Panel Paper: Cross-Coalition Collaboration in U.S. Environmental Risk Policy

Friday, November 9, 2018
Truman - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Georgia W Pfeiffer1, Thomas Dietz2 and Adam Douglas Henry1, (1)University of Arizona, (2)Michigan State University

At the core of the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) is the struggle to turn beliefs into policy. To this end, individuals form coalitions based on their desire to see their beliefs realized in policy. And while it is assumed that members of the same coalition coordinate with one another (i.e., form networks) to promote their beliefs in policy subsystems, it is unclear the extent to which different forms of collaboration in the policy process occurs exclusively within coalitions. Using data on professionals working on issues of environmental risk, this paper examines the correspondence of collaboration and coalition boundaries, thus further developing the theory of networks embedded within the ACF.

This research uses survey-based network data, gathered from approximately 300 professionals working in U.S. environmental risk policy, to study coalition structures. We characterize coalitions existing within this policy system based on direct empirical measurements of how organizations work together to advocate for policy. The network data used for this research also contain information on collaborative ties other than jointly advocating for policy. Ties such as co-publishing and attending the same meetings provide opportunities for policy innovation without linking stakeholders into the same coalition.

Hypotheses are tested using a variation of quadratic assignment procedure (QAP) correlation for network data, adapted for the analysis of egocentric networks. Results suggest that there are many interactions between actors that take place outside of the coalition boundaries, suggesting that policy networks are an important mechanism for learning and collaboration between competing coalitions.

Full Paper: