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The Political Power of Bad IdeasNetworks, Institutions, and the Global Prohibition Wave$
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Mark Lawrence Schrad

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391237

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391237.001.0001

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International Influences on National Alcohol Policymaking

International Influences on National Alcohol Policymaking

(p.146) Chapter 6 International Influences on National Alcohol Policymaking
The Political Power of Bad Ideas

Mark Lawrence Schrad (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter weaves together the transnational temperance movement in Chapter 2 with policymaking at the national level in Chapters 3 through 5, by examining the extent to which alcohol control policy ideas and experiences in one country influence policy developments in another. By focusing on the invocation of foreign ideas — anchored in experience beyond the control of national policymakers and requiring explicit investigation and comparison of foreign conditions — we can trace the influence of ideas within different institutional contexts at different stages in the policy process. While transnational ideational influences are broadly similar with respect to agenda setting in society-dominated, corporatist, and autocratic governance structures, these similarities disappear with the shift to policy debate and adoption that comes with the opening of a window for policy change. Society-dominated structures, such as in the United States, are predisposed toward the influence of normative ideational elements — frames and public sentiments — whereas corporatist structures, as in the Swedish case, are predisposed toward the influence of cognitive ideational elements: policy programs and paradigms. In autocratic structures, as in Russia, the elements at the forefront of the policy debate — policy programs and frames — are more salient.

Keywords:   temperance movement, alcohol prohibition, United States, Sweden, Russia, policymaking

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