Foreign Policy Change from an Advocacy Coalition Framework Perspective

Roberta Haar, Jonathan J. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Why does a state change its foreign policy objectives and who is responsible for instigating such change? According to Hermann, four primary change agents are central to this process: leaders, bureaucracies, changes in domestic constituencies, and external shocks. This paper argues that the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) is a complementary policy process framework that can explain foreign policy change (FPC) and that accounts for all four of these primary change agents. Additionally, it is
a broader framework of the policy process that facilitates a more comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing FPC than traditional FPC research. The ACF has the potential to broaden our understanding of FPC by emphasizing the intersection of the international system with domestic politics and focusing on a myriad of policy actors coordinating their advocacy efforts to influence FPC. To support this argument, the paper discusses how FPC can benefit from the ACF and reviews past applications. It proposes a research agenda using the ACF to study FPC and draws conclusions about future challenges and directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Studies Review
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2021


  • Foreign affairs
  • Foreign Policy Analysis

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