We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Policy Learning in East Asia

Journal of Asian Public Policy Special Issue Call for Papers

Deadline: 30 October 2019

“Learning from the West” has been a usual practice in various reforms in lately developed countries across the world. East Asia is not an exception, but there are few studies on policy diffusion or transfer from the West to East Asia. Most studies focus on diffusion/transfer among Western developed countries, neglecting developing countries (Marsh and Sharman, 2009), including East Asia that remains outside the scope of a systematic study. In the meantime, the region has been a hub of absorbing various experiences from the West. The learning experiences in East Asia should contribute much to the literature concerned.

At the same time, “Learning from the West” seldom implies a simple policy transfer or diffusion from the West. The success story of the “learning from the West” in Meiji Japan, in Westney’s (1987) seminal work, was a lesson of “imitation and innovation” rather than a simple transfer. Despite this exemplary model, works on the post-War East Asian development seldom follow this line of analysis.

No matter whether “learning from the West” in an individual policy or reform is a success story, domestic factors, including customs, ideology, institutional context, and unique demands and problems, are believed to contribute much to the process of “independent” learning (in a non-coercive manner), especially for these Confucian states with ingrained and profound traditions and culture. East-West hybridization rather than copying may better account for the design of a policy or an institution.

This special issue welcomes any contribution from various fields of scholars who are embarking upon research on public governance reforms with the elements of “learning from the West” in the East Asian regions (including Korea, Japan, Singapore Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong King) to explore hybrid models of policy learning and examine the processes, consequences and implications of the learning in various cases of public governance reforms in East Asia.

Journal of Asian Public Policy

Language: en-UK

Publisher: Routledge

Visit Journal Articles

Submission guidelines

Authors are encouraged to begin the submission process by providing a 300-word abstract indicating the background of study case(s) and its/their contribution to the understanding of policy learning in East Asia. Abstracts should be provided by 30 October 2019 to Bennis Wai Yip So (bennisso@nccu.edu.tw).

Upon review of abstracts, select authors will be invited to join a workshop held in May 2020 in Taiwan to present their full papers for further selection for the special issue.

Editorial Information

Published on 9th September. Last updated on 9th September 2019.




Marsh, D. and J. C. Sharman (2009). “Policy diffusion and policy transfer.” Policy Studies 30(3): 269-288.

Westney, D. E. (1987). Imitation and innovation: The transfer of Western organizational patterns to Meiji Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.