The Rabbit and the Tortoise. Climate Change Policy Development on the Local Level in Norway and Poland



Policy innovation in unitary states relies heavily on the proclivity of local governments to identify and respond to emerging policy chal­lenges. The article contributes by applying a framework for policy innovation normally used in federal systems to a comparative analysis of two unitary states – Poland and Norway. The analy­sis serves to highlight how the effectiveness of horizontal, non-coercive diffusion mechanisms relies on established norms and traditions for local political self-rule. A key finding is that the prospects of success for ‘soft’ central govern­ment steering seem to rely not least on the re­sourcefulness of the local units. The study fur­thermore highlights the importance of historical trajectories for internal as well as external deter­minants for policy innovation.


climate change, multilevel governance, local government, comparative policy analysis, policy innovation, Poland, Norway

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