding conferences at which this collection of symposium papers were discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.

    Volume (Year): 60 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 04 (October)
    Pages: 781-810

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:60:y:2006:i:04:p:781-810_06

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    Cited by:
    1. Tanja A. Börzel & Thomas Risse, 2009. "The Transformative Power of Europe: The European Union and the Diffusion of Ideas," KFG Working Papers p0001, Free University Berlin.
    2. Lauge N. Skovgaard Poulsen & Emma Aisbett, 2011. "When the Claim Hits: Bilateral Investment Treaties and Bounded Rational Learning," Crawford School Research Papers 1105, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Mark Thatcher, 2009. "Governing markets in Gulf States," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55279, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Rachel Robinson, 2012. "Negotiating Development Prescriptions: The Case of Population Policy in Nigeria," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 267-296, April.
    5. Hossein Mirshojaeian Hosseini & Shinji Kaneko, 2012. "Spatial Spillover of Governance and Institutional Quality: A Spatial Econometric Approach," IDEC DP2 Series 2-3, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).
    6. Daniel Berliner, 2013. "Follow your Neighbor? Regional Emulation and the Design of Transparency Policies," KFG Working Papers p0055, Free University Berlin.
    7. Tanja A. Börzel & Thomas Risse, 2009. "Diffusing (Inter-) Regionalism - The EU as a Model of Regional Integration," KFG Working Papers p0007, Free University Berlin.
    8. Goderis, B.V.G. & Versteeg, M., 2013. "The Transnational Origins of Constituions: Evidence From a New Global Data Set On Constitional Rights," Discussion Paper 2013-010, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Kai Wegrich, 2009. "The administrative burden reduction policy boom in Europe: comparing mechanisms of policy diffusion," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36536, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Falcó-Gimeno, Albert & Jurado, Ignacio, 2011. "Minority governments and budget deficits: The role of the opposition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 554-565, September.
    11. Martin Gassebner & Noel Gaston & Michael J. Lamla, 2011. "The Inverse Domino Effect: Are Economic Reforms Contagious?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 183-200, 02.
    12. Ali Arbia, 2013. "Templates for Trade: Change, Persistence and Path Dependence in U. S. and EU Preferential Trade Agreements," KFG Working Papers p0051, Free University Berlin.
    13. Kemmerling, Achim, 2006. "Diffusion und Interaktion in der Arbeitsmarktpolitik? Positive und negative Ansteckungseffekte am Beispiel zweier Reformdiskussionen," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2006-119, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    14. Hosseini, Hossein Mirshojaeian & Kaneko, Shinji, 2013. "Can environmental quality spread through institutions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 312-321.
    15. Nathan M. Jensen Washington University, Rene Lindstadt, Trinity College Dublin, 2009. "Leaning Right and Learning from the Left: Diffusion of Corporate Tax Policy in the OECD," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp290, IIIS.
    16. Arild Underdal, 2013. "Meeting common environmental challenges: the co-evolution of policies and practices," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 15-30, March.
    17. Felix Strebel & Thomas Widmer, 2012. "Visibility and facticity in policy diffusion: going beyond the prevailing binarity," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 385-398, December.

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