14 January 2015

Cross- national policy transfer in regional and urban policy

In a globalising world, many countries and regions face similar challenges. As a result, governments and policy-makers increasingly look for policy solutions, ideas and ‘good practice’ examples from other countries, seeking to adapt them to their domestic contexts. 
At the same time, certain states or supranational and international organisations are keen to export their policy approaches and tools to other countries for pragmatic or normative reasons striving to project some of its policy norms and values beyond its borders. This is exemplified by the increasingly prominent dialogues on regional and urban policy between the EU and the major developing countries, including China, Brazil and other Latin American countries. Such processes of transnational learning, import/export of models and exchange of knowledge on policy approaches are embedded in international relations, diplomacy or para-diplomacy, and relate to an expanding range of policy areas, involving governmental and non-state actors at multiple territorial levels.
While this phenomenon appears increasingly commonplace, there are few studies looking at the policy transfer in the field of regional and urban development policy, even though such transfer does take place, as illustrated by the diffusion of place-based approaches to regional policy among the OECD countries, adoption of shared regional policy practices across the EU Member States through processes of Europeanisation, or cross-national cooperation on development of industrial parks and eco-cities in East Asia.