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Table 1 Elements forming theories of the policy process (Adapted from [37])

From: Application of theories of the policy process in research on consumption of sustainable diets: a systematic review

Theory Scope Level of analysis Relationships among key concepts
1 Multiple Streams Approach Policy choices under condition of ambiguity System (implicit) with focus on policy actors coupling the streams Three independent streams that come together during ‘policy windows’ of opportunity which significantly increases the chance of policy adoption
2 Punctuated Equilibrium Theory Political system usually in stable state punctuated by periodic major change System (implicit) Factors limiting change or generating incrementalism and factors leading to major change
3 Social Construction Framework Target populations and policy dynamics System (implicit) Social construction of target groups influences policy agenda and policy rationales
4 Advocacy Coalition Framework Interactions of advocacy coalitions influencing policy change Coalitions and policy subsystems Factors influencing formation of coalitions, policy change and policy learning
5 Narrative Policy Framework How narratives influence policy agendas, policy decisions, policy change and public opinions Micro (individual), Meso (coalitions, institutions)
Macro (Societal)
Influence of narratives on public opinion/mood, coalition strategies, policy making and learning
6 Institutional Analysis and Development Framework How institutional arrangements are devised to solve collective action problems and outcomes of these arrangements “Action arena” any social space where individuals interact At the theory level: Factors and principles that lead to collective action and principles of the governance of common pool resources
7 Diffusion of Innovations Policy diffusion and innovation Venues/states where policy making takes place Factors in policy diffusion and adoption
8 Policy Feedback Theory Influence of policies on politics and subsequent policy making System (implicit) How public policies affect the power of groups, the meaning of citizenship, policy agendas and governance structures – all of which impact future policies