Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pedro Nuno Teixeira (Editor-in-Chief), Jung-Cheol Shin (Editor-in-Chief)

Advocacy Coalition Framework, Higher Education

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_153-1

Controversy is a common feature in any organization and governing system where there exist divergent value orientations. A number of policy issues in higher education illustrate such controversies, including debates over securing and allocating funds, affordability, and rights to free speech. One approach for understanding these controversies is the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF, Jenkins-Smith et al. 2014).

Through 2016, there have been over 300 applications of the ACF. Most of these applications have focused on North American and Europe, with an increasing number of studies in other parts of the world. Just over half the applications of the ACF have been in environmental policy, followed by health and economic policy. There have been a handful of applications of the ACF to higher education policy issues, including Beverwijk et al. (2008), Shakespeare (2008), Dougherty et al. (2010), Ness (2010), and Balbachevsky (2015).

Main Questions

The scope of the ACF centers around three main...


Advocacy Coalition Coalition Hypothesis Policy Core Beliefs Shared Beliefs Secondary Beliefs 
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  1. Balbachevsky, E. 2015. The role of internal and external stakeholders in Brazilian higher education. In Higher education in BRICS countries, 193–214. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Beverwijk, J., L. Goedegebuure, and J. Huisman. 2008. Policy change in nascent subsystems: Mozambican higher education policy 1993–2003. Policy Sciences 41: 357–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  6. Shakespeare, C. 2008. Uncovering Information’s role in the state higher education policy-making process. Educational Policy 22 (6): 875–899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Weible, Christopher M., Paul A. Sabatier, Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Daniel Nohrstedt, and Adam Douglas Henry. 2011. A quarter century of the advocacy coalition framework: An introduction to the special issue. Policy Studies Journal 39 (3): 349–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public AffairsUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alberto Amaral
    • 1
  • António Magalhães
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.CIPESUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (CIPES)PortoPortugal