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The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy
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The diffusion of markets and democracy around the world was a defining feature of the late twentieth century. Many social scientists view this economic and political liberalization as the product of independent choices by national governments. This book argues that policy and political changes were influenced heavily by prior actions of external actors: not just other governments, but international organizations and communities of experts. Drawing together insights from economics, sociology, political science and international relations, the contributors focus on four mechanisms by which markets and democracy have diffused through interdependent decision-making: coercion and the impact of powerful countries and international actors; economic competition for markets and investment; learning from experiences of other countries; and emulation among countries. These mechanisms are tested empirically using sophisticated quantitative techniques in areas as diverse as capital account and investment policy, human rights and democratization, and government downsizing, privatization and taxation.

Reviews

‘Simmons, Dobbin and Garrett have put together a most impressive collection of studies of policy diffusion in world society. The chapters are sophisticated theoretically, and state-of-the-art methodologically and make a strong contribution toward a general analysis of global policy integration. They also contribute greatly to the study of the recent worldwide wave of liberal policies of political democratization and economic marketization.’

John W. Meyer - Stanford University

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