Recent advances in research on the Advocacy Coalition Framework

In an earlier contribution to this blog we paid attention to a special feature on Elinor Ostrom’s  Institutional Analysis and Development framework in the Policy Studies Journal. Recently, this journal has published a special feature on another influential framework in water and environmental policy research: the Advocacy Coalition Framework. This framework, which was developed by Paul Sabatier and Hank Jenkins-Smith, is particularly useful for analyzing stability and change in water policies. A central argument of the framework is that the actors within a policy subsystem can be grouped into two to four advocacy coalitions, and that shared policy beliefs are the glue biding such coalitions. Furthermore, the framework pays attention to external factors relevant to understanding policy change, and identifies factors which are conducive to learning across coalitions. Even though the framework was frequently criticized by interpretative policy scholars, it has proven useful for the analysis of many water conflicts. The special feature contains an interesting article by Elizabeth Albright on the importance of flood events and policy learning for understanding policy dynamics in Hungarian water management.

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