Towards a model of policy transfer : an examination of the British and American welfare-to-work systems : developments of the 1980's
In recent years political scientists have been discussing the process by which policies, ideas and institutions operating in one setting are transferred to another. While there has been a growing body of literature examining the process and utilising it to explain the development of public policies, few authors have attempted to construct a coherent model which researchers of comparative politics can use to inform their work. The first part of this thesis develops such a model. After establishing the broad outlines of this model in the first section, I use it to re-interpret the development of the American and British welfare-to-work systems in sections two and three. Specifically, section two, examines the 1988 Family Support Act. This section illustrates how its development and internal elements can be better explained using the heuristic model of policy transfer developed in part one. The focus of this section is upon the process of internal policy transfer in which the programs and ideas originating in State welfare systems were utilised by Federal policy makers to inspire, design and justify the Act. Section three extends the model to interpret the development of the British employment and training system in terms of both cross-national policy transfer and the transfer of past experiences and policies. Moreover, this section will demonstrate that, contrary to its statements, the British Government developed a complete welfare-to-work system. More importantly, for contemporary debates, the Government was inspired to develop a unique workfare system based on the hybridisation of ideas and programs contained in the American and Swedish workfare programs.