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Book cover: Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change

ISSN: 0163-786X
Series editor(s): Dr Patrick G. Coy

Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy

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


Document Information:
Title:Strategic Action Fields and the Context of Political Entrepreneurship: How Disability Rights Became Part of the Policy Agenda
Author(s):David Pettinicchio
Volume:36 Editor(s): Patrick G. Coy ISBN: 978-1-78190-732-0 eISBN: 978-1-78190-733-7
Citation:David Pettinicchio (2013), Strategic Action Fields and the Context of Political Entrepreneurship: How Disability Rights Became Part of the Policy Agenda, in Patrick G. Coy (ed.) Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Volume 36), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.79-106
DOI:10.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000036006 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
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.

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