Overseas and over here: policy transfer and evidence-based policy-making
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This article examines the relationship between evidence-based policy-making and policy transfer. The policy transfer framework has been widely employed across a range of disciplines in recent years, yet has also attracted criticism for its failure to adequately explain why policy officials engage in transfer at all. This article considers the changed political landscape after the election of New Labour in the UK in 1997 and argues that the policy transfer of welfare-to-work policy ideas from the USA was at least partly driven by pressure to develop evidence-based policy. In doing so, this article provides two new contributions to the literature. First, it asserts New Labour's injunction to use evidence-based welfare policy provides an important explanation as to why UK officials adopted US welfare approaches. Second, using a series of interviews and document analysis, this article finds that, in addition to welfare policy ideas, UK policy officials adopted policy evaluation techniques from the USA.
Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Policy Studies, Volume 33, Issue 4, 2012, Pages 329-348. Policy Studies is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.