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Introduction: Theorizing about provinces as provincial laboratories for policy diffusion and transfer

Faculty Advisor




provincial governments, social policy, economic policy, Canadian federalism

Abstract (summary)

Canada's federal system, composed of ten provincial governments and three territories, all with varying economies and political cultures, is often blamed for the country's failure to develop coordinated policy responses to key issues. But in other federal and multi-level governance systems, the ability of multiple governments to test a variety of policy responses has been lauded as an effective way to build local and national policy. Despite high-profile examples of policy diffusion in Canada, there is surprisingly little academic study of policy learning and diffusion among provinces. Featuring cutting edge research, Provincial Policy Laboratories explores the cross-jurisdictional movement of policies among governments in Canada's federal system. The book is comprised of case studies in a range of emerging policy areas, including parentage rights, hydraulic fracturing regulations, species at risk legislation, sales and aviation taxation, and marijuana policy. Throughout, the contributors aim to increase knowledge about this understudied aspect of Canadian federalism and contribute to the practice of intergovernmental policy making across the country.

Publication Information

Boyd, B. (2021). Introduction: theorizing about provinces as provincial laboratories for policy diffusion and transfer. In B. Boyd & A. Olive (Eds.), Provincial policy laboratories: Policy diffusion and transfer in Canada’s federal system. University of Toronto Press.



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