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Catherine Needham, "Fighting the Last War: Applying the Policy Transfer Approach to Election Campaigns," Party Politics, 16 (September, 2010), 608-628. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
The concept of policy transfer (or 'lesson-drawing') has been developed by public policy scholars to explain how policies utilized in one context emerge in another (Bennett, 1991; Dolowitz, 1998; Dolowitz and Marsh, 1996, 2000; Mossberger and Wolman, 2003; Robertson, 1991; Rose, 1991, 1993; Wolman, 1992). Dolowitz and Marsh define policy transfer as follows: 'the process by which knowledge about policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in one political system (past or present) is used in the development of policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in another political system' (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000: 5).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Campaign strategy transfer in UK, USA, Germany and Israel
Table 2. Testing cases against the hypotheses

Last Paragraph:
The medium n approach taken here suggests some emerging patterns which require further exploration. More needs to be done to explain the patterns of low, medium and high transfer, exploring what configuration of lender and borrower conditions create high-level synergies between campaigns. The article has also not dealt with the relationship between campaign strategy transfer and electoral success. Policy transfer literature has struggled with the question of how far transfer is associated with policy success or failure, measured by the aims set for it by borrower governments (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000; James and Lodge, 2003: 188; Mossberger and Wolman, 2003; Rose, 1991). Similarly, asserting a link between campaign strategy transfer and success is problematic, particularly if more than one party in the same election has borrowed lessons from abroad and if parties have varying criteria for success. Campaign strategy transfer is only one factor shaping electoral campaigns; nevertheless, it certainly deserves attention as a variable in helping to answer the perennial question: when and how do campaigns matter (Schmitt-Beck and Farrell, 2002)?

Last updated August 2010