ACF and policy change on both sides of the Atlantic: Towards a more diversity-oriented and comparative policy subsystem approach

Kristiaan R.D. Lulofs, Robertus Hoppe

Research output: Book/ReportReportOther research output

Abstract

This review of European applications of the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) assesses the extent to which the one-size-fits-all specification of the ACF justifiably includes Europe in its empirical domain. A cautious ‘yes’ leads to one major and two derived proposals for amending the ACF so as to improve its suitability for comparative research. The major proposal is to replace the ACF’s intuitive dichotomy of mature and nascent policy subsystems by a more sophisticated typology of policy subsystems, which captures more variety in the types of coalition behaviour and policy networks. This amendment has implications for the undertheorised Resources and Constraints module as well. We argue that the Resources and Constraints module is better conceived as a multi-level political opportunity structure: political, territorial and functional. Elaborating the functional level, we enrich the ideas-based character of the ACF by developing a typology of opportunity structures of policy-subsystems by character of information processing. The overall purpose of the review and subsequent theorising is to move the ACF from its American roots towards more diversity-oriented research and comparative policy analysis.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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subsystem
coalition
typology
political structure
comparative research
information processing
resources
amendment

Keywords

  • IR-84549

Cite this

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ACF and policy change on both sides of the Atlantic : Towards a more diversity-oriented and comparative policy subsystem approach. / Lulofs, Kristiaan R.D.; Hoppe, Robertus.

University of Twente, 2010. 55 p.

Research output: Book/ReportReportOther research output

TY - BOOK

T1 - ACF and policy change on both sides of the Atlantic

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AU - Lulofs, Kristiaan R.D.

AU - Hoppe, Robertus

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AB - This review of European applications of the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) assesses the extent to which the one-size-fits-all specification of the ACF justifiably includes Europe in its empirical domain. A cautious ‘yes’ leads to one major and two derived proposals for amending the ACF so as to improve its suitability for comparative research. The major proposal is to replace the ACF’s intuitive dichotomy of mature and nascent policy subsystems by a more sophisticated typology of policy subsystems, which captures more variety in the types of coalition behaviour and policy networks. This amendment has implications for the undertheorised Resources and Constraints module as well. We argue that the Resources and Constraints module is better conceived as a multi-level political opportunity structure: political, territorial and functional. Elaborating the functional level, we enrich the ideas-based character of the ACF by developing a typology of opportunity structures of policy-subsystems by character of information processing. The overall purpose of the review and subsequent theorising is to move the ACF from its American roots towards more diversity-oriented research and comparative policy analysis.

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