Policy Communities, Devolution and Policy Transfer: The Case of Alcohol Pricing in Wales
This study investigates how processes of horizontal policy transfer can unfold in the context of devolution, examining the development of legislation on minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Wales, following on from Scotland’s earlier policy decision.
The study draws on a range of sources, including primary documents, media coverage, and interviews with policy participants.
This analysis identifies the importance of the specific character of Welsh political institutions, particularly the emphasis given to participation and consultation in policymaking. In the case of MUP, this study documents a process of policy-oriented learning, where policymakers made a concerted effort to draw on an assortment of expertise and experiences, including but not limited to the Scottish model. This study also finds that the Welsh public health policy community was well placed to support the framing of MUP and to address limitations in policy capacity.
The findings hold implications for future studies of learning, devolution, and alcohol policy more generally.