Learning Lessons from Cross National Comparisons
Policy makers frequently downplay the potential for learning from foreign experience because "there is so much that is different there" or that is "unique to our situation" that what they do elsewhere "just wouldn't work here". But this is a serious misreading of the potential for learning from foreign experience. Careful examination of policies in other countries can yield important lessons even when substantial differences exist between the countries.
The Future Governance Programme was a research programme funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and ran from the London School of Economics under the Direction of Professor Edward C Page. The Programme consisted of 30 projects, which examined how lessons could have been drawn cross-nationally. At this session the results of some of the projects were discussed in policy areas covering participation, social welfare, education, taxation and housing, prisons, labour market policies public sector reform. The session discussed the theoretical propositions emerging from these studies and their implications for how countries could have learnt best from the experiences of others.