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Hirschi, C; Widmer, T (2010). Policy Change and Policy Stasis: Comparing Swiss Foreign Policy toward South Africa (1968–94) and Iraq (1990–91). Policy Studies Journal, 38(3):537-563.

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This article investigates how concepts from the field of public policy, in particular the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) initially introduced by Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, can be applied to the study of foreign policy analysis. Using a most similar comparative case studies design, we examine Switzerland's foreign policy toward South Africa under apartheid for the period from 1968 to 1994 and compare it with the Swiss position toward Iraq after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, when the Swiss government imposed—for the first time—comprehensive economic sanctions against another state. The application of the ACF shows that a dominant advocacy coalition in Swiss foreign policy toward South Africa prevented a major policy change in Swiss–South African relations despite external pressure from the international and national political levels. Actually, quite the opposite could be observed: Swiss foreign policy increased its persistence in not taking economic sanctions against the racist regime in South Africa during the 1980s and early 1990s. The ACF, with its analytical focus on policy subsystems and the role of external shocks as potential triggers for change, provided a useful framework for analyzing the factors for policy change and stasis in Swiss foreign relations toward the selected two countries.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Date:11 September 2010
Deposited On:25 Feb 2011 16:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:38
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1541-0072.2010.00373.x
Official URL:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-0072.2010.00373.x/abstract

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