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Social movements and public policy

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Title:
Social movements and public policy an examination of the California timber wars
Creator:
Turina, Frank
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xiv, 397 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
1900 - 1999 ( fast )
Lumber trade -- Government policy -- California ( lcsh )
Social movements -- History -- California -- 20th century ( lcsh )
Lumber trade -- Government policy ( fast )
Social movements ( fast )
California ( fast )
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History. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
History ( fast )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 356-397).
General Note:
School of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Frank Turina.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
465014980 ( OCLC )
ocn465014980
Classification:
LD1193.P86 2009d T87 ( lcc )

Full Text
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND PUBLIC POLICY: AN EXAMINATION OF THE
CALIFORNIA TIMBER WARS
by
Frank Turina
B.S., University of Pennsylvania, 1985
MEPM, University of Denver, 1993
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Affairs
2009


2009 by Frank Turina
All rights reserved.


This Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Frank Turina
has been approved
by
Christopher Weible
Date
athryh Hochstetler


Turina, Frank (Ph.D., Public Affairs)
Social Movements and Public Policy: An Examination of the California Timber Wars
Thesis directed by Professor Peter deLeon
ABSTRACT
American history is filled with evidence of the power of social movements,
protest, and civil disobedience in affecting political and social change. This
dissertation examines the role of social movements in the policy process by
examining a policy dispute characterized by high levels of social movement activity
using concepts from a contemporary policy theory, specifically the Advocacy
Coalition Framework (ACF). Drawing on concepts from social movement theory, the
research examines the usefulness of ACF in describing the process of policy change
and learning in arenas in which social movements are active. The research adds to our
understanding of the political effectiveness of social movements. Are they important
actors in the process of policy change (Tarrow, 2001), or merely irrational outbursts
with little impact on institutional power (Jenkins, 1995)? If, as many believe, social
movements can affect policy, how is this achieved? How do social movements


interact with other actors in a policy subsystem and what effect do those interactions
have on the policy process? These questions are addressed through a qualitative case
study of the California Timber Wars from 1987 to 1999. The Timber Wars describe a
13 year period of nearly constant protests, demonstrations, and civil disobedience
over timber harvests in northern California.
Results suggest that social movements escalate conflict by focusing debate
and discussion on core values and generating high levels of intense emotion, such as
anger, anxiety, and enthusiasm. This focus on core values and emotional intensity
engenders a strong aversion to compromise, as any attempt to negotiate or deal with
the opposing coalition is viewed as a violation of core values. As ACF predicts,
policy learning is unlikely under such conditions. The result is often a policy
stalemate, characterized by failed legislation and policy initiatives and an increase in
litigation and legal challenges.
When a stalemate occurs, an important mechanism for policy change is a
negotiated agreement forged with the assistance of a policy broker. However, the
focus on core values and emotion create a politically risky environment for potential
policy brokers. In such cases, policy brokers must overcome disincentives created by
the political risk.


This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed]
Peter deLeon


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
There have been many people who have graciously contributed their support,
guidance and inspiration to this effort. First and foremost, I would like to thank my
parents. Dad instilled in me an unquenchable curiosity about the world. Mom
provided a steady supply of prayers and support. Without them I would have had
neither the aspiration nor the perseverance to achieve this goal. I would also like to
thank Ramona Gonzales, my best friend and constant source of support and
perspective. The constant encouragement and patience of my friends and colleagues
at the National Park Service also helped make this endeavor possible. Special thanks
go to Karen Trevino and Dr. Kurt Fristrup for their unending support.
The completion of this dissertation benefitted immensely from the
contributions of my committee Drs. Peter deLeon, Chris Weible, Lori Peek, Bob
Gage, and Kathryn Hochstetler. The diversity of their expertise and research
experience added to depth and rigor of this analysis. In particular, I would like to
thank Dr. Peter deLeon. His insightful advice and patience over the past several years
served as the foundation on which this dissertation was constructed. Without the
support and encouragement of my family, friends, colleagues, and committee
members, completion of this dissertation would not have been possible. Please accept
my deepest and most sincere Thank you.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures........................................................xiii
Tables..........................................................xiv
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.........................................................1
Definitions of Movements...................................3
Impacts of Movements on the Policy Process................11
Research Purpose and Questions............................14
Organization of the Dissertation..........................17
2. LITERATURE REVIEW...................................................20
Social Movement Theory....................................23
Political Process Theory............................26
Political Elites, Allies and Coalitions.............28
Venue Shopping......................................32
New Social Movements......................................34
Beliefs.............................................35
Emotions............................................41
Policy Theory.............................................44
Elites, Allies, Coalitions..........................47
viii


Venue Shopping........................................49
Use of Courts........................................51
Belief Systems.......................................58
Emotions.............................................60
Policy Entrepreneurs and Brokers.....................71
Social Movements and the Advocacy Coalition Framework.......73
Proposition 1........................................75
Proposition 2........................................76
Proposition 3........................................79
Conclusion..................................................84
3. METHODOLOGY...........................................................88
Case Studies................................................90
Constant Comparative Analysis...............................92
Use of Computers for Constant Comparative Analysis...94
Data Collection.............................................95
Newspaper Coverage...................................96
Legislative Data and Public Comments................100
Interviews..........................................101
Data Entry.................................................108
ix


Coding
109
Taxonomic Analysis..........................................114
Ensuring Research Quality...................................115
Credibility...........................................116
Transferability.......................................117
Dependability and Confirmability......................118
Researcher Bias.......................................122
4. THE HEADWATERS FOREST DISPUTE..........................................126
Background..................................................127
1918- 1986............................................127
1987 ................................................134
1988 ................................................137
1989-1990 Initiatives.......................................143
1989 ................................................144
1990 ................................................149
1991-1995 Legislation.......................................168
1991 ................................................169
1992 ................................................176
1993 ................................................184
x


1994 ..............................................189
1995 ..............................................192
1996-1999 The Deal........................................200
1996 ..............................................200
1997 ..............................................210
1998 ..............................................215
1999 ..............................................221
Summary...................................................225
5. ANALYSIS............................................................232
Emergent Themes...........................................235
Dichotomous Advocacy Coalitions....................235
Arguments Based on Deep Core and Policy Core Beliefs
Escalated Conflict.................................253
Emotions...........................................262
Minimal Policy Learning............................265
Refusal to Compromise..............................272
Legal Challenges and Litigations...................286
Political Risk.....................................290
Conclusion................................................298
xi


6. CONCLUSIONS
302
Theoretical Propositions...............................302
Revisiting the Literature..............................310
Beliefs..........................................311
Emotions.........................................312
Refusal to Compromise............................315
Use of the Courts................................317
Policy Brokers and Political Risk......................322
Conceptual Framework...................................323
Limitations of Findings................................327
Future Research........................................329
Practical Implications.................................331
Final Thoughts.........................................333
A. INTERVIEW GUIDE..................................................337
B. FINAL CODING STRUCTURE...........................................340
C. INTERCODER RELIABILITY...........................................349
D. TAXONOMY OF EMOTIONS.............................................351
BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................355
xii


FIGURES
Figure
2.1 RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN EMOTIONS, DESIRE,
ACTION, INFORMATION AND BELIEFS.................62
4.1 HEADWATERS FOREST MAP..........................132
6.1 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING
THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS..............323
xiii


TABLES
Table
3.1 NEWSPAPER ARTICLES SAMPLING SCHEME............97
3.2 INTERVIEW SUBJECTS............................104
4.1 STATE BILLS INTRODUCED........................225
4.2 FEDERAL BILLS INTRODUCED......................227
4.3 COURT CASES FILED.............................228
C. 1 COMPARISON OF CONCEPTS IDENTIFIED BY PRIMARY
RESEARCHER AND INDEPENDENT CODER..............349
D. l TAXONOMY OF EMOTIONS..........................351
xiv


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards of men.
~ Abraham Lincoln
According to many social and political scientists, the U.S., Britain, Germany,
and other western democracies are experiencing a new wave of protest politics
(Rimmerman, 1997; Cramer, 1998; Taylor, 1995a) Among the groups associated
with this trend are an increasing number of environmental organizations ranging from
more militant groups such as the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) to those advocating a
more non-violent type of resistance such as the Rainforest Action Network (RAN),
Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace.
The most recent rise in environmental movement activity can be traced to
1981 when a group of five disaffected environmentalists, discouraged by the
increasing institutionalization of mainstream environmental groups, formed a radical
group called Earth First! (EF!). With the symbolic cracking of Glen Canyon Dam
in northern Arizona, EF! began a series of protests and civil disobedience events that
continue to this day. According to EF! founder Dave Forman, Glen Canyon Dam is
1


symbolic of the industrial conquest of the wilderness (Quoted in Bergman, 1998,
p.l). On the day of the 1981 vernal equinox, Forman and the other EF! founding
members gathered at the dam for what Ed Abbey sarcastically called spring rites
(Quoted in Bergman, 1998, p.l). Using three 100-by-20-foot rolls of black plastic,
1,000 feet of duct tape, and 1,000 feet of nylon rope, they created what looked to be a
300-foot crack down the middle of Glen Canyon Dam. The caper put EF! on the map,
and started a revival of the environmental movement that many felt had become
institutionalized and ineffective during the 1970s.
Since then, EF! and a number of splinter groups, including ELF and RAN,
have conducted hundreds of actions designed to stop what they describe as the
destruction of the natural environment. The old-growth timber controversy that
raged in the Pacific Northwest during the 1980s and 1990s served as an iconic issue
for direct action environmental groups. Activists lived in platforms located hundreds
of feet above the ground in the branches of thousand year-old redwoods. They staged
massive rallies and demonstrations, blocked logging roads to delay the harvesting of
old-growth timber, and chained themselves to bulldozers, cranes, graders, and other
vehicles in response to perceived ecological destruction. When advantageous, some
of the groups have worked within the political and legal system by initiating lawsuits
to stop destructive logging practices and protect endangered species. When their
legal recourses were limited, some groups turned to tactics designed to make
destruction of the environment less profitable. These tactics have included destroying
2


machinery, placing metal and ceramic spikes in trees to discourage logging and, at
times, arson. In this way, environmental groups have caused millions of dollars in
losses to industries involved in resource extraction and gained wide-spread public
attention. Although the disruption caused by the environmental movement is well
documented, literature on the political effectiveness of movement activities is sparse
(Taylor, 1995b, Giugni, 2004).
One of the issues that have inhibited our understanding of how social
movements affect policy is the lack of a universally accepted definition of a social
movement. In order to study their effectiveness, the term social movement must be
clearly defined.
Definitions of Movements
It is safe to say that definitions proliferate in the social movement literature.
Each definition emphasizes different aspects of social movements, and implies
different mechanisms for achieving desired outcomes. McCarthy and Zald (1977,
p.1217) define a social movement as a set of opinions and beliefs in a population
which represents preferences for changing some elements of the social structure
and/or reward distribution of society. According to Tilly (1984, p.305), a social
movement is a sustained interaction between a specific set of authorities and various
spokespersons for a given challenge to those authorities. These definitions agree that
social movements seek to effect change in the social structure; however, they run the
3


risk of being overly broad. For example, these definitions would arguably include
conventional interest groups and party politics within their bounds. Interest groups,
such as the Sierra Club or the National Rifle Association, act on a set of shared
opinions and beliefs and routinely interact with political authorities to create desired
political and social changes. Similarly, the minority party in the United States
interacts with the majority to change the social structure and the distribution of
rewards within the society (Burstein, 1999).
To Rochon (1998) the defining trait of social movements is that they seek to
change both cultural values and government policies. New ideas and values related to
a problem and its solution occur within a relatively small community of critical
thinkers who have developed a sensitivity to some problem [emphasis added]
(Rochon, 1998, p. 21). Rochon (1998, p. 21) calls these groups critical
communities. Once the new ideas and values are developed within the critical
community, they are diffused throughout the political and social arena by movements.
The movement is interested in winning social and political acceptance of the new
values. Thus movements have been categorized in the literature as either social or
political depending on the primary arena in which they operate. According to
Rochon (1998, p. 31):
It is conventional both in scholarship and everyday speech to
distinguish between social and political movements. There are
important differences between the two. Social movements seek to
spread the values of the critical community throughout the society.
4


Political movements seek authoritative sanctioning of new values in
the form of binding laws and regulations. When we label a movement
as being political or social, we are saying that one or the other strategy
of cultural change takes precedence within that movement.
Rochon (1998) acknowledges that although a movement may emphasize one
cultural arena over another, social movements generally have a political agenda and
political movements require some level of social support in order to be successful.
Indeed the dual functions of movements are interrelated and interdependent, and the
most effective movements blend activity in both arenas in order to change cultural
values while enacting a political agenda. In keeping with the dominant approach in
the literature, this dissertation uses the term social movement to refer to both the
political and social aspects of movement activities. However, Rochons (1998)
framework illustrates the importance of considering the social consequence of
movement activity as well as the political effects.
More recent definitions distinguish social movements and social movement
organizations (SMO) from other political phenomena. A defining factor of social
movements is that they are situated at the margins of the political system. They are
generally less institutionalized than interest groups, have fewer routine ties with
government, and their constituencies generally lack formal representation in the
political system. A key feature of most definitions concerns the willingness of
movements to apply unconventional or disruptive actions to bring about or oppose
change (Aminzade, 1995). Traugott (1978, p. 45) describes this characteristic of
5


social movements as an anti-institutional stance that is expressed through illegal
behavior aimed at the reconstitution or overthrow of the structures it attacks or by the
willingness to engage in or envision acts that when successful bring it into an
inevitable confrontation with the existing order. According to Mellucci (1995),
activities of social movements are beyond the limits of compatibility with the system
in question. Movements deliberately break the generally accepted the rules of the
game, consistently put forward non-negotiable objectives, and fundamentally
question the very legitimacy of power. The marginality and the frequent use of
unconventional or disruptive actions exclude many political parties and mainstream
interest groups from the field of social movement research. However, the distinction
is not clearcut, as these characteristics represent continuums of marginalization and
willingness to use disruptive tactics. Some accepted political parties, such as the
Green Party, have at times participated in protests, and some mainstream groups have
been involved in direct action. These organizations can at times, then, be considered
part of a social movement.
Burstein (1999) dismisses political parties from the study of social movements
based on legal grounds; however, he questions the usefulness of a distinction between
interest groups and social movement organizations (SMOs). According to Burstein
(1999, p. 8),
It is most useful to think of there being two types of nongovernmental
political organizations political parties, which have special legal
6


status; and what we might call interest organizations (a combination
of interest groups and social movement organizations), which do not...
Thus any hypothesis about the impact on public policy of
organizations conventionally labeled SMOs will also apply to those
that have been conventionally labeled interest groups, and most will
apply to political parties as well. Accepting this fact will help us
understand democratic politics, because it implies that we need just
one theory about collective action in the context of democratic politics,
not multiple theories about proportionately different types of
organizations.
Burstein, however, ignores several fundamental differences between SMOs
and interest groups. SMOs often view interest groups as an integral part of the
political and social system that they challenging. EF!, for example emerged in direct
response to the perceived institutionalization of existing environmental groups.
Conversely, interest groups in many cases distance themselves from the beliefs and
actions of social movement participants (Taylor, 1995b). SMOs coexist with interest
groups and their attempts to bring about political and social change often overlap. At
times the relationships between SMOs and interest groups are collaborative, at other
times interest groups try to distance themselves from the confrontational tactics used
by direct action groups. Thus, SMOs can be distinguished by their tactics. According
to Della Porta and Diani (1999, p. 15),
.. .the idea that social movements may be distinguished from other
political actors because of their adoption of unusual patterns of
political behavior is still very popular. Several scholars maintain that
the fundamental distinction between movements and other social and
political actors is to be found in contrast between conventional styles
of political participation and public protest.... it is undoubtedly a
distinctive feature of political movements.
7


According to Della Porta and Diani (1999, p.16), another distinction between
social movements and other political actors is reflected in their level of organization:
social movements are not organizations, not even of a particular
kind. They are networks of interaction between different factors
which may include formal organizations or not, depending on
shifting circumstances. As a consequence, a single organization,
whatever its dominant traits, is not a social movement. Of course it
may be part of one, but the two are not identical, as they reflect
different organizational principles.
In an effort to summarize existing definitions, Della Porta and Diani (1999)
identified four characteristics common to conceptions of social movements. First,
movements are often conceived of as informal interaction networks between a
plurality of individuals, groups, and organizations. Second, network members must
share a set of beliefs, and a strong sense of belonging and solidarity. Third, social
movement actors are engaged in political and/or cultural conflicts with a greater goal
of promoting or opposing social change. Fourth, social movements utilize non-
institutional tactics and behaviors.
This brings us to Della Porta and Dianis (1999, p.16) definition of social
movements that is used in this dissertation.
We will consider social movements and, in particular, their political
component as (1) informal networks, based on (2) shared beliefs and
solidarity, which mobilize about (3) conflictual issues, through (4) the
frequent use of various forms of protest.
This definition provides a set of useful criteria for distinguishing between
social movements and other political actors. Based on this definition, political parties
8


are not considered components of social movements unless they engage in political
protest beyond the normal constraints of the political system. Similarly, many interest
groups, such as the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society, are generally excluded
from the definition of movements unless they align themselves with the shared beliefs
of the movement and participate in or support non-institutional actions.
Several social movement scholars have noted that many of the characteristics
of social movements operate along a continuum (Marshall and Anderson, 2008;
Oberschall, 1993). For example, Oberschall (1993, p. 22-23) provides a useful
continuum describing the activity levels of groups and individual within a movement.
Levels of involvement range from core activists including leaders and activists who
work more or less full time for the movement to part time participants and transitory
teams who support the actions of core activists. Further along the continuum are
sponsors who may make small financial donations and sympathizers which
include sympathetic but passive bystanders (Marshall and Anderson, 2008, p. 16).
Similarly, McAdam (1996) suggests that characteristics such as the degree of
radicalism and levels of cooperation between social movements and political
institutions are best conceived as continuums. This approach is useful when
considering the four defining characteristics of social movements identified by Della
Porta and Diani (1999)
9


Della Porta and Dianis (1999) definition of social movements also shares
many characteristics with the concept of advocacy coalitions. According to Sabatier
and Jenkins-Smith (1993, p.5):
An advocacy coalition consists of actors from a variety of public and
private institutions at all levels of government who share a set of
beliefs (policy goals plus causal and other perceptions) and who seek
to manipulate the rules, budgets, and personnel of governmental
institutions in order to achieve these goals over time.
Advocacy coalitions and social movements both consist of interactions among
a network groups and individual that share a common set of fundamental beliefs
about a problem and potential solutions. Participants in social movements and
advocacy coalitions coordinate their activity in order to manifest their beliefs in
governmental policy. Social movements typically emerge in high conflict disputes
and ACF has been shown to be particularly well suited to addressing and explaining
high levels of conflict. (Weible, 2008; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999).
However an important characteristic that distinguishes social movements from
advocacy coalitions is social movements reliance on various forms of protest.
Participation in or support of protest in the form of demonstrations, rallies, civil
disobedience and other forms of public disruption are a defining feature of social
movements, however no such reliance on protest is required of advocacy coalition
members. As such, a social movement can be conceived of as a subset of advocacy
coalition members who participate in and support public protest as a means of
achieving political goals.
10


Impacts of Movements on the Policy Process
American history is filled with evidence of the power of social movements,
protest, and civil disobedience in affecting significant political and social change.
Political and social activists have been influencing the political environment in the
U.S. since before the Revolutionary War. It has been noted that the Boston Tea Party
had a significant impact on efforts to gain independence from Britain (Labaree,
1979), and that the decades of protests and civil disobedience in support of womens
suffrage, such as Susan B. Anthonys 1872 arrest for illegal voting, contributed to
public support for the 19th Amendment (Linder, 2001). Similarly, the abolitionist
movement is often credited for building opposition to slavery that culminated in the
Civil War (Railton, 2004) and the 13, 14, and 15th amendments to the U.S.
Constitution. Throughout the 19 and 20 centuries, the U.S. labor movement staged
numerous protests, demonstration, and strikes. Studies and reports have credited the
unions with important changes in labor law and policies involving worker health and
safety, wages, benefits, and working conditions (LeBlanc, 1999).
Arguably, the 1960s demonstrated the influence of mass mobilization and
social movements on public policy like no other time in history. Movements related
to various social issues emerged during this period, with dramatic effects on the
political landscape of the U.S. The Civil Rights movement that had begun to gain
momentum in the 1950s continued to develop in the 1960s. Mass demonstration led
11


by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others placed increasing pressure on the
political leadership. The result was a flurry of Civil Rights legislation including the
repeal of the poll tax making it easier for black Americans to vote; the passage of the
Civil Rights Act (1964) prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, or
national origin and providing the federal government with the power to enforce
desegregation; passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; establishment of
affirmative action; and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting
discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing. Although the relative
importance of demonstrations and mass mobilizations in the civil rights movement
has been debated, its position as one of the most politically productive social
movements in U.S. history and its effect on the postwar political environment is well
documented (Williams and Bond, 1988; US. Department of the Interior, et. al., 2004).
At the same time, opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict was
gaining momentum. Numerous demonstrations, including a 1970 march at Kent State
University where six student activists were killed by the Ohio National Guard,
brought national attention to efforts to end the war (Hensley and Lewis, 1978).
According to Small (1987), the American movement against the Vietnam War played
a central role in the formulation of American foreign policy. During the
Administrations of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, dissenting
activities, especially several large demonstrations captured the attention of
12


Administration officials and contributed to the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1975
(Small, 1987; Garfinkle, 1995).
The environmental movement was also taking shape in the 1960s. Rising
concern about the environmental crisis was sweeping the nations campuses with an
intensity that rivaled student discontent over the war in Vietnam (Vig and Kraft,
2000). On the first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets,
parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy and sustainable environment.
Earth Day staff organized massive coast-to-coast rallies and thousands of colleges
and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.
Earth day and similar grassroots efforts contributed to a groundswell of support of
environmental programs. This support contributed to the creation of the
Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and passage of landmark environmental
legislation including the Clean Air Act of 1970, Clean Water Act of 1972, and
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Vig and Kraft, 2000).
More recent mobilizations including the nuclear freeze (Knopf, 1998; deLeon,
1983) womens rights (Buechler, 1990), anti nuclear power (Herring and Elliott,
2006), and gay rights movements (Smith, 2003) have had similar effects on agenda
setting and U.S. policy development. Although it is clear that social movements are
not required for governments to take notice of and address an issue, studies (Agnone,
2007; Knopf, 1998; Joppke, 1992; Piven and Cloward, 1977) have suggested that the
13


emergence and development of movements is strongly associated with major policy
shifts in the U.S. Despite this evidence, political scholars have paid little attention to
the role of social movements in the policy process.
Research Purpose and Questions
Until the 1960s, when students of the policy process considered the influence
of social movements, they viewed them through the lens of Marxism. That is,
drawing on sociological perspectives, social movements were viewed as attempts by
the working class and underprivileged to obtain material advantages from the
proletariat. However, in the 1960s, a new type of movement began to emerge.
Protests were waged by members of the middle and upper classes over issues such as
environmental quality and nuclear weapons that had little direct relationship to
material gains. Termed new social movements, these movements caused many
scholars to lose favor with the ability of Marxist theory to explain mass mobilizations
(Boggs, 1986; Della Porta and Diani, 1999).
Since the shortcomings of Marxist theory became apparent to most scholars,
social movement theory has neglected policy effects and focused on the factors and
conditions affecting movement creation, development, tactics, size, organization,
leadership, available resources, objectives, and similar characteristics (Della Porta
and Diani, 1999). Social movement scholars have primarily focused on those who
were contesting power rather than their relationship with the powerful. Earl (2000,
14


p.5) describes these studies as intra-movement outcomes and claims that the study
of intra-movement outcomes has developed understanding across several topics of
inquiry. In contrast, extra-movement outcomes are associated with broader
changes in politics or culture (p.5). In Earls (2000) view, the study of intra-
movement outcomes is far more developed than the study of extra-movement
outcomes (p.4).
Likewise, theories of public policy formation have either downplayed the role
of radical groups and direct action in policy change, or ignored them entirely
(Jenkins, 1995; Baumgartner and Jones, 1993; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999).
Policy theorists have done little to fill the void left by Marxism in understanding the
political impacts of social movements. During the past 30 years, policy theorists have
largely focused on those who hold and wield power rather than studying their
challengers. Political theories largely ignored movements, contending that they
constituted irrational and episodic outbursts with little impact on institutional power
or policy development (Jenkins, 1995). Concerns expressed by Jenkins (1995) and
Giugni (2004) clearly indicate that the relationship between the state and social
movements constitutes a major gap in existing social movement and policy
literatures.
In response to this gap, scholars have called for a synthesis of movement and
policy theories. According to Jenkins (1995, p. 34), movement studies
15


need to draw on ideas developed in other fields. Students of the state,
for example, have developed a rich conceptual understanding of the
nature of the state and political processes, but have paid little attention
to social movements.
This sentiment was echoed recently by political scientist Marco Giugni (2004,
p.l) who stated that
Although social movement activists spend much of their time trying
to change the world, and although we think that social movements
matter, our theoretical and empirical knowledge in this field is still
relatively poor. We must pay more attention to the impact of protest
activities than has been done in the past.
The focus of this dissertation is to examine a policy dispute that was
characterized by high levels of social movement activity using concepts from a
contemporary policy theory, specifically the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF).
Several scholars have examined the role of social movements in the policy process
(Gamson, 1990; Knopf, 1998; Libby, 1998; Burstien, et al, 1995; Giugni, 2004).
However, these studies failed to capitalize on the theoretical progress made by policy
scholars in recent years, and none of them drew on the conceptual power that theories
such as ACF can potentially provide. Jenkins (1995) called on political scientists to
bring the power of policy theory to bear on the role of social movements in the
political process. This dissertation responds to that challenge.
This dissertation is designed to address both practical and theoretical
questions related to social movements and the policy process. On a theoretical level,
it examines the role that social movements play in policy change using ACF.
16


Drawing on concepts from social movement theory, the research examines the
usefulness of ACF in describing the process of policy change and learning in arenas
characterized by high levels of social movement activity. On a practical level, the
research adds to our understanding of the effectiveness of social movements. Are
they important actors in the process of policy change (Tarrow, 2001), or merely
irrational outbursts with little impact on institutional power (Jenkins, 1995)? If, as
many believe, social movements can affect policy, how is this achieved? How do
social movements interact with other actors in a policy subsystem and what effect do
those interactions have on the policy process?
These questions will be addressed through a detailed case study of the
California Timber Wars from 1987 to 1999. The Timber Wars describe a 13 year
period of nearly constant protests, demonstrations, and civil disobedience over timber
harvests in northern California. The Timber Wars involved three interrelated goals 1.
to limit the overharvesting of California forests, 2. to end the practice of clearcutting
old growth forests, and 3. to protect Californias Headwaters Forest, one of the
countrys largest privately-owned stand of ancient redwoods.
Organization of the Dissertation
This dissertation is organized into six chapters. Chapter Two discusses the
theoretical framework that guides the research. It focuses on relevant aspects of ACF,
as well as concepts from social movement theory and presents three propositions that
17


will guide the research. By drawing on theories from both social movement and
policy literatures, the research develops an understanding of social movements that is
rooted in both fields.
Chapter Three outlines the methodology used to collect and analyze data
related to the Timber Wars. Data were collected from newspaper accounts of the
dispute, interviews of participants from each identified advocacy coalition, and
testimony from public and legislative hearings. Collected data were analyzed using
constant comparative analysis. The chapter discusses data collection and analysis
protocols and procedures for ensuring research quality.
Chapter Four provides a descriptive account of the Timber Wars. It provides a
detailed chronology of movement actions that took place in the streets and forests of
northern California. It also explains related activities in the California legislature and
the U.S. Congress and describes the litigation and legal challenges that occurred.
Chapter Five provides the results of the constant comparative analysis and
describes the concepts and themes that emerged from the data. In keeping with the
qualitative approach, Chapter Five illustrates and supports the themes that emerged
from the data during constant comparative analysis with a liberal use of excerpts from
interviews, newspaper articles, and public testimony related to the dispute.
Chapter Six interprets the results, and presents conclusions and implications
for further research. It addresses the ability of ACF to describe the process of policy
18


change and learning in policy disputes involving social movements. It also identifies
additional research possibilities to further enhance our understanding of the role of
social movements in the policy process.
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CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
We were trying to increase the conflict that was already happening...we felt
that we would take the conflict to so high a level that some change had to come.
Huey P. Newton (1942-1989) Founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-
Defense
As methods and techniques of qualitative research have evolved, a debate over
the role of extant literature and theory has emerged. The question that naturalistic
researchers must ask is how the existing literature can be used to enhance rather than
constrain an investigation. Qualitative researchers have cautioned that too much
reliance on existing theory and positivistic methodology can hinder sensitivity to
emerging concepts and blind researchers to the richness of the incoming data (Glaser
and Strauss, 1967). Glaser and Strauss (1967) argue that it is impossible to know
prior to the investigation what the salient problems will be or what theoretical
concepts will emerge and that dependence on existing literature can stifle a
researchers ability to identify patterns and relationships in the data.
However, Strauss and Corbin (1998) describe several ways in which technical
literature can be used to enhance qualitative research. First, concepts from t
20


literature can provide a basis for comparing and clarifying emerging concepts. If a
concept emerges from the data that seems similar or opposite to one recalled from
the literature, then the concepts can be compared in terms of their properties and
dimensions. Second, familiarity with concepts identified in the literature can enhance
sensitivity to subtle nuances in the data. According to Strauss and Corbin (1998, p.
49), some concepts might turn up over and over again in the literature and also
appear in the data and, thus, might seem significant. Similarly Berg (2001, p.16)
states that one of the most important reasons researchers turn to previous studies and
relevant literature about a topic to be studied is to identify relevant concepts and their
definitions. Third, if a goal of the research is to develop or extend an existing theory,
the researcher might have some of the concepts and relationships anticipated by the
theory in mind and examine how their properties and dimensions vary under different
conditions and contexts. Fourth, existing literature can be used to develop an initial
set of questions for interviews.
Other researchers (Hancock, et.al., 2007) also recognize an important role for
existing literature in qualitative analysis. They recognize that while some proponents
of qualitative analysis imply that you should not read any relevant literature before
doing a research project, reality is rather different, and there is no reason not to
explore and test pre-existing theory, as long as you are sensitive to the possibility of
emergent theory (Hancock, et.al., 2007, p. 13).
21


Coffey and Atkinson (1996: 157) emphasize that formal theory is appropriate
in naturalistic inquiry:
... we can also recognize that theories usefully can be thought of as
heuristic tools. In other words, we use concepts, theories and ideas
constructively and creatively... Regularities in data whether of form
or content must be associated with ideas that go beyond those data
themselves.
Yin (1994) prescribes a much stronger role for theory in case study design.
Yin states that the development of a theoretical framework prior to data collection is
an important difference between case studies and other types of qualitative inquiry.
The goal of the framework is to provide a blueprint for the study based on theoretical
propositions derived from the existing literature. According to Earlandson, et.al
(1990) propositions are working hypotheses that should not be viewed as a priori null
hypotheses designed to be accepted or rejected. Rather they are:
general statements applicable to the specific context under
investigation. These formulations give meaning and direction to the
research. They are tools used to give guidance to the project and
should be progressively modified and refined as patterns and
phenomena emerge (Earlandson, et.al., 1990, p. 61).
This chapter describes previous studies that address the role of social
movements in the policy process. The purpose of the chapter is to situate the current
study within the extant literature, identify important concepts and variables identified
in previous studies, and develop preliminary theoretical propositions to guide the
research effort. In the first part of the chapter, we examine the social movement
literature to determine the extent to which it addresses the effects of movements on
22


policy change and identify concepts relevant to the effect of social movements on the
policy process. The second section focuses on the policy literature to determine what
policy theories are able to tell us about the outcomes of movement actions. This
section examines the concepts identified in the social movement literature to ascertain
the extent to which they are addressed in policy theories. The final section of this
chapter presents several theoretical propositions based on ACF that guide this
research.
Social Movement Theory
The formal study of social movements began with Karl Marx and Friedrich
Engels (1906), and the publication of The Manifesto of the Communist Party.
According to Bookchin (1998, p.9), Marx and Engels brought theory to the service
of building a movement. Marx (1906) viewed society as interactions among the
working class (the proletariat) and the ruling class (the bourgeois) in the context of
production. For Marx (1906), the base of society is production, and the way that
production is organized shapes all other things in society. The superstructure is
everything else in society not directly involved in production, such as the state,
family, education, religion, mass media and legal system. The superstructure of
society is built on and shaped by the base. The superstructure reflects the ideological
interests of the ruling class and therefore legitimates the economic base. Conflict
arises when the proletariat rises up against the bourgeois:
23


Masses of laborers, crowded into the factory, are organized like
soldiers. As privates of the industrial army, they are placed under the
command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are
they slaves of the class, and of the bourgeois state; they are daily and
hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, the
individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this
despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the
more hateful and the more embittering it is.. .Thereupon, the workers
begin to form combinations (trade unions) against the bourgeois; they
club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found
permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for
these occasional revolts. Here and there, the contest breaks out into
riots. (Marx, 1906, p. 8-9)
For several decades, Marxism guided and legitimated the understanding of
social movements. As Bookchin (1998, p. 6) states,
...socialist organizations and movements that professed to seek justice
for the oppressed had to validate their standing with the emerging
working class in its conflict with the bourgeoisie. After the publication
of The Manifesto, class struggle was taken for granted among such
movements...
However, in the 1960s, a shift in the character of social movements began to
take shape that challenged Marxist theories. The movements since the 1960s differ
from the traditional Marxist view in a number of important ways. Contemporary
social movements are often based on common interests other than social class. They
tend to revolve around social issues rather than group interests, and they involve
relatively less hierarchical organization (Boggs, 1986). Although some aspects of
Marxism remain relevant to contemporary movements (Offe, 1985), to most scholars
its role as the dominant theory of social movements and political change appears to be
over (Boggs, 1986; Della Porta and Diani, 1999).
24


In response to the shift in our understanding of social movements, scholars
have been busy adapting definitions, theories, and models for studying movement
dynamics. Della Porta and Diani (1999) identify four post-Marxist theoretical lenses
through which movement dynamics are often viewed by social movement scholars:
collective behavior, resource mobilization, new social movements, and political
process theories. The following sections describe the two approaches with the
greatest potential for describing the effect of social movements in the policy process:
political process theory and new social movement theory.
Political process theory is useful in describing potential impacts of social
movements due to its emphasis on the relationship between political institutions,
actors and protest. The political process approach focuses on interactions between
social movements and other elements of the policy arena (Della Porta and Diani,
1999). Similarly, several policy theories (including ACF) tend to focus on
interactions among participants within the policy subsystem. As a result of this
similarity of focus, political process theory share several important concepts such as
coalitions, political elites, and allies. New social movement theory also focuses on
concepts that are important elements of policy theories, especially ACF. For example,
new social movement theorys focus on culture, ideology, generalized beliefs, and
values is consistent with ACFs emphasis on the role of belief systems in the
formation of advocacy coalitions and policy change.
25


Political Process Theory
Not surprisingly, the political process approach holds great promise for a
theoretical synthesis between the social movement and policy process fields. Like
most movement theories, the approach has been widely used to explain the impact of
political context on movement creation, development, and tactics. However, its
potential value in explaining how movements influence the policy process has
generally been ignored (Della Porta and Diani, 1999).
Political process theories acknowledge the importance of political opportunity
structures in the development and activities of social movements. The central focus
of political opportunity structures is the relationship between institutional and
political actors and protest. In effect, the theories examine the external political
environment in which the movements operate. Political opportunity structures are
defined as the consistent but not necessarily formal or permanent dimensions of
the political environment that provide incentives for collective action (Tarrow
1998a, p. 77). According to Kitschelt (1986, p. 58), political opportunity structures
are comprised of specific configurations of resources, institutional arrangements and
historical precedents for social mobilisation, which facilitate the development of
protest movements in some instances and constrain them in others.
Social movement scholars have identified a multitude of factors that comprise
political opportunity structures. A partial list of factors includes: the degree of
26


centralization/decentralization of power; government control over market processes;
openness of state structures to public input; use of ballot initiatives, referenda and
other forms of direct democracy; divisions within and between parties; ideological
divisions among elites; levels of bureaucratic professionalism; levels of state
repression against movement activities; and the strength of police action in response
to protest. As a result of this extensive array of variables, a growing critique of the
political opportunity structure concept is that it has become a dustbin for any and
every variable relevant to the development of social movements (Della Porta and
Diani, 1999, p. 223). The difficulties in operationalizing the concept has led some
social movement scholars to advocate abandoning the concept altogether. Gamson
and Meyer (1996) warn that:
the concept of political opportunity structure is in danger of becoming
a sponge that soaks up virtually every aspect of the social movement
environment... [it is] used to explain so much that it may ultimately
explain nothing at all (p. 275)
Political process theory has generated an abundance of political variables and
conditions that are considered important to the likelihood of movement success in the
political arena. Of these, political elites and allies, and coalition building are
commonly discussed in political process frameworks and also play a key role in
analogous public policy theories.
27


Political Elites, Allies and Coalitions
One element that may influence the political outcomes of social movements is
the existence of political elites sympathetic to movement demands (Piven and
Cloward, 1977; Amenta, 1998). According to Meyer (2005, p.l 1) To be sure, a
movement without allies working in mainstream politics will be hard-pressed to make
inroads in the policy process. Giugni and Passy (1998) agree that mobilization
levels have little direct impact on policy change, except when the movement has
strong support from influential political allies.
Amenta (2005) suggests that influential political allies must adopt the goals of
social movement activists. His work emphasizes that social movement activists and
leaders cannot directly effect policy change by, for example, introducing a bill in
Congress; rather, they depend on the efforts of others located within mainstream
political institutions. The outcomes of social protest depend on the political regimes
in place, the relevant bureaucrats in charge, and the nature of current programs in
place (Jenness, et.al. 2005). McCarthy (2005) builds on this idea claiming that elites
often use social movements as a tool, mobilizing citizen groups to advocate preferred
policies, a process he calls top-down mobilization.
Other authors also suggest that movement outcomes are strongly dependent on
state capacities and political alliances (e.g. Giugni, 2004; Kriesi et al., 1995;
Kitschelt, 1986; Tarrow, 1998a). Lipskys (1970) research on the rent strike in
28


Harlem illustrated the importance of expanding the conflict to include sympathetic
elites. According to Lipsky (1970), the protest leaders best hope for changing public
policies is through the systematic intervention of interested third parties who have the
power he or she lacks to influence public officials. Protest is viewed as a tool for
drawing public attention to injustices or inequities that had previously been ignored.
More recently, Giugni (2004) developed a joint-effect model to describe
social movement outcomes. He argues that the presence of institutional allies is one
of the most important factors for achieving policy change. He also states (p.5):
Apart from exceptional situations, only by establishing alliances with
important institutional actors will [social movements] be in a position
that allows them to influence the decision-making process...For
example, Kriesi and colleagues (1995) have argued that when a
movements major ally is in government, the chances are higher that
the movement will see its demands met and hence obtain substantial
gains. In addition, as Tarrow has pointed out (1993), political elites
can take advantage from the presence of social movements in the
public space and temporarily become their ally for electoral or
opportunistic reasons. Both situations make movements more likely to
contribute to policy change.
One of Giugnis (2004) principal arguments is that protest actions and a
movements allies within the institutional arenas interact to place them in a better
position to influence policy. In other words, protest and political alliances with
influential elites produce a joint effect that increases the chances that the movements
will reach their goals. Giugni (2004, p. 124) argues that:
to force the power holders to engage in substantial policy reform, a
movement must have the joint and simultaneous presence of
29


mobilization and the presence of either a major political ally within the
institutional arenas or a favorable public opinion, or boththus, the
joint-effect approach to social movement outcomes.
Knopf (1998) provides a thorough and compelling analysis of the impacts of
anti-nuclear protests on decisions made by the Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan
Administrations to enter into arms negotiations with the Soviet Union. Knopf (1998)
shows that decisions to enter into arms negotiations were made at the same time, or
shortly after, a peak in anti-nuclear protests in the United States. Like Giugni, he also
concludes that obtaining the support of sympathetic elites and bureaucratic
sympathizers is necessary for achieving policy change. His framework for studying
movement outcomes involves three causal mechanisms:
Using electoral pressure to persuade and encourage public officials
Developing associations with like-minded political elites
Providing opportunities for bureaucratic sympathizers to push favorable ideas
within state agencies
A recent line of inquiry that may affect our understanding of social
movements and policy has expanded the concept of sympathetic elites by blurring the
lines between social movements and the state. Based on her research on the
contemporary feminist movement within the Roman Catholic Church and the U.S.
military, Katzenstein (1998) suggested that protest in American society has moved
inside institutions and, in so doing, has changed what constitutes protest. Similarly,
30


Binders (2002) comparative examination of creationist and Affocentrist movements
efforts to influence education policy suggests researchers need to pay greater
attention to how movements seek to influence bureaucratic decision making, often
from within. Other studies also support the idea that it is a mistake to envision social
movements and the state as distinct and easily discemable entities (Meyers; 2005,
Eisenstein, 1996; Mazur, 2002). The emerging idea that movements and the state can
not be treated as clear and separate entities is articulated in Wolfsons (2001) analysis
of the anti-tobacco movement:
this pattern of state-movement interpenetration resulted in sweeping
policy changes at every level of government and that it generalizes
beyond the case of tobacco policy in the latter part of the twentieth
century. This formulation moves well beyond envisioning the state as
merely a target of social movements, as a provider of constraints and
opportunities for social movements, and as a facilitator or sponsor of
social movement goals.. .it is next to impossible to think about the
movement without thinking about the state. The state is not limited to
being an external force that acts on, or is acted upon by, the
movement, but is in fact an integral part of the movement (Wolfson
2001,145).
The idea that social movements and the state are interconnected parallels recent
theoretical work in the policy field that highlights the interconnectedness of the state,
interest groups, and coalitions (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999).
As Della Porta and Dianis (1999) definition explains, social movements
consist of the interactions among various groups and individuals. They stress the
importance of the complex web of relationships allowing movement groups and
organizations which might individually be relatively weak and isolated to play a
31


significant political role (p.l 12). Other scholars have also suggested that a
movements ability to attract a significant numbers of allies increases the chances for
successful protest events (Rochon, 1998; Rucht, 1989).
This view is consistent with Sabatier and Jenkins-Smiths (1999) view of
advocacy coalitions. The ACF suggests that minority coalitions are more likely to
gamer policy change by manipulating the dimensions of the issue to appeal to
different constituencies. According to Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1999, p.149), In
short, obtaining major policy change.. .usually requires that an advocacy coalition
augment its resources by developing short-term coalitions of convenience with a
variety of other groups.
Venue Shopping
Social movement theories have recognized the tendency for social movements
to shop for a venue that may be favorable to their claims. Venue shopping is
generally presented as a valuable tactic for social movements (Pellow, 2007).
Typically, the discussions of venue shopping in social movement literature focus on
the claim that decentralized governmental systems, such as the U.S., provide social
movements with multiple venues as opposed to more centralized governments. The
availability of multiple venues can affect the development and life cycle of the
movement (Tarrow, 1998a).
32


Meyers (2005, p.12) also acknowledges the tendency of social movements to
venue shop:
The United States divides power and policy-making responsibilities
between the federal government and state and local governments, and
activists always face the dilemma about the appropriate level of
government at which to target their efforts. In general, local
governments are more receptive to their concerns but more constrained
in responding to them. The political structure presents activists with
multiple targets and provides authorities with reliable means for
passing the buck. Activists have multiple targets to confront, and
multiple venues in which to press their efforts.
Use of Courts
It is generally accepted that the use of litigation and judicial challenges is an
important mechanism that social movements use to achieve their political goals.
Generally the social movement and legal literatures view the judiciary as an
instrument or tool for activists seeking to mobilize support, increase recruitment, and
energize their members. In a study of the U.S. womens rights movement, McCann
(1994) demonstrated that movement leaders used legal discourse, including court
decisions, to empower movement members. Seventy-two percent of the activists he
interviewed ranked litigation as one of the most effective strategies of the movement.
According to Roesler (2007, p. 571), it is this perception that matters for social
movement success: Whether this is true, in that we can verify that litigation
resulted in actual social changes in womens compensation, does not diminish or
bolster the effect court decisions had on movement mobilization.
33


Roesler (2007, p.572) goes on to summarize the current understanding of the
role of litigation brought by social movements:
an initial victory in a rights movement may strengthen the power of a
certain legal discourse (and weaken others), resulting not only in
stronger cultural frames for further mobilization, but also in actual
social victories. For example, a judicial decision favorable to a labor
rights movement may give movement leaders and members more
negotiating power with employers. The mere threat of judicial action
can be powerful. Although a court may not have decided enough cases
to constitute a rights revolution, these indirect effects of judicial
decisionmaking are nonetheless important manifestations of judicial
power.
Although the literatures in the fields of social movements and law provide a
few examples of social movements that were effective in their use of the judiciary
(McCann, 1991, Dorf, 2002; Roach Anleu, 2000), the literature on the effectiveness
of activists legal challenges in achieving movement goals, or the strategic use of
legal challenges by movement leaders is lacking. In response, scholars from both
fields have called for better collaboration between scholars of social movements and
the law (Eskridge, 2002; Rubin, 2001).
New Social Movements
New social movement theory also addresses many of the same elements that
policy scholars view as important factors in policy change. For example, new social
movement theorys focus on culture, ideology, generalized beliefs, and values is
consistent with several recent policy theories. According to new social movement
theory, values, beliefs, ideology, and movement culture often limit a movements
34


ability to ally itself with government and cause it to dismiss established political and
scientific authority. The following sections describe elements of new social
movements that also play a significant role in policy theories.
Beliefs
With respect to beliefs, social movements face what Gamson (2004, p. 249)
described as the depth of challenge dilemma. The dilemma involves a choice
between challenging deeply held beliefs of the dominant ideology or more narrow
aspects:
Some actors challenge deeply held, taken for granted assumptions of
the dominant frame. The danger in doing so is marginalization and
dismissal as irrelevant thereby making the frame invisible and
effectively silencing its carriers. Other movement actors leave
problematic and vulnerable assumptions unchallenged, taking on the
dominant frame only on narrow grounds. The danger here is that by
accepting the assumptions underlying the dominant frame, one is
effectively reinforcing them and allowing them to constrain the terms
of the discourse (Gamson, 2004, p. 249).
Gamson (2004) argues that movements must find a way to challenge fundamental
aspects of the dominant frame while still being taken seriously as a player by the
mass media and other political actors.
Social movement research has indicated that social movements exist in part
due to a shared ideology that is based on deeply rooted belief systems that are
extremely resistant to change (Wapner, 1995; Taylor, 1995a; Inglehart, 1990).
According to sociologists, belief systems are developed through ones socialization,
35


particularly during the early years of life, and tend to be relatively enduring
(Inglehart, 1990). Gamson (1992) similarly describes a collective action frame as a
set of stable beliefs that serves to create a state of mind in which participation in
collective action appears meaningful. He indicates that a common component of the
collective action frames adopted by many movements is a sense of injustice based on
moral indignation, outrage, and anger. This sense of indignation and anger in essence
is an important ingredient in the glue that both defines and holds movements together.
Libby (1998) also emphasizes the normative and moral foundation of what he
calls expressive interest groups (p.2), a type of hybrid organization that includes
properties of interest groups and social movement organizations. Expressive interest
groups are embedded in social movements and have the capacity to mobilize citizens
to protest for social change. According to Libby (1998), these groups tend to be
involved in what he terms social regulatory policy making (p.2). He notes that
social regulatory policy is concerned with conduct that is good or bad in and of itself,
instead of conduct that is good or bad in terms of its consequences. Social regulatory
policy has an intrinsic moral orientation, designed to eliminate unethical or immoral
policy. These observations about the normative foundation of social movement
organizations suggest that in disputes involving high levels of protest and other forms
of contentious politics, core beliefs will be the primary focus of discourse among
coalitions.
36


Many of the beliefs related to the environmental movement are founded in the
basic tenets of deep ecology (Taylor, 1995a; Cramer 1998; Rothenberg, 1995).
Deep ecology looks for the fundamental roots of environmental problems in the
structure of societies and cultures around the world (Rothenberg, 1995). Deep
ecology adherents believe that nonhuman life is valuable beyond its usefulness to
humans, that every species has intrinsic worth, and each should be allowed to fulfill
its evolutionary destiny. Many radical environmentalists would add that humans are
no more valuable than other species (Taylor, 1995a). Deep ecology proponents argue
that humans are rapidly destroying the biological integrity of the planet. They believe
that we are in the midst of an unprecedented ecological crisis and that ecosystems
throughout the world are collapsing. This belief brings a sense of urgency to their
work, one easily equated to a religious fervor (Taylor, 1995a).
New social movement activists often view their cause as a moral crusade,
based on the politics of righteousness and justice (Melucci, 1994). An important
feature of new social movements is that activists tend to frame issues in absolute
terms based on core values with little room for compromise. This characteristic is
particularly consequential because policy theories tend to view compromise, policy-
learning, scientific evidence, and a willingness to participate in the political arena as
important factors in policy change. Movements are seen by members as being
outside the system (Louis Gibbs quoted in Greider, 1992, p. 68), and thus must rely
on rhetoric that challenges the systems values and authority.(DeLuca, 1999)
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The social movement literature suggests that because of their focus on deeply
held beliefs, negotiations between social movements and political elites and
institutions are unlikely to occur. Stewart (1994) provides several reasons why
attempts to negotiate with social movement activists are likely to fail. First, public
officials are likely to resist negotiating with individuals and groups that are viewed as
extremists and radicals. Granting social movement activists a place at the bargaining
table can be seen as conferring an undesirable degree of legitimacy to the groups and
their beliefs. Second, public officials often doubt the capability of social movements
to negotiate in good faith. According to Lipsky (1970, p. 1154), politicians and
government officials believe that:
Protest oriented groups, whose primary talents are in dramatizing
issues, cannot credibly attempt to present data considered objective
or suggestions considered responsible by public officials. Few can
be convincing as both advocate and arbitrator at the same time.
Third, social movements often have little or nothing to exchange in bargaining
sessions. Fourth, there is often pressure from other organizations and institutions not
to give in to the movements demands. The fifth and final reason that makes
successful negotiations unlikely is that social movement activists believe that
negotiating and compromising is a violation of their moral and ethical stance.
According to Stewart (1994, p. 14):
Social movements are.. .loathe to bargain with the devil (the
established order) when they are morally correct in their.. .demands for
change and have often suffered grievous mental, economic, social, and
physical abuse for their beliefs and protests. Talking to, let alone
38


compromising with, established orders seen as corrupt and oppressive
may be deemed a moral outrage by a movements true believers. Thus
the invited party and the constituencies of both parties are likely to
perceive bargaining offers as signs of weakness, desperation,
deception, or selling out.
Additional studies (Itkonen, 2007) have supported the conclusion that because of the
stakes involved and the deeply personal nature of their beliefs, protest groups are not
likely to bargain and compromise.
Leepson (1991) shows more of a continuum of willingness to compromise.
Movements often contain more extremist groups who are unwilling to compromise as
well as more moderate groups who are more willing to negotiate with political
opponents to reach a solution. A recent examination of the animal rights movement
showed internal conflict within the movement over the appropriate levels of
cooperation and confrontation:
The extremist image of some animal rights activists worries the more
moderate groups associated with the cause. John Hoyt, president of the
Humane Society of the United States, made an effort in a speech he
gave last year to distinguish his organization, which he described as
being animal welfarisf and animal protectionist, from groups like
PETA that are animal rightists. Hoyt worries that the extreme animal
rights activists are alienating biomedical researchers who might
otherwise be willing to cooperate to achieve reasonable reforms in
using animals for testing and research procedures. But many animal
rights activists continue to believe the best way to effect change is
through confrontation. At a large animal rights rally in Washington on
June 10,1990, speakers who advocated moderation and compromise
including actor Christopher Reevewere loudly jeered. Reeve was
booed after he said: If you want to get things done, the worst thing
that can happen to you is to be identified as the fringe. (Leepson,
1991,p 15)
39


It is likely that this tension between moderates and extremists is a common
characteristic of social movements.
Opponents to social movements often organize into counter movements.
According to Gale (1986) countermovements generally develop shortly after the
emergence of a social movement and are founded on an ideology and belief system
that reaffirms the historic relationships between agencies and counter movement
interests. The conflict becomes a dispute over normative beliefs resulting in
instability and more confrontational tactics. Gale (1986, p. 212) describes this
dynamic:
Accelerated SM pressures in this stage create unstable conditions that
push established CMOs [countermovement organizations] into
prominence and generate new organizations...One CM tactic to
counter SM power is to resort to strategies previously identified with
SMOs. Tactics used against environ-mentalists include hiring
protesters to support construction projects (Krizek, 1970), staging
log truck parades (New York Times, 1977), and establishing
movement-linked grass-roots campaigns...In this stage, agencies
may operate in a virtual state of siege.. .Enmeshed in a web of
competing interest groups, agencies must face external pressures,
particularly from SMOs, that may disrupt agency operations.
Dixon (2008, p. 477) suggests that countermovements are acutely aware of the
beliefs and ideology behind their challenges and that the movement-
countermovement dynamic has been influential for the tactics and development of a
wide range of challengers including populist (Goodwyn 1978), labor (Griffin et al.
1986) civil rights (Morris 1984) and abortion rights (Rohlinger 2006). Opposing
movements are often highly interconnected in their behavior so that the actions of one
40


might be shaped in important ways by the other (Dixon, 2008). According to Meyer
and Staggenborgs (1996, p.1649), Once a movement enters a particular venue. If
there is a possibility of contest, an opposing movement is virtually forced to act in the
same arena.
Emotions
Other sociologists have noted that because movements focus on normative
beliefs and values, they often display a deep-seated emotionality in the policy arena.
Emotions, writes Verta Taylor (1995, p.227), are the site for articulating the links
between cultural ideas, structural inequality, and individual action ....It is emotions
that provide the heat, so to speak, that distinguishes social movements from
dominant institutions (p.232). Satterfields (2002) study of the old growth forest
movement indicated that the stakes involved for parties in the movement and the
countermovement that emerged were extremely high. The dispute had become, in the
words of Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), a religious war in which
those who deviate from the true faith whichever true faith are condemned as
sinners, heretics, or worse (Satterfield 2002, p 3).
According to Satterfield (2002), people in positions of power or status tend to
be granted greater emotional latitude, whereas people with less status are expected to
be more conscientious and to show more restraint. As a result of this asymmetric
relationship movement participants, who are often emotionally expressive, can be
41


viewed as emotionally out of control, thus justifying the discounting of their
concerns. Hence, activists outside formal offices of power are seen as irrational, while
elected officials with like views are thoughtful and challenging (Satterfield 2002).
Actors in the policy arena often disparage the emotional nature of social
movement tactics calling them the politics of rude and crude that reveals the
disconnectedness that prevents them [citizens] from entering into any kind of
enduring, responsible relationship with those in power (DeLuca, 1999, p.163). Scott
and Smith (1969) dispute this contention, noting that to dismiss social movement
actions as rude and crude is to cling to unrealistic presuppositions of civility and
rationality underlying the old rhetoric, a rhetoric that supports those in positions of
authority and thus allows civility and decorum to serve as masks for the protection of
privilege and the silencing of protest (Scott and Smith, 1969, p. 7).
Several recent studies have begun to address the role of emotions in social
movements. Zackariasson (2009) suggests that anger is a significant emotion in the
political involvement of young men in the global justice movement in Scandanavia.
The author notes that:
anger can be a vital part in why individuals decide to become
politically active in the first place, as well as for how their engagement
is put into practice. Worth noting is, however, that this aspect was
visible also in the interviews I made with young women. In a manner
similar to the young men, they talked about how they became angry
for instance at things they had read in the newspaper and that this
encouraged them to take action. When the participants in the study
talked about their anger in this context, they .. .indicated that it was a
42


question of righteous anger, and that they were not angry on behalf of
themselves, but on behalf of others who were less able to fight for their
rights. That their anger was a factor in their decision to become active
in the global justice movement, further contributed to defining it as
something good, since the relation between anger and action is part of
why this emotion in some situations is regarded as something
commendable and positive. But, as I have discussed above, anger can
also be considered negative, especially when it is associated with
aggressiveness and the use of violence, or when it is perceived as
being out of control. (Zackariasson, 2009, p.43)
Summers-Efler (2002) examines emotional expression in feminist activists
and explains how emotional dynamics can produce a critical consciousness,
encourage resistance, and generate efforts to bring about social change through
activism. Yangs (2000, p.593) study of the 1989 Chinese student movement
illustrates that emotions were inextricably intertwined with identities and action and
that the emotional dynamics generated in this process significantly contributed to
movement mobilization.
In a comparison of four movements and mobilizations that were triggered by
random violence, Walgrave and Verhulst (2006, p.275) identify a new type of
movement that they call new emotional movements. One of the distinguishing
features of these types of movements is the central role of emotions and
victimization in the mobilization and development of the movement. The main
mobilizing emotion in new emotional movements appears to be fear about the
possibility of personal suffering, and this emotion is reflected in the formulation of
clear-cut demands for the future prevention of similar events.
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Because it is such a reliable source of emotion, religion is a recurring source
of social movement framing (Tarrow, 1998b). As many researchers have noted,
(Melluci, 1994; Libby, 1998; Taylor, 1995a), the environmental movement in
particular has infused religious ideology into political discourse to motivate
participants and influence elites. For example, Melucci (1994, p.144) states:
In what has been called the ecological movement...we find traditional
forms of resistance to the impact of modernization coexisting with a
religious fundamentalism that draws its renewed energy from the
appeal to nature... .In the ecological practice of the movements base
groups, Nature is lived, acted, and experienced by upsetting the
operational codes of destructive production.
Policy Theory
The manner in which social problems are conceptualized and solutions are
developed, implemented, and evaluated is a complex process involving the interplay
of interest groups, institutions, media, and other political actors involved in debate,
negotiation, and decision making at the national, state, and local levels. As a result of
this complexity, policy scholars have proposed several theories to simplify and guide
our understanding of the policy process (Sabatier and Weible, 2007). Although policy
theories are generally silent on the issue of movement impacts, policy theories imply
that broad interest group coalitions and increased levels of mobilization among
various groups have some effect on policy change.
Students of public policy have recognized a place for social movements in the
policy process, but it is a relatively small place. There is a generic pattern in which
44


social movements are recognized as exogenous political actors that can affect some
part of the policy process, most notably agenda setting (Baumgartner and Jones
1993; Kingdon 1984) or the construction of social problems, target constituencies,
and policy alternatives (e.g., Schneider and Ingram, 1997; Schneider and Ingram,
2005). Rarely, however, does the analysis go beyond this or address the mechanisms
by which movements affect the contextual elements of the policy process (Meyers
2005, p.15).
Many contemporary policy theories include concepts and variables that may
be useful in understanding how social movements affect the policy process. In
Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (PET) for example, Baumgartner and Jones (1993)
suggest that social movements may help to push a condition characterized as a policy
monopoly into a state of disequilibrium. They claim that American political
institutions were designed with a distinct conservative orientation to resist many
efforts at change and require mobilization to overcome established political
interests and power structure. Policy change can occur rapidly when the policy image
that supports the policy monopoly begins to change. They further state that
mobilizations are often required to overcome entrenched interests, but once
underway they can engender large scale changes in policy. (True, et al 1999, p. 99)
It should be noted, however, that Baumgartner and Jones (1993) generally
adopt a much broader definition of mobilization than social movement theorists. PET
45


views a mobilization broadly as a wave of either criticism or enthusiasm that
advances the issue onto the political agenda. Clearly, mass mobilizations in a social
movement sense meet the definition of mobilization as used in PET. However,
grassroots activism, protest, and interest group action are not necessarily required for
mobilization as described by PET. Baumgartner and Jones (1993) describe these
types of occurrences as triggering events (p. 129) that force an issue onto the
political agenda.
There has been a tendency by political scientists to view the disruptive actions
associated with social movements as symbolic events designed to engage the publics
attention (Edelman, 1964), or merely as periods of alarmed discovery that do little to
resolve the problem (Downs, 1972). Baumgartner and Jones (1993) adopt this view
in a review of urban policy change in the 1960s. They acknowledged the importance
of urban riots in the policy process; however, they conclude:
the urban riots did not trigger the large scale government domestic
initiative; that had already begun. They did not cause the turn of
attention toward the cities in the media; that was already happening....
Triggering events do occur but they are probably rarer than one might
think. More often, they are consolidating events dramatic symbols of
problems that are already rising rapidly to national attention. These
events are certainly important, but more because of their time in
relation to other agenda events than because of their intrinsic value.
The same event at another time would not have triggered anything
(p.129-130).
In addition, Baumgartner and Jones use PET to describe changes in nuclear
energy policy in the 1970s. They describe numerous factors that led to changes in the
46


policy image associated with nuclear energy, and describe in detail how the instability
in the image led to a collapse of the nuclear policy monopoly and resultant changes in
public policy. In the course of their description, they pay scant attention to the effects
of anti-nuclear protests and demonstrations that occurred throughout the late 1960s
and 1970s. This dismissal of the popular antinuclear movement is contradicted by
studies within the social movement literature that illustrated the effectiveness of the
anti-nuclear movement as a force in social and political change (Joppke, 1991, 1992).
The following sections describe concepts derived from the policy field that
have also been identified in the Social Movement literature as important elements.
Elites, Allies, Coalitions
Public policy theories are consistent in their argument that coalitions and
allies are essential for success in the political arena. As Schlager (1999, p. 244)
points out, Policy change occurs as a result of collective action....how people come
together, organize themselves, and promote policy change is important. Schlager
(1999) goes on the describe how each of the dominant policy theories addresses
collective action, noting that multiple streams theory (e.g. Kingdon, 1984) is the least
concerned with how diverse interests work together to achieve policy change.
Multiple streams theory is more concerned with policy entrepreneurs and the
conditions that support broad-based collective action. Punctuated equilibrium
theory (PET) is also interested in role of policy entrepreneurs. However, PET is more
47


concerned with the consequences of collective action rather than the processes by
which groups come together to change policy (Schlager, 1999; True, et.al., 1999).
Schlager (1999) identifies ACF as the theory that pay closest attention to collective
action. The theory projects that groups and individuals with shared beliefs will form
advocacy coalitions in order to advance their beliefs in the policy arena.
It is generally agreed that larger more inclusive coalitions will be more
successful in achieving their goals. Schattschneider (1960) noted that when pursuing
agenda and policy change, success often depends on enlarging the scope of conflict
beyond the initial policy disputants:
The number of people involved in any conflict determines what
happens; every change in the number of participants, every increase or
reduction in the number of participants, affects the result
(Schattschneider 1960, p. 2).
Expanding the conflict to include new audiences was Schattschneiders (1960)
advice, because the involvement of new participants is likely to shift the balance of
power among the original players. The groups who control this process of
involvement have the upper hand in politics.
Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1999, p. 149) note that obtaining major policy
change usually requires that an advocacy coalition augment its resources by
developing short-term coalitions of convenience with a variety of groups. ACF
further acknowledges the concepts of the sympathetic elites and political allies
48


familiar to scholars of social movements and incorporates them into the definition of
advocacy coalition. According to Sabatier and Jenkins Smith (1999, p. 127):
One of the ACFs most innovative features is that it challenges the
implicit assumption of most political scientists that... there is
something fundamentally different between legislators, administrative
agency officials, interest group leaders, researchers and journalists. In
the traditional view, interest group leaders are politically active in
seeking to influence public policy, whereas agency officials,
researchers, and journalists tend to be perceived as more passive
and/or policy indifferent. The ACF, in contrast, encourages us to think
of agency officials, researchers, and journalists as potential members
of advocacy coalitions as having policy beliefs very similar to those
of interest group leaders and their legislative allies, and as engaging in
some nontrivial degree of coordinated activity in pursuit of their
common policy objectives.
Venue Shopping
The concept of venue shopping may shed light on the tactics and strategies of
social movements in the policy process. Policymaking in the US can involve a
number of different venues. For any given issue, policy definition or change may
occur at the Federal, state, or local levels. Policy may be created by legislative
bodies, by executive decree, by administrative rulemaking, or by courts. The
decentralized nature of policymaking in the US provides a variety of targets for
advocacy groups interested in policy change and for those wishing to inhibit such
change. The concept of venue shopping advanced by Baumgartner and Jones (2002)
states that advocacy groups will pursue multiple venues, at multiple levels, in an
effort to advance their policy goals and objectives. A group thwarted in one venue
may find a more sympathetic ear in another. Thus, interest groups in the United
49


States, then, have greater opportunity to play different levels of government off one
another. If a group fails at the local or state level, for example, it can try to nationalize
the issue by going to Congress (Praelle, 2006).
Praelle (2003) has studied the tactics and strategies of venue shopping and
provides several important observations. First, venue shopping can be more
experimental and less deliberate or calculated, than is commonly perceived. Second,
advocacy groups choose venues not only to advance substantive policy goals but also
to serve organizational needs and identities. Finally, venue choice is shaped by policy
learning. Advocacy groups choose venues not only for short-term strategic reasons,
but also because they have embraced a new understanding of the nature of a policy
problem. These factors shape the frequency of venue shopping and thus the pace of
policy reform (Pralle, 2003).
Policy theories have recognized that the existence of multiple policy arenas
can increase the prospects for agenda and policy change. At the same time, however,
policy change is often the result of competing interests, and opposing groups can take
advantage of multiple policy arenas to stymie reform efforts. Therefore, the
decentralized system and distribution of powers within the US provides multiple
opportunities as well as significant constraints to those seeking agenda and policy
change.
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Use of Courts
Scholars have identified two general views of judicial policy-making: A
dynamic view and a constrained view (Rosenberg, 2008). A dynamic view is based
on the premise that courts produce a great deal of social change. It sees courts as
powerful, vigorous, and potent proponents of change (p. 2). This effect is often
most prominent in disputes that the legislative and executive branches are unable or
unwilling to resolve. Advocates of the dynamic view agree that American democracy
is exceptional because it has one of the worlds most powerful court systems,
protecting minorities and defending liberty, in the face of opposition from the
democratically elected branches (Rosenberg, 2008, p.2). This view is also common
in the field of comparative politics. According to Jacob et al., (1996, p. 1):
Many scholars proceed in their analyses as if courts intersect with
politics only in the United States, and their analyses focused
principally on the policymaking role of American courts, because that
is where all the political action appears to take place. Because courts
rarely play as visible a policymaking role in other countries an
unspoken premise is that the legal systems provide little explanatory
power for understanding politics outside the United States and,
conversely, that politics is insignificant in helping to explain the
operation of the legal system elsewhere... while many Americans,
political activists view litigation as another form of politics, their peers
in other countries do not routinely considered going to the court to
achieve policy objectives. Nor do politicians outside the United States
frequently appoint their allies to the bench.
Jacob et al. (1996, p.l) go on to say that the dynamic view of the courts is not
generally accepted by political scientists in the United States:
51


Even in the United States, many political scientists marginalize the
study of law and courts: while studies of the Supreme Courts in the
vigorous socio-legal analysis of legal institutions continues, they do so
outside the mainstream of American political science.
The constrained view of judicial policy making is consistent with Alexander
Hamiltons view of the courts as the least dangerous branch of government because
it lacks the power of the sword or the purse. This view sees courts as weaker, less
powerful, and less effective than the dynamic view. According to Rosenberg (2008,
p. 3), in the constrained view, courts can only point out how actions have fallen short
of constitutional or legislative requirements and hope that appropriate action is taken.
The strength of this view.. .is that it leaves Americans free to govern themselves
without interference from non-elected officials.
Barclay and Birkland (1998) contend that legal scholars subscribe to the
dynamic view and policy scholars adopt a constrained court perspective. While legal
theories view courts as active players in the policy process, policy scholars tend to
uphold the principle of separation of law and politics. According to policy theorists,
courts do not make the laws and policy. Their proper role is to fairly and impartially
interpret and apply the law, resolve disputes, and protect the rights and liberties
guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitution delegates making, amending and
repealing federal laws to the U.S. Congress. As a result, policy theories generally do
not consider the court system as an important policy-making institution. According to
Barclay and Birkland (1998, p.227)
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The three currently dominant theories of how one might describe the
public policymaking process fail to account adequately for the role of
judicial institutions as policymaking institutions.. .the notion of the
courts as policymaking institutions never has been incorporated into
the subfield of public policy. Modem theories of public policy
inherited the assumption that the courts are not integral to most
considerations of public policymaking from earlier public policy
studies.
In particular, Barclay and Birkland (1998, p. 228) criticize ACF stating that it
fails to specify under what conditions legal institutions can become involved in
public policymaking. However Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1993) prescribe two
primary ways that courts can influence the policy subsystem. First, Sabatier points
out in the ACF that the overall stability of the basic legal structures of the US shapes
policy. It also hinders policy making by limiting the extent of policy oriented
learning. (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999)
ACF also acknowledges that coalitions often shop for venues where they can
create policy that is consistent with their beliefs and the courts, it is implied, are a
valid venue for pursuing favorable policy change (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999).
Weible (2008) identifies three ideal types of policy subsystems. The first, is a
unitary policy subsystem, and consists of includes a single, dominant coalition that is
similar to an iron triangle (Freeman, 1955) or a policy monopoly (Baumgartner and
Jones, 1993). The second type, is a collaborative policy subsystem, and involves
cooperative coalitions where conflict is at intermediate levels, and the third is an
adversarial policy subsystem, characterized by high conflict among competitive
53


coalitions. Based on our understanding of movement dynamics, social movements
are most likely to occur in adversarial policy subsystems. According to Weible
(2008) adversarial policy subsystems are characterized by very competitive coalitions
with low intercoalition belief compatibility and high intra-coalition and low inter-
coalition coordination. Policy images in adversarial systems are intensely debated,
and coalitions seek to influence decisions in any amiable venue including the courts.
As a result, policies tend to be coercive, win-lose, and prescriptive in means.
Several ACF studies examining adversarial policy subsystems have discussed
the influence of litigation in the process of policy change. For example, Burnett and
Davis (2002) study of changes in timber policy provide empirical support for the
tendency of coalitions to venue shop in adversarial subsystems. According to Burnett
and Davis (2002, p. 226)
Disputes within the timber policy arena have been particularly
susceptible to venue shopping because they often deal with core policy
values and victories by either coalition are frequently short term. Most
often, pro-environmental decisions made within the federal courts
have been altered or reversed by congressional action.
Burnett and Davis (2002, p. 211) study also supported the idea that
environmentalists often turn to the courts to achieve their policy goals:
Although initial efforts to halt federal logging activities were
unsuccessful, the SCLDF attorneys eventually found a more receptive
audience with U.S. District Court Judge William Dwyer, who ordered
the Forest Service to comply with the habitat protection requirements
spelled out in NFMA. Injunctions were subsequently issued that
effectively halted most logging activities on BLM and Forest Service
54


lands... The environmentalists use of litigation affected policy in two
ways. First, it nationalized the spotted owl issue so that legislators
were unable to confine the issue within the region. Second, it shifted
the status quo from a position that favored the timber industry to one
that benefited environmental interests.
Kubler (2001) used ACF to study a shift in Swiss drug policy from a
prohibitionist to a harm-reduction model and found that coalitions opposed to the
shift used litigation to tactic to resist policy change According to Kubler (2001, p.
635), Although courts rarely ruled in favour of plaintiffs, litigation produced
considerable delays for the setting-up of harm-reduction facilities.
Similarly, Leschine et al. (2003, p. 7) states that highly controversial dredging
projects in New York, New Jersey, and the Great Lakes have foundered because,
advocacy politics, expressed through litigation and other means, played a prominent
role in determining how the competing interests of environmental protection and
economic vitality are to be traded off. In light of the growing evidence that the
courts play an important role in coalition politics, a more comprehensive treatment of
the role and function of litigation and other legal strategies would be a valuable
addition to the ACF. In addition to the roles suggested by the ACF studies described
above, Smith (1993) identifies several additional ways that the coalitions can use the
courts to influence subsystem dynamics.
Court decisions can increase support and money for interest groups. Decisions
typically result in a clear winner and a clear loser. As a result, court decisions
55


concerning controversial issues can serve to mobilize various actors and institutions
within the political system. A successful coalition may be emboldened by a court
victory while the losing coalition can use the decision as an incentive to work to
change the newly established policy. Judicial decisions can give opposing political
interests a visible, motivational symbol. Courts can help to motivate and inspire
interested groups and prompt new actors to enter the policy battlefield which can
exert significant influence within the policy subsystem (Smith, 1993).
In the 1980s, corporations began to utilize civil litigation against individual,
community activists who opposed the development landfills, incinerators, and other
pollution causing business projects. These lawsuits, which came to be known as
strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) can be used to discourage
grassroots mobilization by scaring individual citizens away from opposing corporate
plans because of the litigation costs required to fight such suits. In this way the
litigation can be used as a tool by any interest that has legal resources and access to
the courts (Smith, 1993; Canan and Pring, 1988).
Interest groups can use successful litigation for positive publicity to obtain
financial support and favorable public opinion, as well as provide broader circulation
of the legal arguments and evidence that the group wishes the judiciary to consider.
Publicity in the form of new law review articles can educate legal community
56


including judges about the soundness of arguments advanced by an interest group
(Smith, 1993).
Another important strategy employed by interest groups is the sponsorship of
test cases. Sponsorship of cases permits the group to exert control over the arguments
presented to courts concerning specific policy issues. Test cases serve as a vehicle for
the presentation of the political interests views in the judicial arena. Similarly, interest
groups, often submit amicus curiae briefs to appellate courts. Amicus briefs present
an opportunity for an interest group to provide the judges with additional arguments
in support of or in opposition to a policy position. Interest groups can also build
coalitions through the use of Amicus brief by soliciting signatures from sympathetic
groups thus demonstrating to the judges how many different organizations agree or
disagree with particular policy position (Smith, 1993; Beckstrom, 2009).
Negative outcomes can influence sympathetic elites in the legislative and
executive branches. Interest groups may use adverse decisions to generate favorable
reactions from a sympathetic public or other policy actor, which could help to lay the
groundwork for subsequent favorable policy actions (Smith, 1993; Burnett, 2002).
Courts may also criticize political actors in the policy subsystem and directly affect
relationships among government agencies, elected officials, businesses, and other
stakeholders.
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Judicial decisions can encourage negotiated settlements. For example, in tort
law trends injury verdicts can encourage parties to negotiate settlements in untried
cases that may be influenced by those verdicts. Similarly, the prospect of a long,
costly legal battle may prompt parties in the dispute to reach a settlement (Smith
1993). According to Weber (1998) agencies often work with interested parties to
avoid protracted litigation, and during litigation itself, when parties usually prefer to
negotiate out-of-court settlements rather than risk the expense and uncertainty of trial
(Leach and Sabatier, 2005).
Belief Systems
In Sabatier and Jenkins-Smiths (1999) framework, advocacy coalitions form
around and are motivated by a system of beliefs that are based on a hierarchical
model. The three structural categories in the belief system are deep core beliefs,
policy core beliefs, and secondary aspects. At the foundation of this hierarchy are
deep core beliefs, the more abstract beliefs that are extremely difficult to change.
Deep core beliefs consist of fundamental normative beliefs that operate across
virtually all policy domains and identify a persons underlying personal philosophy.
The second category is the policy core beliefs that include basic strategies and
policy positions designed to achieve deep core beliefs within the policy subsystem in
question. These policy core positions are very resistant to change, are only
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intermittently the subject of policy debate, and are usually changed as a result of
perturbations external to the subsystem. (Sabatier and Zafonte, 2001)
The third structural category in the belief system is the secondary aspects.
Secondary aspects involve a multitude of instrumental decisions and information
searches necessary for implementing policy core beliefs within the subsystem. The
ACF predicts that policymaking will typically involve discussion and compromise
related to secondary aspects. For instance, with respect to air pollution policy,
Jenkins-Smith and Sabatier (1993b, p.32) state:
While there have been some issues.. .since 1970 that have involved
core disputes, most policymaking has focused on secondary aspects,
such as determining which air quality standards are adequate... which
auto emissions standards would minimize emissions...the feasibility of
parking surcharges.. .and the technical validity of various techniques
for monitoring atmospheric emissions.
The ACFs focus on beliefs as the primary motivator for action within the
political realm has been a basis for criticism of the theory. For example Schlager and
Bloomquist (1996) claim that by ignoring interests as a motivating factor for
individuals, the ACF:
lacks a basis for predicting or explaining strategic behavior. One is
left instead to presume that individuals act naively on the basis of their
beliefs, and that they do not misrepresent their policy preferences
when attempting to attain more preferred outcomes. These are
questionable assumptions in the context of politics (p. 661).
Similarly, Caimey (1997) questions Sabatiers basic assumption that
individuals engage in politics solely to turn beliefs into policy, implying that political
59


actors may have motivations that are not captured by the ACFs preoccupation with
beliefs. Thus the true motivations affecting political actors should not be taken for
granted and must be considered when collecting and analyzing data from participants
in a policy subsystem.
Emotions
Definitions of emotion abound in the psychological literature and some
definitions stand in conceptual opposition to one another (Ferry and Kingston, 2008).
According to Scherer (2005, p. 314), an emotion is an episode of massive
synchronous recruitment of mental and somatic resources to adapt to and cope with a
stimulus event that is subjectively appraised as being highly pertinent to the needs,
goals, and values of the individual. James (1884) argued that emotional experience
is largely due to the experience of physiological changes that result from an
experience or thought. According to James (1884, p. 188) the perception of bodily
changes as they occur IS the emotion.. .we feel sorry because we cry, angry because
we strike, afraid because we tremble, and neither we cry, strike, nor tremble because
we are sorry, angry, or fearful, as the case may be. More recently this physiological
view has been challenged by research that has identified beliefs and judgments as
important aspects of emotional experience. As a result, the idea that emotions are
related to cognition, the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and
comprehension, including thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, and problem
60


solving, has become commonplace in the psychological literature (Ferry and
Kingston, 2008).
This view highlights important relationships between emotions and other
cognitive constructs such as beliefs and judgments. The psychological literature is
replete with cognitive theories of emotion. Neuman et al. (2007) identify 23 named
theories, models, or central concepts from the literature that describe the relationship
between emotion and cognition. The authors (Neuman et al., 2007) identify three
approaches to organizing emotions. Discrete emotion models range from simple lists
with little structure to more complicated models of emotional responses under
different conditions. Valence models situate emotions along a single dimension such
as positive or negative, and circumplex models extend the valence model into
additional dimensions beyond positive/negative dichotomy. The theories represent
four different views of the relationship between cognition and emotion. 1. Theories of
cognitive primacy emphasize a direction of influence from cognition to emotion. For
example, in order to experience pride a person must make a judgment or hold some
belief about themselves or their accomplishments (Ferry and Kingston, 2008). In this
view, beliefs are viewed as cognitive antecedents of emotion (Elster, 1999, p. 249)
2. Affective primacy theories emphasize the role of emotion in the process of
cognition. Elster (1999), for example, posits numerous ways in which emotions
affect behavior by impacting beliefs. 3. Linkage theories include various mechanisms
for interaction between cognition and emotions without implying a particular primacy
61


for one or the other. 4. Models of functional form include theories that focus on
complexity and nonlinearity in interactions between cognition and emotion.
Theories of emotion also suggest that values and emotions are closely related.
Scholars have postulated that values are the formal objects of emotions. We feel
indignation in response to a perceived injustice because justice is an important
personal or cultural value (Mulligan, 1998). According to Nozick (1989, p. 93),
emotions model values by providing a kind of picture of our values. They are our
internal psychophysical response to the external value, a response...not only due to
that values but an analog representation of it (Nozick, 1989, p. 93).
Philosopher Edmund Husserl (1988) also believed that emotions were critical
to the development of values and morals. According to Peucker (2007, p. 311):
Husserl believed that feelings or emotions play an essential role in the
constitution of a world with objects having different values. To make
value judgments, we need emotional attitudes, because the constitution
of these judgments necessarily depends on certain feelings.
Emotions are also closely related to action. Frijda (1986) claimed that
emotions have corresponding action tendencies defined as states of readiness to
execute a given king of action. Action tendencies have the character of impulses to
act and often include a sense of urgency. Figure 2.1 presents a model that indicates
that emotions are capable of influencing behavior directly or through their influence
on information, beliefs, and desires.
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Action
FIGURE 2.1 RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN EMOTIONS, DESIRE, ACTION,
INFORMATION AND BELIEFS. (Source: Elster 2007, p. 227)
Although emotions are rarely discussed by policy scientists, theories of the
policy process have begun to recognize the role of belief and value systems in policy
change. A more complete understanding of the relationship between beliefs, values
and emotions may help create a more complete model of the individual for policy
theories.
Traditionally, policy theories have held that individuals operate in the political
arena in a rational way designed to maximize their self interests. This rationality was
characterized as thoughtful consideration of political alternatives resulting in support
for the alternative that provides maximum utility. Thoughtful consideration, it was
assumed, occurred best when emotions were neutral and passions were not aroused.
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The idea of utility-driven rationality as the desired human condition and the belief
that it could only occur in the absence of emotion was common in early writings on
democratic theory and is alive and well today (Neuman et.al, 2007).
In the 1990s, policy scientists (deLeon, 1997; Dryzek, 1993, Fischer, 1992)
began to call attention to the deficiencies of the positivistic stance of the policy
sciences with its heavy reliance on rationality. deLeons (1997) critique of positivism
in the policy sciences and call for a more humanistic paradigm exemplifies this
movement. Dryzek (1990, p. 4) claims that the positivist approach to politics
destroys the more congenial, spontaneous, egalitarian, and intrinsically meaningful
aspects of human association. A postpositivist approach to policy sciences
acknowledges the complexities of social phenomena and recognizes that human
factors such as politics, social conditions, and values need to be included in policy
analyses. Given the prevalence and importance of the affective aspects of human
associations, if policy theories are going to be of value in situations that are more
humanistic and less scientific (deLeon, 1997, p. 10), then the theories must address
emotions.
Recently, political psychologists have begun to wade into the world of human
emotions. They have posited that emotion and rationality are not constantly
competing in the minds of citizens. Instead, recent studies demonstrate that the two
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are inextricably linked and that emotions deserve a proper place in our understanding
of politics and policy (Heins, 2007; Small and Lemer, 2008; Gross, 2008).
Weston (2007) leads a team of neuroscientists that study how the brain
processes political and legal information. He examines the role of emotions in
political campaign and concludes the voters respond emotionally and will
subconsciously ignore evidence and other information that contradict their selection
or preference. Westens work contains numerous examples of politicians who have
been successful in creating an emotional bond with voters and those who have failed.
He claims that the dispassionate vision of the mind common to political science (and
the Democratic party) bears no relation to how the brain actually works. It flies in the
face of everything we know about the evolution of the brain and the nature and
function of emotion.
According to Westen (2007), the traditional view of the political mind
assumes that voters start by evaluating the candidates policy positions which in the
end lead to support of one candidate over another. The author uses studies from
neuroscience, psychology, political science, and other fields to dismantle that view,
while creating a new model of the mind that emphasizes the role of emotions.
Weston claims that winning political candidates (2007, p. 418):
.. .drink from the wellspring of partisan feelings. They tell
emotionally compelling stories...they read the emotional signals of
their constituents well.. .They provide emotionally compelling
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examples of the ways they would govern.. .They can move people to
tears, laughter, compassion, anger, and feelings of sanctity.
Marcus (2002) also draws on findings from neuroscience, to declare that
emotions are the catalyst for action and that reason without emotion does not
necessarily lead citizens to join a cause. More so, he claims that reasoned thought is
not possible without an emotional component. The basis of Marcus argument is
research that shows that ordinarily people rely on an emotional system known as the
disposition system that allows them to act and make decisions using habitual
actions and patterns of thought that have been learned throughout life. As long as the
general environment is similar to previous experience and the tried and true approach
is working, the disposition system generates varying levels of an emotion that is best
described as enthusiasm. This feeling encourages individuals to act in comfortable,
consistent ways based on past experience. The disposition system is at work when we
rely on ideology, morals, value systems, and partisan affiliations a tried and true,
habitual plan for making political decisions.
Habitual processes controlled by the disposition system are an effective means
for completing repetitive tasks; however, individuals must be prepared to change
habitual processes in response to varying conditions. To address this contingency, a
separate emotional system identified by Marcus (2002) as the surveillance system
is constantly monitoring our sensory input to make sure that the general environment
is familiar and therefore safe to carry out the process initiated by the disposition
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system. If the environment is different, if something novel or unexpected enters the
situation, the surveillance system generates a feeling of anxiety to alert us. The
anxiety shifts our attention and enables us to set habit aside. If citizens are not
anxious, they often make decisions based on habitual decision processes like political
ideology or partisanship. If they are anxious they are less likely to act out of habit and
are more likely to decide based on the merits of the argument. According to Marcus
(2002, p. 103):
How do the judgments of anxious voters differ from those of their
more complaisant brethren? Reliance on partisanship drops
substantially, almost to zero.. .The dominant consideration for these
voters is which candidates position on the issues is closest to theirs.
Indeed that consideration alone accounts for fully two-thirds of the
weight in the decision making process. Anxious voters also pay far
more attention to the actual characteristics of the candidates. Thus
when people are anxious, they are much more attentive to the
respective platforms and the substantive merits of the competing
candidates...Moreover, anxious voters learn far more about where the
candidates stand on the issues and learn more accurately than
complaisant voters.
If one considers rationality as the ability to use reason and intellect to make
decision, it appears that citizens are more rational when they are anxious than when
they are calm.
Weston presents a more complicated though less explicit understanding of
relationship between emotions and politics. His focus is on the complex network of
emotional associations made in the brain. According to Weston (2007, p. 62):
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It is difficult to think about virtually anything or anyone that matters to
us without experiencing a corresponding emotional response. The fact
that someone or something holds any significance to us at all means
that it has emotional associations that generally become active along
with any thoughts of it.
The author cites research (Gray, 2000) that distinguishes two systems
affecting motivation and emotion in humans. One generates pleasurable emotional
states and motivates humans to approach stimuli associated with them. The other
generates anxiety and leads to avoidance of associated stimuli. These systems result
in a tendency to describe emotions in either positive or negative terms: For most
people, positive and negative emotion provide an internal set of checks and balances,
leading them to pursue things they enjoy but putting on the brakes when they are
about to get themselves in trouble.
These two works and a flurry of recent studies (Kingston and Ferry, 2008;
Neuman, 2007; Gross, 2008; Emirbayer and Goldberg, 2005; Brader, 2005) indicate
that emotions can significantly affect how individuals make political decisions and
theories of the policy process need to address this underappreciated characteristic of
political life.
Solomon (2008, p. 190) describes a political approach to understanding
emotions that emphasizes the role of judgment in emotions and uses the social
situation in all of its elaborate, ethical and interpersonal complexity as the
framework for describing emotions. A primary facet of Solomons (2008, p. 193)
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view is that emotions are in themselves strategic and political. According to
Solomon (2008, p. 194-195):
Our understanding of emotion gains a great deal when we shift from
thinking about emotions and emotional responses as mere products
and think of them instead as strategies: strategies for dealing with
others, and strategies for dealing with ourselves...emotions are
intentional and strategic ways of coping with difficult situations. We
choose them and we choose them for a purpose.
Solomon goes on to explain that this process of choosing emotions for
purposive results may not be recognized, articulated or even articulatable as such.
Our emotional strategies,
do not have to be conscious...and the choices we make need not be
explicit, deliberative choices. Nevertheless, an emotion may be a
strategy.. .a way of coping with other people. Especially when that
way of coping involves power, I believe that we are justified in calling
it politics, the politics of emotion (Solomon, 2008, p. 195).
Another important element of Solomons approach is that emotions are tied to
action. The author suggests that the kind, intensity and manifestation of emotion are
determined to an important degree by anticipated desirable effects they exert on
others. According to Solomon (2008, p. 199-200):
Many emotions are about power, persuasion, manipulation, and
intimidation. We use anger, for example, not only to pump up the
energy and boldness needed for confrontation but to intimidate the
opposition as well...It is no surprise, then, that emotions have this
obvious political element, that their existence is not a neutral social or
psychosocial fact but a political force, moving us and influencing our
actions in a number of ways.
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Solomons approach to emotions provides policy scientists with a potentially useful
framework for incorporating emotions into theories of the policy process.
ACF addresses emotions indirectly through a process Sabatier et al (1987) call
devil shift. Devil shift is the tendency for actors to view their opponents as less
trustworthy, more evil, and more powerful than they probably are. Sabatier et al
(1987) argue that when devil shift is apparent, political actors: question the legitimacy
of their opponents motives and/or reasonableness; evaluate their opponents behavior
in harsher terms than do most members of their policy community; and perceive their
opponents to be more powerful and themselves less powerful than is probably the
case.
Sabatier et al. (1987) argue that Devil shift is an important factor in coalition
formation and stability and uses devil shift to explain why coalitions form around
belief systems (Sabatier and Weible, 2007). This tendency gives policy actors with
similar beliefs and incentive to work together in order to overcome their devilish
opponents. Devil shift is often associated with intense emotions, strong accusations,
and powerful invectives (Shepley, 2006). However the concept also sheds light on
how emotions can intensify conflict. According to Sabatier et al. (1987, p. 471):
The more one views opponents as malevolent and very powerful the
more likely one is to resort to questionable measures to preserve ones
interests. But the more one does so, the greater the probability
opponents will start perceiving one as a very wicked character, thus
resorting to unscrupulous countermeasures, thus further confirming
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ones perception of them as devils. Suspicion and conflict escalate,
and it becomes very difficult to break the cycle.
In an analysis of the reading wars, an extreme and vitriolic debate over how
to teach children to read, Shepley (2006) showed that devil shift was strongly
associated with coalitions that held the most extreme views. Thus, Shepleys results
suggest that Devil shift is more likely in disputes characterized by extreme beliefs and
a vast ideological divide. Shepleys findings support Sabatier et al (1987, p. 470)
contention that the extent of ideological distance between opponents appears to be a
major factor affecting the extent of Devil shift... one would not expect that Devil
shift to operate as strongly in lower conflict situations, in large part because the extent
of ideological differences would presumably be less.
Policy Entrepreneurs and Brokers
Although not addressed in the social movement literature, two additional and
related concepts from the policy literature that could impact the role that social
movements play in the policy arena are policy entrepreneurs and policy brokers.
Kingdon (1999) argues that issues have the greatest chance of being resolved when
all three streams converge at the same time, creating a window of opportunity that
someone (a policy entrepreneur) can take advantage of. According to Kingdon (1999,
p.77) a policy entrepreneur is one who is willing to invest time, energy, reputation,
money to promote a position for anticipated future gain in the form of material,
purposive or solitary benefits. When policy windows open, policy entrepreneurs
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must seize the opportunity to help place the issue on the agenda and initiate action.
Policy entrepreneurs must be skilled at what Kingdon (1999, p.77) refers to as
coupling. They must be able to attach problems to their solutions and find
politicians receptive to their ideas. An issues chances of gaining prominence in the
agenda are enhanced when problems and solutions or solutions and politics are
joined. The issues chances dramatically increase when policy entrepreneurs are able
to couple all three of Kingdons proposed streams (problems, policies, and politics)
into a single package. The concept of the policy entrepreneur suggests that in some
cases, social movements will need an elite actor to promote the movements positions
within the policy arena.
This concept is related to the policy broker discussed by Sabatier and Jenkins-
Smith (1993) in relation to the ACF. Often, when a hurting stalemate exists and
conflict among advocacy coalitions escalates, policy brokers get involved to help
reduce tension. The role of policy brokers in ACF is to mediate conflicting strategies
from various coalitions to find a reasonable compromise that will reduce intense
conflict. According to Weible and Sabatier, (2007, p. 129):
Whereas most political participants seek to influence policy processes
and outcomes in advocacy coalitions, policy brokers seek to find
reasonable compromise among hostile coalitions. Many different
actors play the policy broker role.. .Policy brokers are usually trusted
by both coalitions and have some decision making authority.
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Social Movements and the Advocacy Coalition Framework
Much of the recent work at the social movement policy nexus has focused on
the development of new theoretical frameworks and hypotheses to describe the role of
social movements in the policy process. These efforts generally disregard that
political scientists have produced a number of well-developed theories to explain how
policy is created. In doing so, much of the nuances and insights that existing theories
provide into policy process are lost. An alternative to developing new theories to
describe the role of social movements in the policy process is to select an existing and
resonant policy theory and adapt it for use in disputes characterized by social
movement activity. In response to this opportunity, this thesis attempts to incorporate
social movement dynamics into an existing policy framework, namely the Advocacy
Coalition Framework (ACF).
The previous sections have described concepts from both the social movement
and policy literatures related to the role of social movements in the policy process.
The first section examined the social movement literature to determine what social
movement theories are able to tell us about policy outcomes of movement actions.
The second section focused on the policy literature to identify the extent to which
existing policy theories incorporate concepts from the social movement literature.
This section focuses on ACF, a well-tested approach to understanding the policy
process (Weible and Sabatier, 2007) and establishes propositions that will guide this
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research. The advocacy coalition framework provides an appropriate and useful
theoretical foundation for this research due to its ability to incorporate many of the
important concepts identified in both the policy and social movement literatures and
to provide specific propositions that address the concepts. As a result, it is likely that
the ACF can be useful tool in understanding how social movements affect the process
and dynamics of policy change.
The ACF views policy change over time as primarily the result of competition
and learning among advocacy coalitions within a policy subsystem. An advocacy
coalition characteristically consists of interest group leaders, legislators, agency
officials, researchers, and even journalists who share a set of basic beliefs and engage
in some degree of coordinated behavior in an effort to make governmental policy
more consistent with those beliefs. Conflict among coalitions is mediated by policy
brokers, actors more concerned with fashioning an acceptable compromise than with
achieving specific policy goals (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1993). While the
framework focuses on learning and competition among coalitions within the
subsystem, changes external to the subsystem (such as fluctuations in socio-economic
conditions) and stable system parameters (such as constitutional rules) also play an
important role in major policy change (Weible and Sabatier, 2007). In their
discussion, Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1999) cite social movements as an example
of such an event. Although the authors describe these external system events as
critical prerequisites (p.120) to major policy change, treatment of social movements
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in the ACF does not reflect the importance of movement organizations and activism
suggested by other political and social scientists.
The following propositions describe how social movement activities may
affect the development of policy from an ACF perspective. These propositions will
guide the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data in this study.
Proposition 1
In policy disputes involving social movement activity, deep core beliefs play
an important role in the discourse and strategies of coalitions.
This proposition is based on the central tenet of ACF that most policy learning
occurs at the secondary aspect level because they are assumed to be more readily
adjusted in light of new data, new experience, or changing strategic considerations
(Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999, p. 122). In contrast, during highly contentious
policy disputes, social movement activities may serve as a constant reminder of a
coalitions deep core beliefs. This would place the dispute further into the realm of
basic ontological and normative beliefs than ACF assumes. As a result, interactions
between coalitions may be more emotional and conflictual, positions may be more
entrenched and unchanging, and disputes may be more intractable. This view is
supported by social movement research on beliefs and emotions described earlier in
this chapter.
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Observations supporting the normative foundation of social movement
organizations suggest that in disputes involving high levels of protest and other forms
of contentious politics deep core and policy core beliefs will be the primary focus of
discourse among coalitions. As the following propositions suggest, this focus on core
beliefs could have profound implications for the likelihood of policy-oriented
learning and policy change.
Proposition 2
In policy disputes involving social movement activity, cross-coalition policy
learning is unlikely.
This proposition is based on the ACF Hypothesis 6/Leaming Hypothesis 1
which states:
Policy-oriented learning across belief systems is most likely when
there is an intermediate level of informed conflict between the two
coalitions. This requires that
a. Each has the technical resources to engage in such a debate
b. The conflict be between secondary aspects of one belief
system and core elements of the other, or alternatively,
between important secondary aspects of the two belief
systems (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999, p. 124).
Social movement studies (Inglehart 1990; Gamsonl990; V. Taylor, 1995; Tarrow
2001, Melucci, 1994) have suggested that conflicts between competing social
movements or movement/countermovement relations are founded on highly divergent
world views that imply a significant conflict over what Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith
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(1999) describe as deep core beliefs. When integrated with the ACF, this research
proposes that when social movements are involved in a policy dispute, at least two
conditions outlined in ACF Learning Hypothesis 1 will be violated. First, the level of
conflict will likely exceed intermediate levels and second, the conflicts will be
based on the core belief of competing coalitions rather than on secondary aspects.
ACF states that major policy change based on modifications to deep and policy core
beliefs occur infrequently. Yet the tendency of social movements to argue mainly
about core beliefs suggests that the secondary aspects that Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith
(1999) highlight in their theory of policy change will be discussed less often.
Findings by Jenkins-Smith and St Clair (1993) also support the proposition
that policy-oriented learning will be unlikely when social movements are involved in
policy disputes. The authors demonstrate that the relative propensity of coalition
members to change stated beliefs varies by the type of group and that purposive
groups such as environmental organizations showed little tendency to change
positions regarding any of the beliefs measured (also see Mawhinney, 1993)
If policy learning is unlikely in disputes involving high levels of social
movement activity, then other factors must play an increased role if major policy
change is to occur. In the absence of policy-oriented learning, how would policy
change occur? ACF suggests several possible alternatives.
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ACF argues that a necessary but not sufficient condition for major policy
change within a subsystem is significant perturbations external to the policy
subsystem. External shocks such as regime change, disasters, and the actions of
other subsystems can shift agendas, focus or deflect public attention, change public
opinion, and prompt a change in a coalitions policy core beliefs (Sabatier and
Weible, 2007, p. 198). Recently, Sabatier and Weible (2007, p. 204) added internal
shocks as an alternative path to policy change in the ACF. Drawing on the focusing
event literature, internal shocks can attract public attention, highlight policy
vulnerabilities, and add new information to the policy subsystem.
Internal and external shocks affect the policy arena through two primary
mechanisms. First, they have the potential to redistribute critical political resources
including public and financial support. Second, they can strengthen coalition
members commitment to their core beliefs or create doubt and uncertainty within a
coalition. Power can shift and policy change can occur if a minority coalition
becomes more galvanized in their beliefs while the dominant coalition becomes less
sure (Sabatier and Weible, 2007). However, if it strengthens the beliefs of both
minority and dominant coalitions, a shock can drive a wedge in the policy subsystem
and lead to a stalemate.
Creating internal shocks are one of the hallmarks of social movement activity.
DeLuca (1999, p. 1) uses an unsuccessful attempt by Greenpeace to save a whale by
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placing themselves in a small boat between the whale and a harpoon gun on a Soviet
whaling vessel to describes the effect of internal shocks what he calls image
events:
Without warning, the whalers fired over the heads of the activists,
striking the whale. The steel harpoon cable slashes into the water less
than 5 feet from the zodiac. Though Greenpeaces direct action failed
in its most immediate goal of saving the whale, it succeeded as an
image event. Greenpeace caught the confrontation on film, and it
became the image seen around the world, shown by CBS, ABC, and
NBC news and on other news shows spanning the globe. For Robert
Hunter, director of Greenpeace at the time and one of the activists in
the path of the harpoon, Greenpeace had succeeded in launching a
mind bomb, an image event that explodes in the publics
consciousness to transform the way people view their world. The
consequence of this image event for Greenpeace was, as Hunter
observed, with a single act of filming ourselves in front of the
harpoon, we had entered the mass consciousness of modem America.
Through protests that serve as dramatic image events, social movements may
be creating internal shocks within the subsystem with the potential to redistribute
political resources and confirm or challenge coalition belief systems.
The following proposition examines another potential pathway to policy
change in high-conflict situations when policy learning is basically absent.
Proposition 3
Social movements attempt to create situations in which all major coalitions
view a continuation of the current situation as unacceptable.
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According to Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1999), when all major coalitions
view a continuation of the current situation as unacceptable, a stalemate has occurred.
In such situations, parties may be willing to enter negotiations in the hope of finding
a compromise that is viewed by everyone as superior to the status quo (p. 149-150).
They write (p. 150):
We suspect that the conditions for such a successful consensus
process (i.e., one that results in legally binding agreements viewed
by everyone as an improvement) are similar to those for a
successful professional forum discussed previously:
A. A stalemate exists wherein all coalitions view a
continuation of the status quo as unacceptable,
B. Negotiations are conducted in private and last a
relatively long time (e.g., at least six months)
C. Negotiations are led by a facilitator (policy broker)
respected by all parties and viewed as relatively neutral.
Sabatier and Weible (2007) further describe the conditions under which
negotiations may be successful by incorporating concepts from the field of alternative
dispute resolution. According to Sabatier and Weible (2007, p. 206) a hurting
stalemate must exist in that all parties must view the status quo as unacceptable.
Representatives from all relevant stakeholders must participate in negotiations -
even those labeled difficult. The dispute must be based on empirical as opposed to
normative issues. According to the authors (p.207) Both ACF and ADR agree that
primarily normative issues (e.g., abortion) are not ripe for negotiation. Finally, any
alternatives to a negotiated agreement must be unattractive to stakeholders.
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The social movement literature is replete with discussions on the disruptive
power of social movement activities designed to create the very conditions that
Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith describe. As a means for advancing its belief system,
movements seek to escalate and highlight conflict. According to Piven and Cloward
(1995, p.235), Social Movements thrive on conflict. They impact politics because
the issues they raise and the strife they create widen cleavages among groups. The
authors refer to this process as dissensus politics to differentiate it from the usual
process of recruiting adherents and assembling coalitions or what they refer to as
consensus politics. This characteristic may force a stalemate in the political arena.
Social movements are thus viewed as threats to the political process,
composed of single-issue groups unwilling to compromise a prospect that tends to
paralyze the democratic process. This characteristic also leads to a hurting stalemate.
According to Libby (1998, p. 217),
Critics argue that the wave of new expressive groups since the 1970s
has paralyzed the democratic system by overloading it with shrill and
uncompromising demands...the expressive groups are led by single
issue zealots whose extremist rhetoric has poisoned public discourse
and made more difficult the compromise that is an intrinsic part of
democratic policy making.
An example of this attitude can be seen in the Earth First! rallying cry No
Compromise for Mother Earth!
Another way in which social movements may seek to create stalemate within
a policy subsystem and force a negotiated agreement is through public disruption.
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The ability to create public disruption is an important political resource for social
movements. Kolb (2000) argues that the power of disruption stems from the fact that
the state is responsible to safeguard public order. Public unrest signals an unusual
degree of dissatisfaction and that people are challenging state monopoly on the
legitimate use of force. Democratic governments cannot ignore such a challenge for
long. Therefore, they normally react with harsh repression to any form of public
disruption (Della Porta and Reiter 1998). But if repression does not work, it is
possible that they may be forced to address protesters demands through negotiations
and are sometimes willing to make concessions to restore public order.
The potential power of disruption to force parties to the negotiating table has
also been indirectly acknowledged by scholars studying public policies. For example,
Keeler (1993) in his research on policy innovations argues that an unusual degree of
social unrest can lead to a crisis which in turn can lead to policy change through
various ways. Keeler (1993, p. 441) argues that:
Crises featuring not merely serious socioeconomic problems but also
an unusual degree of social mobilization (e.g., strikes, demonstrations,
and/or sporadic acts of violence) related to demands for reform, can
create a sense of genuine fear predicated on the assumption that
inaction may endanger lives and property.
This realization that the conditions created in part by social movement
activities cannot continue may persuade political elites and coalitions within a policy
subsystem to negotiate with social movements. Studies of the civil rights movement
also provide evidence that protest can be an effective political activity. Morris (1999)
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argues that the civil rights movement was able to overthrow the Southern Jim Crow
regime because of its successful use of mass nonviolent direct action. According to
Bloom (1987), protests created a crisis because they disrupted social order and
created an atmosphere that was not conducive to business and commerce in the South,
and the intensity and visibility of demonstrations caused the Kennedy Administration
and the Congress to seek measures that would end demonstrations and restore social
order (Morris 1984, Schlesinger 1965).
Another possible outcome is that because of the emotional, uncompromising
nature of social movements, political elites may exclude them from policy
negotiations, or turn to less participatory and less accessible venues to develop policy.
According to Satterfield (2002), movement participants, who are often emotionally
expressive, can be viewed as emotionally out of control, thus justifying the
discounting of their concerns.
Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1999) also recognize that multiple policy arenas
and tendencies of interest groups to venue shop often leads to stalemate. They state:
A frequent result of venue shopping is policy stalemate: Coalition A
dominates one venue and Coalition B dominates another. When
approval from both is required, the result is a stalemate (Sabatier and
Jenkins-Smith, 1999, p. 143).
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Conclusion
The purpose of this chapter was threefold. First, it situated this research
within the policy and social movement fields by describing related studies within the
social movements and the policy literatures. Second, it identified concepts that are
recognized as important by both social movement and policy theories. Third, it
derived propositions based on the social movement literature and ACF, a well-
established policy theory, which guides this research.
The first section of this chapter examined political process and new social
movement approaches to studying social movements. These particular approaches
deserve the criticism leveled by Meyer (2005, p.6) that they present the policy
process as a black box, described without nuance or contingency. However, they
were examined because they recognize the importance of concepts highlighted in the
policy literature. Concepts such as political elites and allies, coalitions, and belief
systems are important to both social movements and policy scholars. Other concepts
such as emotions may play more of a role in the policy process than policy scholars
like to admit.
The second section examined how the concepts identified in the social
movement literature were addressed by ACF and other policy theories. The review
indicates that policy theories allude to the potential impact of social movements but
do not adequately describe the relationship between movement activities and policy
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outcomes. Research using the theories fails to describe mechanisms through which
protests, demonstrations, strikes, and civil disobedience impact policy. This leaves an
important unanswered question for policy analysts, government officials, and
scholars: How will the dynamics of the policy process change if social movements
are involved in a policy dispute?
The third section presents three propositions that will guide this research
based on hypotheses and concepts described in ACF. Using this approach, the
research will examine the effectiveness of ACF in describing the policy process for
disputes involving social movement activity.
The literature review describes several concepts from the social movement
literature that also played important roles in policy theories. Social movement
literature addresses the importance of political elites and allies in social movement
success. Amenta (2005) suggests that influential political allies must adopt the goals
of social movement activists if they are to be effective. Policy theories also view
political allies, elites, and coalitions as central components of the policy process.
Schlager (1999) argues that the extent to which policy changes over time is
determined by how people come together, organize themselves, and promote policy
options. Sabatier challenges policy scientists to consider influential elites and allies
such as agency officials and legislators as members of advocacy coalitions.
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Theories of the policy process often view policy brokers as important actors in
the policy process. In ACF, for example, policy brokers are considered an important
alternative path to policy change in conflicts where policy learning does not occur.
Social movement theory recognizes that movement organization often lack the
political resources to directly affect policy, however the literature is silent of the role
of policy brokers.
Venue shopping is also acknowledged by social movement scholars and
policy scientists as an important concept in their respective fields. The court system is
viewed as an important venue for social movements, but has been given less
substantial treatment by policy theorists.
Similarly, beliefs play an important role in social movement dynamics. Social
movements exist in part due to a shared ideology based on deeply rooted belief
systems and they target and challenge the beliefs held by opposing coalitions. Policy
theories are beginning to recognize the importance of beliefs in the creation of
advocacy coalitions and the ways in which they function in the policy arena.
Emotions play a prominent role in the understanding of social movements but have
yet to be fully explored and incorporated in policy theories. However, studies of
emotions in the fields of political philosophy, sociology, and neuroscience suggest
that emotions play a key role in political decision-making and political action.
86