The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Knowledge Regimes and Comparative Political Economy

Faculty Scholarship
May 23, 2011
Department of Sociology, Dartmouth College

Executive Summary

International Center for Business and Politics (48): 1-28

Author(s): John Campbell and Ove Pedersen

Comparative political economy has been dominated since the 1970s by two waves of research. The first one examined how different types of policy-making regimes affect policy making and, in turn, national economic competitiveness (e.g., Katzenstein 1978). The second one studied how different types of production regimes affect national competitiveness (e.g., Hall and Soskice 2001). Absent from all of this is much discussion about knowledge regimes. Knowledge regimes are sets of actors, organizations, and institutions that produce and disseminate policy ideas that affect how policy-making and production regimes are organized and operate in the first place. Knowledge regimes are important because they contribute data, research, theories, policy recommendations, and other ideas that influence public policy and, thus, national economic competitiveness (Baab 2001; Campbell 1998; Pedersen 2006). It is surprising that such a blind spot exists. Since the early 1990s a rich literature has emerged on how ideas, broadly construed, affect policymaking (Campbell 2002). Some proponents of the production regime and policy-making regime approaches have contributed to this literature (e.g., Hall 1993; Katzenstein 1996). It is ironic, then, that they have not more systematically connected their work on ideas with their work on policy-making and production regimes. This paper does so by showing how knowledge regimes vary across different types of political economies. 


Rockefeller Center Faculty Grant Proposal: "Knowledge Regimes in Comparative Political Economy"

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences