Cross-National Diffusion in Europe
The diffusion of the use of various forms of impact assessments (IAs) in different political settings and legal traditions illustrates its great malleability and the operation of various factors. This diversity is not only reflected in the adoption of different models of IA across the various jurisdictions examined, but also in the way this practice is effectively implemented. Factors explaining the various types of IA implemented in various European jurisdictions include the patterns of diffusion from one country to another, the interaction of politics with expert knowledge and the prevailing ‘evidence eco-system’ in each jurisdiction. The authors illustrate this phenomenon by exploring diffusion patterns not only in terms of the adoption of IA, but also in terms of the adoption of IA types. They do so by introducing a taxonomy developed with the purpose of describing the interaction of politics and expertise in each jurisdiction. The chapter is completed by empirically connecting the diffusion process with the type of IA prevalent in a jurisdiction.