Rethinking the travel of ideas: policy translation in the water sector

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Farhad Mukhtarov Biotechnology and Society Group, Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Environmental Policy Analysis, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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The travel of policy ideas across countries is a widely acknowledged phenomenon. Conventional approaches to the study of this process hinge on concepts such as ‘policy transfer’, ‘policy diffusion’, ‘lesson-drawing’ and ‘institutional isomorphism’. These approaches are influential in understanding public policy; however, they assume perfect rationality of actors, the stability of governance scales and the immutability of policy ideas in their travel. I propose policy translation as a new approach to counter these shortcomings and study the travel of policy ideas in order to shed light on pertaining policy questions, such as whether the travel of policy ideas may be navigated, and if so, how. I illustrate the relevance and value of policy translation with a case study from the water sector in Turkey.

Farhad Mukhtarov Biotechnology and Society Group, Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Environmental Policy Analysis, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Search for other papers by Farhad Mukhtarov in
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Advancing knowledge in public and social policy