The Rationale Determining Advocacy Coalitions: Examining Coordination Networks and Corresponding Beliefs


Simon Matti is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Luleå University of Technology.

Annica Sandström is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Luleå University of Technology and post-doctoral researcher at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University. Both authors contributed equally to the manuscript.


The contemporary trend within natural resource governance sees a strong increase in collaborative management. A successful turnout of these arrangements is, however, dependent upon the formation and characteristics of advocacy coalitions. Uncovering the rationale determining coalitions is therefore a key undertaking in policy analysis and the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) has been widely applied for this purpose. This article aspires to test several important hypotheses regarding the nature of coordination networks and the formation of coalitions, treating the ACF both as an inspiration and as a framework in need of further refinement. This is done in the context of a complex and conflict-ridden policy subsystem: the Swedish carnivore-management subsystem. The results indicate, firstly, that perceived belief correspondence, and not perceived influence, is the driving mechanism behind coordination; and, secondly, that the catalog of beliefs shared by actors within a coalition is composed by policy core beliefs, in particular, with a more normative content, while no connection between deep core beliefs and coordination is found.