Holzinger, Katharina and Knill, Christoph. (2005) Competition, Cooperation and Communication: A Theoretical Analysis of Different Sources of Environmental Policy Convergence and Their Interaction. IHS Political Science Series: 2005, No. 102. [Working Paper]
Comparative studies on cross-national policy transfer and diffusion emphasize an impressing degree of policy convergence in many areas. This holds true, in particular, for the environmental field. However, we are still confronted with limited knowledge about the mechanisms accounting for this phenomenon. Against this backdrop, we theoretically investigate the impact of three different convergence mechanisms that are generally seen as central sources of cross-national policy convergence: regulatory competition, international cooperation and transnational communication. We focus not only on the isolated effects of each mechanism, but also on the effects of their interaction. As will be shown, the empirically rather likely interaction of different mechanisms constitutes a plausible explanation for the still puzzling gap between the theoretical prediction of a race to the bottom through regulatory competition and the lacking empirical support for this hypothesis.
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