The global diffusion of regulatory agencies: Channels of transfer and stages of diffusion

Jacint Jordana*, David Levi-Faur, Xavier Fernández i Marín

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


The autonomous regulatory agency has recently become the "appropriate model" of governance across countries and sectors. The dynamics of this process are captured in the authors' data set, which covers the establishment of agencies in 48 countries and 15 sectors for the period 1966-2007. Adopting a diffusion approach to explain this broad process of institutional change, the authors explore the role of countries and sectors as sources of institutional transfer at different stages of the diffusion process. They demonstrate how the restructuring of national bureaucracies unfolds via four different channels of institutional transfer. The results challenge theoretical approaches that overemphasize the national dimension in global diffusion and are insensitive to the stages of the diffusion process. Further advance in study of diffusion depends, the authors assert, on the ability to apply both cross-sectoral and cross-national analysis to the same research design and to incorporate channels of transfer with different causal mechanisms for different stages of the diffusion process.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1343-1369
Number of pages27
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: David Levi-Faur acknowledges the support of the Israeli Science Foundation (Grant ISF-2005/96). Jacint Jordana and Xavier Fernández acknowledge support of the Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry (Grant CSO2009-11053).


  • bureaucracy
  • diffusion
  • regulation
  • regulatory agencies
  • regulatory capitalism
  • regulatory state


Dive into the research topics of 'The global diffusion of regulatory agencies: Channels of transfer and stages of diffusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this