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Belief Systems and the Emergence of Advocacy Coalitions in Nascent Subsystems: A Case Study of the European GNSS Program Galileo

GPS, Vol. 7 No. 2, (2011)

The European GNSS program Galileo belongs to the most ambitious pro-grams of the European Community. The project aims at connecting politi-cal, economic and technological goals. The several goals of Galileo led to a high number of actors involved, representing politics, economy, and re-search. These actors follow several different belief systems relying on scien-tific or economic interests, respectively. The requirements of satellite tech-nology and the expectations to get direct economic values led to coordina-tion problems within the political subsystem. Additionally there were sever-al groups of actors belonging to different modes of transport, supplemented by the scientific developers of GNSS.
Because of the complexity of the actor constellation and the fluid insti-tutional responsibilities this paper uses the Advocacy Coalition Framework to identify actors, beliefs, and potential causes of policy change. The case study focuses on the question how interests and perceptions of latent actors are transformed into policy belief systems and how actors form Advocacy Coalitions in nascent subsystems. It illustrates the major role of beliefs and subjectively perceived information for long-term policy processes.

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