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Abstract

How can we account for the global diffusion of remarkably similar policy innovations across widely differing nation-states? In an era characterized by heightened globalization and increasingly radical state restructuring, this question has become especially acute. Scholars of international relations offer a number of theoretical explanations for the cross-national convergence of ideas, institutions, and interests. We examine the proliferation of state bureaucracies for gender mainstreaming. These organizations seek to integrate a gender-equality perspective across all areas of government policy. Although they so far have received scant attention outside of feminist policy circles, these mainstreaming bureaucracies—now in place in over 100 countries—represent a powerful challenge to business-as-usual politics and policymaking. As a policy innovation, the speed with which these institutional mechanisms have been adopted by the majority of national governments is unprecedented. We argue that transnational networks composed largely of nonstate actors (notably women's international nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations) have been the primary forces driving the diffusion of gender mainstreaming. In an event history analysis of 157 nation-states from 1975 to 1998, we assess how various national and transnational factors have affected the timing and the type of the institutional changes these states have made. Our findings support the claim that the diffusion of gender-mainstreaming mechanisms has been facilitated by the role played by transnational networks, in particular by the transnational feminist movement. Further, they suggest a major shift in the nature and the locus of global politics and national policymaking.
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... Among them, the studies on e-government development account for the largest portion of empirical e-government research. public managers who attend international conferences will create meaningful ties among states through which the ideas about, information on, and managerial practices of, e-government flow (Williams 2002;True and Mintrom 2001;Greenhill 2015;Yi, Berry, and Chen 2018;Yi and Chen 2019). ...
... Previous studies have argued that intergovernmental organizations have created and maintained arenas for public sector innovation (Pal and Spence 2020;Sahlin-Andersson 2001;Greenhill 2020;True and Mintrom 2001;Lee et al. 2011). Intergovernmental organizations serve as a platform for hosting conferences and meetings where public managers discern policy and public administration problems and facilitate the dissemination of experiences, knowledge, and norms related to these issues (Greenhill 2015;Pal and Spence 2020;Sahlin-Andersson 2001). ...
... The concept of boundary spanners informs our expectation that public managers who attend international conferences can create communication channels among states (Yi and Chen 2019;Yi et al. 2018;Greenhill 2015;True and Mintrom 2001;Williams 2002). Boundary spanners are individuals who mediate information and knowledge transfer between external and internal actors. ...
... This has been the case in particular for citizenship policies, according to the literature (Newell and Tussie 2006). Transnational actors have been of chief importance in diffusing policy on gender mainstreaming x across countries (True and Mintrom 2001;Franceschet 2003). When issues are as international as poverty reduction, the international donor community significantly affects the type and strength of actor networks. ...
... The number of actors should not be isolated from the effectiveness of those actors. The effectiveness of women's organizations is said to be related to the density of networks in multiple sites and levels (True and Mintrom 2001). In some types of policy issues, effectiveness has to do with coordination. ...
Technical Report
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MOTIVATION The importance of governance in promoting development outcomes has become increasingly recognized over the last two decades. For instance, it is understood that many of the states least likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are ‗fragile‘ states grappling with significant governance challenges, and that tackling poverty and social exclusion cannot be done in isolation from addressing governance deficits. Attention among analysts and donors is growing, yet the assessment of evidence-based policy processes is limited. This is in turn exacerbated by a relative dearth of literature on the knowledge-policy interface in developing country contexts, and especially post-conflict countries. This paper therefore focuses on exploring the role of knowledge in advancing effective governance principles and practices. It pays articular attention to the opportunities and challenges faced by think tanks and policy institutes to shape an evidence-based political culture in post-conflict environments. APPROACH AND REPORT ORGANIZATION The report is based on a desk review of literature on governance and evidence-based policy processes, including think tanks as key actors in the process of knowledge generation and translation. A multi-layered approach to the topic is developed in response to the lack of literature on evidence-based policy processes in post-conflict contexts. The report begins with a survey of literature on the role of think tanks in the production and use of governance evidence, identifying main trends and emphasizing findings related to post-conflict settings (section 2). It then introduces an analytical framework designed to explore similarities and differences in the dynamics of research supply and demand across policy sectors (section 3). This framework is applied specifically to the dynamics of governance evidence, looking at the governance issues of public administration reforms, decentralization and human rights (section 4). Finally, the report summarizes the main lessons and proposes areas for further investigation (section 5). This report is complemented by a companion synthesis paper about the production, translation and uptake of knowledge in three diverse post-conflict settings of Nepal, Peru and Serbia.
... Norms are crucial because they educate states about appropriate behaviour in any given circumstance, explaining why actors behave in ways that are not explained by rationalist theories or contradict them. Furthermore, the existence of international norms explains how governments with disparate interests come up with identical policy goals when there is no clear demand or necessity on the part of the state (True and Mintrom 2001). This explains how national interests develop in states and refutes solely materialist theories of state behaviour in the international system. ...
... First, according to a constructivist approach, following a logic of appropriateness, the membership in IOs may socialise regimes into certain norms. That is, the membership and involvement in IOs can have a similar influence as that of peer groups, like countries with a shared colonial background or of experts, or advocates such as NGOs (Checkel 2005;Simmons, Dobbin, and Garrett 2006;True and Mintrom 2001). Indeed, previous research on NHRIs has emphasised the role of IOs, especially the UN and its bodies (Cardenas 2003). ...
Thesis
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