Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Committee Chair

Donley T. Studlar.


The central question of this research is, "what is the role of state administrative agencies in the innovation and transfer of public policy?" One of the theoretical perspectives of the study of public policy examines the "borrowing" of one nation or U.S. state's policy by another followed by adaptation to the new jurisdiction. The past focus of most of this research has been on legislative policy adoptions. This study draws upon a different perspective, bureaucratic adoptions of public policy.;A two-fold approach is employed, using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. Information was gathered on both state agencies and their lead officials by telephone, in person, and through written survey instruments. Further documentary data were drawn from a variety of sources on state public health agencies and other political and economic characteristics of individual U.S. states. This information was used in two ways.;First, a detailed depiction describes the professional communication networks of state public health agency officials. The literature on policy transfer assumes the use of such a network, but past research has neither described the network and its mechanisms of communication nor substantiated its existence. The primary finding of this section is that such a communication network exists but that it occurs on an ad hoc rather than systematic basis. This research also demonstrates the importance of various specific communication mechanisms to state public health officials for the transfer of policy and programmatic information.;Secondly, this research addresses the possible differences between legislative and bureaucratic policy adoption. Using OLS regression, two different models of the determinants of policy innovation are tested. A comparison is made between legislative adoption of policy and bureaucratic adoption of policy. The central finding is that the determinants of legislative policy adoption do different from the determinants of bureaucratic policy adoption.;This research demonstrates the importance of examining policy innovation and transfer from the perspective of multiple political and policymaking institutions, in particular, the bureaucracy. It also broadens our understanding of the coalitions of policymakers that exist that create U.S. state public policy.