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  • Author or Editor: Farhad Mukhtarov x
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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.

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This panel discussion session explores some of the central dimensions of the Crisis in the Anthropocene that constitute global social challenges in the context of development studies. The conference theme highlighted the profound human impact on our blue-green-brown planet, that is already breaching planetary boundaries and pushing us beyond the roughly 1.5°C tipping point. This threatens liveability and sustainability in many localities and regions and may well rapidly be ‘off the scale’ of imaginability and survivability. Inevitably, as mounting empirical evidence and increasingly clear projections by the IPCC and other authoritative bodies show, these impacts are unevenly spread, both socially and spatially, both now and over the coming decades. The urgency of appropriate action is undeniable and we already know many dimensions of the required adaptations and transformations. Yet progress mostly remains too slow. These challenges are vital to the development studies community – heterogenous as it is – with our concerns for tackling poverty, inequality, deprivation and environmental degradation globally and locally.

Hence this symposium asks what the crisis means for development theory, policy and practice and what development studies can and should be contributing to – and, indeed, whether it is capable of – addressing some key dimensions that warrant greater attention.

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