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International transfer of ideas in historical perspective: the New World in British economic and social debates from the late 19th century to the First World War

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Policy examples from other countries are drawn on in public debate to strengthen arguments for change or reform. Opponents of change must then de-legitimise the applicability of those examples. This article places this phenomenon in historical perspective, exploring the transfer of policy ideas to Britain from North America and Australasia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Land and social reformers appealed to policy examples from fellow 'English-speaking' societies, which as 'new countries' could experiment more than 'old countries' and therefore provide lessons for Britain. However, their opponents emphasised that the experience of new countries was inapplicable to Britain.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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