Chapter 1 Introduction to The Diffusion of Public and Private Sustainability Regulations: The Responses of Follower Countries
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Providing the overall context for the empirical chapters, Chapter 1 starts by discussing the questions of policy diffusion and policy alignment. It argues that while strong trading links drive policy diffusion and the alignment of standards, the outcome is not necessarily a strong alignment by follower countries with the standards operating in the export markets they target. Differences in priorities and capabilities may make it difficult to achieve full alignment. Pressure for standards alignment may exist even in the absence of trading relationships. Standards created through learning and emulation may face design and implementation constraints arising from the need to interact with standards in other jurisdictions. Therefore, even though policy diffusion and policy development in different countries may be motivated by similar perceptions of what a regulatory framework might require, variations in the regulations adopted can be observed across countries, which leads to multiple localized regulations.