Policy entrepreneurs and strategies for change

Stijn Brouwer*, Dave Huitema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Despite the fact that we currently witness an increasing interest in the study of the role of agency in policy dynamics, it remains in many respects a puzzle how policy change can be explained, let alone directed. This paper focusses intently on the concept, incidence, and strategic behaviour of policy entrepreneurs. By elucidating their strategic modus operandi, we aim to contribute to a better understanding of the strategies that individual change agents employ in their efforts to effect policy change, as well as to examine their contextual effectiveness. In addition to new data on the incidence and profile of policy entrepreneurs and the (contextual) conditions relating to the selection of strategies, this paper presents a novel typology of entrepreneurial strategies, linking these to circumstances under which they can be effective. Our paper concludes with a discussion on how our findings relate to the main theories of policy change, and what they mean for the larger democratic questions about accountability and legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1272
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Climate change
  • Policy change
  • Policy entrepreneurs
  • Strategies
  • Water governance


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