In politics, ideas matter. They provide the foundation for economic policymaking, which in turn shapes what is possible in domestic and international politics. Yet until now, little attention has been paid to how these ideas are produced and disseminated, and how this process varies between countries. The National Origins of Policy Ideas provides the first comparative analysis of how "knowledge regimes"--communities of policy research organizations like think tanks, political party foundations, ad hoc commissions, and state research offices, and the institutions that govern them--generate ideas and communicate them to policymakers. John Campbell and Ove Pedersen examine how knowledge regimes are organized, operate, and have changed over the last thirty years in the United States, France, Germany, and Denmark. They show how there are persistent national differences in how policy ideas are produced. Some countries do so in contentious, politically partisan ways, while others are cooperative and consensus oriented.
They find that while knowledge regimes have adopted some common practices since the 1970s, tendencies toward convergence have been limited and outcomes have been heavily shaped by national contexts. Drawing on extensive interviews with top officials at leading policy research organizations, this book demonstrates why knowledge regimes are as important to capitalism as the state and the firm, and sheds new light on debates about the effects of globalization, the rise of neoliberalism, and the orientation of comparative political economy in political science and sociology.
John L. Campbell is the Class of 1925 Professor of Sociology at Dartmouth College and professor of political economy at the Copenhagen Business School. Ove K. Pedersen is professor of comparative political economy at the Copenhagen Business School. Their many books include The Rise of Neoliberalism and Institutional Analysis (Princeton).
List of Tables and Figures ix List of Acronyms xi Preface xvii Chapter 1: Knowledge Regimes and the National Origins of Policy Ideas 1 Part I: The Political Economy of Knowledge Regimes 37 Chapter 2: The Paradox of Partisanship in the United States 39 Chapter 3: The Decline of Dirigisme in France 84 Chapter 4: Coordination and Compromise in Germany 129 Chapter 5: The Nature of Negotiation in Denmark 172 Reprise: Initial Reflections on the National Cases 215 Part II: Issues of Similarity and Impact 231 Chapter 6: Limits of Convergence 233 Chapter 7: Questions of Influence 276 Part III: Conclusions 323 Chapter 8: Summing Up and Normative Implications 325 Postscript: An Agenda for Future Research 332 Appendix: Research Design and Methods 343 References 357 Index 375