Informations and abstract
The paper examines public policy in the European Union (EU) by drawing upon the conceptual framework of policy transfer, which has been recently refined by comparativists, and the concept of isomorphism developed within organizational theory. Three case studies of EU policy transfer - namely monetary policy, tax policy, and media ownership policy - are discussed for assessing the potential of isomorphism for the analysis of policy diffusion. The author argues that European institutions, which have a serious political limitation in terms of legitimacy, stimulate policy transfer by catalysing isomorphic processes. Typically, isomorphism diffuses throughout the EU policy solutions already in place in one member state. By contrast, policy transfer is severely constrained when there are no national cases to be imitated. In this circumstance, however, European institutions, most notably the European Commission, can overcome the problem by "inseminating" solutions into national political systems.