TitleAdvocacy Coalitions in Low Salience Policy Subsystems: Struggles Under a Smooth Surface
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGiordono, LS
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
Date Published03/2019

The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), a well‐known framework used to understand policy changes at the subsystem level, is predicated on the idea that coalitions with distinct beliefs compete to influence policy subsystem decisions. The ACF is noted as being most appropriate for, and is typically applied to, high salience policy areas. However, scholars have noted the need to also apply the ACF to less typical application settings in the interest of theoretical refinement. This paper thus explores the applicability of the ACF to Day Habilitation and Employment services systems for working‐age adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in two U.S. states, Washington and Pennsylvania, both of which have experienced distinct state‐level policy changes during the last two decades despite low levels of public attention and conflict. Using a mixed‐methods approach, the paper identifies the presence of two advocacy coalitions (Employment First and Choice) in both states. The study concludes that there is sufficient evidence to apply the ACF to these low salience subsystems, noting theoretical and practical implications for scholars and policymakers interested in applying the ACF to similar settings.

Short TitlePolicy Stud J