Mimicry, Persuasion, or Learning? The Case of Two Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policies in Romania

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16 Scopus citations


Public sector reforms in developing countries based on global “best practices” have come under increasing criticism in the development community. The charge is that in trying to increase international legitimacy, governments copy institutional forms that are not suited to the local context. Yet, such mimicry is not the only driver of international policy diffusion. Domestic policy entrepreneurs learn from experiences of other countries and invoke global norms and values in advancing their preferred policy options. Pressures for mimicry can help such policy entrepreneurs counter resistance from domestic elites, especially in the case of value-based policies, such as transparency and anti-corruption policies. The cases of the Freedom of Information Act and the Asset Disclosure Laws in Romania are used to illustrate how external pressure for legitimacy can empower domestic policy entrepreneurs and facilitate a process akin to “problem-driven iterative adaptation” advocated by critics of isomorphic mimicry in public sector reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Administration and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • Romania
  • anti-corruption
  • asset disclosure
  • freedom of information
  • policy diffusion
  • policy learning
  • problem-driven iterative adaptation
  • transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Public Administration


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