• Advocacy Coalition Framework;
  • crisis;
  • policy change;
  • coalition mobilization;
  • learning;
  • nuclear power

Public policy scholars often accentuate the key role of crises in explaining policy change; however, much empirical work still remains to be done in order to explain crisis-induced policy outcomes. This article explores the prediction of the Advocacy Coalition Framework that stable coalitions and impediments to learning reduce the likelihood for policy change after a crisis. Strategic action is emphasized as a supplementary variable focusing on the role of political motivations in post-crisis policymaking. Sweden's decision not to accelerate the nuclear power phaseout following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster provides a case study to assess the utility of these explanations. Findings corroborate theoretical expectations about stable minority coalitions, cast doubts over the presumed rigidity of policy core beliefs, and emphasize strategic action and cognitive heuristics as important motivations for policy choice. The article concludes by outlining three sector-specific variables (ideological salience, level of conflict, and previous crisis experiences) that add to the explanation of crisis-induced policy outcomes.