1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development

Mapping Changing Social Policy Ideas: A Global, Actor-Centred Approach (Draft)



The objective of this short paper is to map different types of ideas and the actors carrying them in order to show how ideas might impact social policy change at both the global and the local level. The first part defines "ideas" and their various types, while the second part answers two related questions about the potential impact of ideas on social policy development: where do policy ideas come from; and how, and through which actors, are global ideas diffused and adapted to local context? As suggested, studying the role of ideas requires an analysis of the different forms they can take, the diversity of actors carrying them, and the diffusion and translation processes through which ideas move back and forth between the local and the global levels.

Daniel Béland is the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy in Saskatchewan.