When we observe similar environmental policies, equal classifications of immigrants, or common tastes in fashion in different countries, we no longer expect nations to have invented these institutions independently from each other. Instead, we are more interested in theories that explain how some policies, classifications, and cultural templates spread across nations while others never catch on. In this seminar we will explore both classical and modern theories of imitation and diffusion, and discuss the consequences of these processes.
We will do so in a hands-on approach by collecting and evaluating data from organization websites, databases, and social media platforms. This seminar is therefore both an introduction to theories of diffusion and to techniques for the collection of cross-national data.