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How crude: Advocacy coalitions, offshore oil, andtheself-negating belief

How crude: Advocacy coalitions, offshore oil, andtheself-negating belief Although the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) offers a promising approach for the study of policy change, other social science perspectives – specifically including human ecology – point to competing expectations. The ACF proposes that external perturbations are a necessary precondition for policy change; by contrast, work in human ecology draws attention to the potential for autogenic succession– cases where people or organizations act in ways that bring about their own demise. This difference in perspectives is tested with respect to a policy subsystem that has been found to offer a valuable context for examining ACF expectations, namely the U.S. federal program for offshore oil leasing. Many developments within this program have been quite consistent with ACF expectations; the rise to power of a new governing coalition in 1981, for example, did lead to a decided shift in policies, and the National Academy of Sciences did play roughly the role predicted by ACF. In addition, however, key sources of policy change were set in motion by members of the governing coalition itself – based on actions that were quite consistent with the policy core beliefs of the governing coalition, but not consistent with the assessments by independent scientists. The experience suggests that what is needed is not so much a rejection of the ACF as its refinement. Even without ‘external perturbations,’ members of the governing coalition have the potential to undercut their own interests, if only because of the potential power of the self-negating belief. Ironically, this potential may be the highest in precisely those cases where the governing coalition has the greatest apparent ability to impose its own beliefs, and the lowest level of apparent need to respond to alternative or competing views. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Policy Sciences Springer Journals

How crude: Advocacy coalitions, offshore oil, andtheself-negating belief

Policy Sciences , Volume 35 (1) – Oct 4, 2004

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References (84)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Economic Policy; Public Administration
ISSN
0032-2687
eISSN
1573-0891
DOI
10.1023/A:1016044322981
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) offers a promising approach for the study of policy change, other social science perspectives – specifically including human ecology – point to competing expectations. The ACF proposes that external perturbations are a necessary precondition for policy change; by contrast, work in human ecology draws attention to the potential for autogenic succession– cases where people or organizations act in ways that bring about their own demise. This difference in perspectives is tested with respect to a policy subsystem that has been found to offer a valuable context for examining ACF expectations, namely the U.S. federal program for offshore oil leasing. Many developments within this program have been quite consistent with ACF expectations; the rise to power of a new governing coalition in 1981, for example, did lead to a decided shift in policies, and the National Academy of Sciences did play roughly the role predicted by ACF. In addition, however, key sources of policy change were set in motion by members of the governing coalition itself – based on actions that were quite consistent with the policy core beliefs of the governing coalition, but not consistent with the assessments by independent scientists. The experience suggests that what is needed is not so much a rejection of the ACF as its refinement. Even without ‘external perturbations,’ members of the governing coalition have the potential to undercut their own interests, if only because of the potential power of the self-negating belief. Ironically, this potential may be the highest in precisely those cases where the governing coalition has the greatest apparent ability to impose its own beliefs, and the lowest level of apparent need to respond to alternative or competing views.

Journal

Policy SciencesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 4, 2004

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