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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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Transnational Activism and National Policymaking

Transnational Activism and National Policymaking

(p.186) Chapter 7 Transnational Activism and National Policymaking
The Political Power of Bad Ideas

Mark Lawrence Schrad (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a more explicit comparison of the institutional differences in feedback mechanisms, highlighting the features inherent in each institutional arrangement that predisposed decision makers in each country toward or away from a particular policy, while also enhancing the understanding of how different institutional arrangements respond to crises by accelerating the policy debate, and thereby altering the political discourse to impact the course of policy development. In drawing together such diverse insights, the chapter also poses an explanation for the international alcohol control/prohibition policy “wave” of the early 20th century. In brief, the wave can be explained only with reference to a combination of transnationally diffused temperance ideas, varyingly translated into policy through institutionalized channels of decision making, with a common external stimulus of a world war. War explains the timing of the policy wave, transnational temperance information networks explain the direction of the policy change, and domestic institutional constraints explain the ultimate form of that change.

Keywords:   alcohol prohibition, policymaking, temperance, war, transnational temperance networks, domestic institutional constraints

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