Prospects for Pragmatism: Trading Lessons in Social Policy Between East and West
The 'APPLE' project was founded and funded in the belief that it was capable of generating useful ideas and information, on the key subject of population ageing, for policy-makers in Europe. A lesson is a programme designed to deal with a problem in one country by drawing on the experience of other countries facing the same problem. There are degrees of lesson-drawing, or policy transfer, to be considered: from attempts at exact copying, at the one extreme, through attempts at emulation, attempts at 'cherry-picking' hybridization, right down to the mere garnering of inspiration from others' example. All of this constitutes good news for the chances of practical outcomes from the present East-West collaborative project. Policy transfer is the blanket, all-inclusive category, embracing everything from spontaneous policy diffusion, through forms of policy imposition to forms of voluntary, conscious, selective lesson-taking from abroad.