Narrating Policy Transfer: Renewable Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction in ECOWAS
Date: 11 May 2018
University of Exeter
The thesis contributes to the policy transfer literature through the examination of narratives presented by policy actors engaged in policy transfer. The actors’ policy narratives are analysed through the application of the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF). With the use of the NPF, the research investigates the portrayal of narrative ...
The thesis contributes to the policy transfer literature through the examination of narratives presented by policy actors engaged in policy transfer. The actors’ policy narratives are analysed through the application of the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF). With the use of the NPF, the research investigates the portrayal of narrative elements, including, setting, character, plot, and moral, by the transfer actors, in depicting their perception of the transfer process and object, and of the other actors involved in the policy transfer. The investigation is aimed at having a better understanding of factors that facilitate the occurrence of policy transfer i.e. transfer mechanisms, such as, conditionality, obligation, and persuasion, and how they manifest and drive the transfer process. To examine how policy narratives may inform the manifestation of transfer mechanisms, the research studies two cases of policy transfer involving international governmental organisations (IGOs) as transfer agents. These are i) the transfer of renewable energy policy by the European Union to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and ii) the transfer of disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy by the United Nations International Strategy for DRR (UNISDR) to ECOWAS. The thesis argues that the mechanisms of conditionality and persuasion were involved in the transfer of renewable energy policy, while the mechanism of obligation can be observed in the transfer of DRR policy. It further argues that the portrayals of the narrative setting, character, plot and moral, in the policy narratives of the transfer agents and recipient, shaped the manifestation of these transfer mechanisms. The application of the NPF to the two case studies enabled the identification and association of different policy narrative elements that will likely characterise specific transfer mechanisms. In addition, the study highlights the opportunity of broadening policy transfer research beyond a limited geographical reach, through covering two instances of policy transfer to a region in sub-Sahara Africa. It also broadens the group of actors that are often studied in the literature by considering policy transfers initiated and led by IGOs.
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