Handbook on Policy, Process and Governing
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Handbook on Policy, Process and Governing

Edited by H. K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe

This Handbook covers the accounts, by practitioners and observers, of the ways in which policy is formed around problems, how these problems are recognized and understood, and how diverse participants come to be involved in addressing them. H.K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe draw together a range of original contributions from experts in the field to illuminate the ways in which policies are formed and how they shape the process of governing.
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Chapter 13: The Advocacy Coalition Framework

Keith Dowding


This chapter reviews the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), analysing its account of how ideas transform policy advocacy, sometimes leading to coalescence of opposed forces. It argues that the ACF is a largely descriptive account of belief formation and how those beliefs input into policy change. It examines the hypotheses generated from the ACF and uses the inversion strategy to suggest that most are relatively trivial yet there is a paucity of empirical confirmation. The ACF largely produces proximate descriptions of policy change through historical examination of token cases. This type of informed, qualitative and detailed historical analysis is vital to our understanding of policy change.

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