Advocacy coalitions in rural revitalisation: The roles of policy brokers and policy learning
Vibrant rural communities are an integral component of sustainable societies due to their ability to nurture and sustain ecological and cultural diversity. Yet changing social and economic processes have led to the break-down of rural communities. This paper demonstrates how collaborative forms of governance contribute to policy learning and so rural sustainability. An analysis of a case study on rural revitalisation using the Advocacy Coalition Framework and narrative analysis reveal how common misconceptions can hinder revitalisation efforts. The role of a policy broker is shown to be vital in the dissolution of these policy misconceptions. Emphasis is on policy brokering strategies, particularly the use of venue creation, issue (re)framing and knowledge coproduction, which resulted in changing policy believes and so policy learning. As a result of stakeholder coalitions being inspired to reconsider their beliefs, the alignment of policy goals became possible and the effects of imbalanced power relations mitigated.