The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) asserts that disagreement over policy core beliefs divides organizations into competing coalitions. We apply Discourse Network Analysis to 1,410 statements in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today to investigate what kinds of beliefs contribute to coalition formation in the climate change policy debate in the news media in the United States. We find that the beliefs concerning the reality of anthropogenic climate change, the importance of ecology over economy and desirability of governmental regulation divide organizations into three advocacy coalitions: the economy, ecology and science coalitions. Policy preferences such as cap and trade do not; they find support across coalition lines. Based on these findings, we suggest that ACF theory could be clarified to better account for how beliefs concerning policy instruments contribute to coalition formation. In some policy domains, policy instruments are where opposing coalitions find agreement. In others, they are more divisive.

Kukkonen, Anna & Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas & Broadbent, Jeffrey
Advocacy Coalitions, Beliefs and Politics of Climate Change in the United States
Page range
Issue number
Date / Year
Jan 2017
Public Administration