Policy Diffusion Through Multiple Streams: The (Non-)Adoption of Energy Conservation Building Code in India

Nihit Goyal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Although the diffusion of policy innovations can promote sustainability, how this process can be accelerated remains unclear. I address this gap by conceptualizing policy transfer and policy diffusion using the multiple streams framework (MSF) and developing hypotheses to connect them. I apply this theorization to explain the limited spread of the energy conservation building code (ECBC) in India by combining a process trace of policy adoption in the embedded case of Andhra Pradesh with a dyadic event history analysis of state-level diffusion during 2012-18. The data for this study are collated from official statistics, elite interviews, news reports, policy documents, and secondary literature. The qualitative analysis shows that policy transfer to Andhra Pradesh occurred when external influence and prior adoption elsewhere were used by a policy entrepreneur to exploit a window of opportunity and couple problem, policy, and politics in the state; the dyadic analysis demonstrates that policy diffusion was influenced by the interaction among the structural characteristics of the problem, policy, and politics streams. I conclude with the implications for research on policy diffusion and the MSF as well as the relevance of the findings for promoting policy innovation for a sustainable energy transition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • climate change mitigation
  • multiple streams framework
  • policy diffusion
  • policy entrepreneurship
  • policy innovation
  • policy learning
  • policy transfer
  • sustainable energy transition


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