The diffusion of regulatory governance innovations: a research synthesis

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How have scholars conceptualized and analyzed the spread of regulatory governance innovations? Which explanation is more frequently used and associated with their adoption? Answering these questions, this chapter makes two contributions to the literature of regulatory governance and policy diffusion. First, it provides a qualitative evidence of the global spread of eleven regulatory governance innovations, here defined as innovations that enhance transparency, openness, and accountability as well as the use of scientific knowledge in the legislation process. This qualitative analysis shows that across the globe there has been a certain extent of Americanization in the way governments make regulations. Second, this chapter reviews nine time-series cross-sectional analyses concerning the adoption of these regulatory governance innovations. By arranging statistical side effects in categories of internal determinants (administrative, political and socio-economic) and two modes of policy diffusion (geographical proximity and vertical), this research synthesis finds that scholars have integrated diffusion with the internal determinants of adoption. The vote-counting procedure shows that diffusion promoted by international organizations is the most frequent statistically significant explanation across the nine quantitative analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Handbook of Policy Transfer, Diffusion and Circulation
EditorsOsmany Porto de Oliveira
Place of PublicationCheltenham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781789905601
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021


  • regulatory governance
  • policy diffusion
  • qualitative evidence


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