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Strategic Action Fields and the Context of Political Entrepreneurship: How Disability Rights Became Part of the Policy Agenda

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change

ISBN: 978-1-78190-732-0, eISBN: 978-1-78190-733-7

ISSN: 0163-786X

Publication date: 17 June 2013

Abstract

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, disability rights found a place on the U.S. policy agenda. However, it did not do so because social movement groups pressured political elites or because politicians were responding to changes in public preferences. Drawing from recent work in neo-institutionalism and social movements, namely the theory of strategic action fields, I posit that exogenous shocks in the 1960s caused a disability policy monopoly to collapse giving way to a new policy community. Using original longitudinal data on congressional committees, hearings, bills, and laws, as well as data from the Policy Agendas Project, I demonstrate the ways in which entrepreneurs pursued a new policy image of rights within a context of increasing committee involvement, issue complexity, and space on the policy agenda, and the consequences this had on policy.

Keywords

Citation

Pettinicchio, D. (2013), "Strategic Action Fields and the Context of Political Entrepreneurship: How Disability Rights Became Part of the Policy Agenda", Coy, P.G. (Ed.) Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 36), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 79-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000036006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited