Foreign policy applications of the advocacy coalition framework
in Foreign policy as public policy?
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Chapter 4, by Jonathan J. Pierce and Katherine C. Hicks, covers the advocacy coalition framework (ACF). The ACF was developed by Paul Sabatier and Hank Jenkins-Smith in the 1980s to help explain the policy process during contentious policy-making. The main insight the theory has provided is how actors collaborating together in coalitions seek to transform their beliefs into policy by using their resources and various strategies. More specifically, this chapter discusses how the components of the ACF such as policy subsystem, policy core beliefs, coalitions, and policy change are identified and operationalized in order to demonstrate the strengths and the weaknesses of applying the ACF to foreign policy. In its empirical section, the chapter analyzes coalition stability among competing international coalitions over time by applying the ACF to the US government’s decision to support the partition of Palestine under United Nations (UN) Resolution 181 in 1947.

Foreign policy as public policy?

Promises and pitfalls



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