Who Should Pay for Pollution? The OECD, the European Communities and the Emergence of Environmental Policy in the early 1970s
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Review of History. 2017, 24 (3), 377-398. 10.1080/13507486.2017.1282427
Environmental policy emerged as a new European and global policy field within a very brief period of time during the early 1970s. Notably in Europe, international organizations played a central role in defining core principles for this new policy domain. This article argues that inter-organizational connections were crucial in this context: the exchange and transfer of policy ideas facilitated the rise of environmental policy across different international organizations. Focusing on the co-evolution of the polluter-pays principle enshrined almost simultaneously both at the OECD and the European Communities, the article assesses the multiple routes along which policy ideas travelled, the role inter-organizational competition played and the selective nature of transfers. While expertise played a key role in determining which policy concepts were selected, institutional conditions and the politics of the recipient institution determined how they were adapted to the respective new context.