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by Professor Paul Cairney
Understanding Public Policy (in 1000 and 500 words)

Policy in 500 Words: The Advocacy Coalition Framework

Description

The fifth of a series of podcasts tying together multiple 500 Words posts. They’ll sound a bit different from the  1000 Wordspodcasts because I recorded them in front of our MPP students.

This lecture is on Policy in 500 Words: The Advocacy Coalition Framework 

Here is the ACF story.

People engage in politics to turn their beliefs into policy. They form advocacy coalitions with people who share their beliefs, and compete with other coalitions. The action takes place within a subsystem devoted to a policy issue, and a wider policymaking process that provides constraints and opportunities to coalitions.

The policy process contains multiple actors and levels of government. It displays a mixture of intensely politicized disputes and routine activity. There is much uncertainty about the nature and severity of policy problems. The full effects of policy may be unclear for over a decade

...

Policy actors use their beliefs to understand, and seek influence in, this world. Beliefs about how to interpret the cause of and solution to policy problems, and the role of government in solving them, act as a glue to bind actors together within coalitions.

If the policy issue is technical and humdrum, there may be room for routine cooperation. If the issue is highly charged, then people romanticise their own cause and demonise their opponents.

The outcome is often long-term policymaking stability and policy continuity because the ‘core’ beliefs of coalitions are unlikely to shift and one coalition may dominate the subsystem for long periods.

There are two main sources of change ... see Policy in 500 Words: The Advocacy Coalition Framework for the rest

Relevant posts

Policy Concepts in 1000 Words: The Advocacy Coalition Framework

Details

Episode 5

by Professor Paul Cairney