Proposed Abstract Title

Cross-border policy learning: Insights from a study of carbon policy

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Governance of the Salish Sea: Can we develop a cross-border policy framework?

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Political borders often introduce discontinuities to the policy environment. These can be counterproductive for policy success and jeopardize the competitiveness of some businesses. Each of these shortcomings amplifies risks of losing popular and political support for the policy. In the interest of furthering a discussion on cross border policy consistency, this presentation examines the phenomenon of policy transfer through learning. While much of the policy transfer literature deals with intra-national (state-to-state) transfer, or transfer among EU member nations, there are few studies of transfer between subordinate national entities. However, in the case of the Salish Sea, this is one of the many important policy challenges.

We focus on processes of policy learning across the BC-WA border. After introducing a conceptual model of policy learning, we draw on an investigation we made into cross border learning about carbon policy to illustrate how we empirically applied the model. BC introduced a carbon tax in 2008 to mitigate the drivers of climatic change. Last year, CarbonWA began a public initiative to implement a similar carbon tax in Washington State. Washington is also pursuing other pending carbon pollution reduction policies and BC is presently considering whether to hike the carbon tax. The amount of cross-border policy learning continues to be significant, with many policy actors acknowledging they learned from peers on the other side of the border.

Our presentation reports on key elements in the policy learning model applied to the BC-WA border. We document policy actors, their dialogue spaces, and key documents/presentations; we also explain the policy learning process. We next examine contextual factors that hinder and enable policy transfer between British Columbia and Washington State. We conclude with suggestions for how our results relate to the challenge of consistent ecosystem management for the Salish Sea.

Keywords: Policy transfer, policy learning, policy actors, policy dialogue, carbon pollution, climate change, carbon tax.

Comments

We are unsure of who will make the presentation at this time. We are: faculty, grad student, undergrad student

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Cross-border policy learning: Insights from a study of carbon policy

2016SSEC

Political borders often introduce discontinuities to the policy environment. These can be counterproductive for policy success and jeopardize the competitiveness of some businesses. Each of these shortcomings amplifies risks of losing popular and political support for the policy. In the interest of furthering a discussion on cross border policy consistency, this presentation examines the phenomenon of policy transfer through learning. While much of the policy transfer literature deals with intra-national (state-to-state) transfer, or transfer among EU member nations, there are few studies of transfer between subordinate national entities. However, in the case of the Salish Sea, this is one of the many important policy challenges.

We focus on processes of policy learning across the BC-WA border. After introducing a conceptual model of policy learning, we draw on an investigation we made into cross border learning about carbon policy to illustrate how we empirically applied the model. BC introduced a carbon tax in 2008 to mitigate the drivers of climatic change. Last year, CarbonWA began a public initiative to implement a similar carbon tax in Washington State. Washington is also pursuing other pending carbon pollution reduction policies and BC is presently considering whether to hike the carbon tax. The amount of cross-border policy learning continues to be significant, with many policy actors acknowledging they learned from peers on the other side of the border.

Our presentation reports on key elements in the policy learning model applied to the BC-WA border. We document policy actors, their dialogue spaces, and key documents/presentations; we also explain the policy learning process. We next examine contextual factors that hinder and enable policy transfer between British Columbia and Washington State. We conclude with suggestions for how our results relate to the challenge of consistent ecosystem management for the Salish Sea.

Keywords: Policy transfer, policy learning, policy actors, policy dialogue, carbon pollution, climate change, carbon tax.