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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Environmental Science & Policy
Volume (Issue) 112
Page(s) 141 - 154
Title of proceedings Environmental Science & Policy
DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.06.010


This article demonstrates the analytical added value of combining the Institutional Resource Regime (IRR) approach with the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF). To this end, we use the example of Swiss wind power policy and demonstrate the necessity of combining the two theoretical frameworks so as to understand why a more supportive policy regime (market incentives, clearer environmental regulations, inter-sectoral coordination mechanisms) for Swiss wind power during the 2000s and 2010s, did not lead to an increase in the number of wind turbines in Switzerland. In order to evaluate the explanatory capacity of such a theoretical combination, we analyze and compare two cases of wind power policy implementation: the successful case of Mont-Crosin and the failure of Tramelan. More concretely, we first analyze each of the cases through the institutional lenses of the IRR framework. After assessing IRR explanatory capacities and shortcomings, we then test the explanatory added value of the ACF and demonstrate that policy beliefs and advocacy coalitions are central explanatory factors of wind power project siting success or failure. We conclude by discussing the theoretical potential of combining the two frameworks in a future research agenda.