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Capsule Review

The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion: How Health, Family, and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries

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The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion: How Health, Family, and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries
The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion: How Health, Family, and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries
By Katerina Linos
Oxford University Press, 2013, 256 pp. $29.95 Purchase

Linos argues that the adoption of particular health and family policies in one country can increase support for them in others. Technocrats draw on specific experiences elsewhere to fine-tune domestic policy proposals. More surprising, everyday voters -- even in a country with an exceptionalist self-image, such as the United States -- see the adoption of policies by other large countries as a signal that the proposals are feasible and fair. This would seem utterly implausible if Linos did not document it with public opinion data and historical case studies from Greece, Spain, and the United States. For scholars, the book poses as many questions as it answers. For policymakers, it suggests novel ways to build support for policy innovations.

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