Citation Ingold K, Fischer M & Cairney P (2017) Drivers for Policy Agreement in Nascent Subsystems: An Application of the Advocacy Coalition Framework to Fracking Policy in Switzerland and the UK. Policy Studies Journal, 45 (3), pp. 442-463. https://doi.org/10.1111/psj.12173
Abstract The study of public policy deals with subsystems in which actors cooperate or compete to turn their beliefs into policy solutions. Yet, most studies concern mature subsystems in which the main actors and their allies and enemies can easily be identified. This paper tackles the challenge of studying nascent subsystems, in which actors have begun to engage in politics but are uncertain about other actors’ beliefs. Actors therefore find it relatively difficult to identify their allies and opponents. Focusing on the Advocacy Coalition Framework, we examine three main ways in which actors might agree to support the same policy design before they decide whether or not to form long-term relationships within advocacy coalitions: they see the issue through the same lenses, they follow leaders, or they know each other from earlier cooperation. We use the case of fracking policy in Switzerland and the UK as a key example, in which actors have begun to agree with each other, but where final policy outputs were not yet defined, and long-term relationships not yet observable. We find that, when dealing with new issues, actors strongly rely on former contacts rather than shared ideologies or leadership.