Skip to main content
Policy Narratives and Policy Processes
Policy Studies Journal (2011)
  • Shanahan A. Elizabeth, Dr., Montana State University
  • Michael D. Jones, Dr., Harvard University
  • McBeth K. Mark, Dr., Idaho State University
The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) has influenced a generation of policy scholars with its emphasis on causal drivers, testable hypotheses, and falsification. Until recently, the role of policy narratives has been largely neglected in ACF literature partially because much of that work has operated outside of traditional social science principles, such as falsification. Yet emerging literature under the rubric of Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) demonstrates how the role of policy narratives in policy processes is studied using the same rigorous social science standards initially set forth by Paul A. Sabatier. The NPF identifies theories specifying narrative elements and strategies that are likely useful to ACF researchers as classes of variables that have yet to be integrated. Examining this proposition, we provide seven hypotheses related to critical ACF concepts including advocacy coalitions and policy beliefs, policy learning, public opinion, and strategy. Our goal is to stay within the scientific, theoretical, and methodological tradition of the ACF and show how NPF’s empirical, hypotheses, and causal driven work on policy narratives identifies theories applicable to ACF research while also offering an independent framework capable of explaining the policy process through the power of policy narratives. In doing so, we believe both ACF and NPF scholarship can contribute to the advancement of our understanding of the policy process.
  • Narrative Policy Framework,
  • Advocacy Coalition Framework,
  • policy stories,
  • policy narratives,
  • policy processes,
  • coalitions,
  • policy change,
  • learning,
  • public opinion
Publication Date
Citation Information
Shanahan A. Elizabeth, Michael D. Jones and McBeth K. Mark. "Policy Narratives and Policy Processes" Policy Studies Journal Vol. 39 Iss. 3 (2011)
Available at: