Policy transfer, diffusion and translation in territorial governance and spatial planning in the Global South
Convenors: Francesca Blanc, Giancarlo Cotella, Marcin Dąbrowski
Organised jointly by planning scholars from POLITO and TU Delft under the auspices of AESOP Thematic Group Transboundary Spaces, Policy Diffusion, Planning Cultures
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National and local territorial governance, spatial policies and planning are the results of the cross-fertilisation through domestic and external inputs. The travelling of planning ideas, concepts, and policy solutions across cities is commonplace, facilitated by international platforms, globally operating institutions, bilateral inter-city relations and study visits or transnational city networks. While being ubiquitous, this process of transnational learning remains problematic. It tends to be biased towards export of Western ideas to the Global South, is underpinned by uncertainty about the suitability of foreign solutions to the local context (Rose, 1993; Dolowitz & Marsh, 2010), doubts about the scope for learning from ‘sanitised’ and uncritical best practice examples (Stead, 2012) and by asymmetries of power and political agendas (Temenos & McCann, 2013; McCann & Ward, 2012). The processes of formulation of urban planning practices and policies assimilate and translate best practices coming from different cities and countries results in a ‘bricolage’ (Stone, 2017) that especially in the Global South echoes the mestizo culture of many countries.
Against this background, this seminar hosts scholars - in planning, urban and regional studies, geography and related disciplines - to reflect on the cross-fertilisation and adaptation of spatial planning policies in the process of transfer in the Global South. In particular, we welcome contributions that inquire South-South and South-North transfers, in order to contribute to a growing literature body that sheds light on how Global South countries shift ‘from import to export’ of policies for cities and regions.