A research agenda for the study of policy entrepreneurs

Evangelia Petridou, Michael Mintrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The study of policy entrepreneurs as agents of change has developed greatly in recent years, supported by increasingly more sophisticated theoretical and empirical research. In this article, we first consider how the concept of the policy entrepreneur can be integrated into broader theories of the policy process, with particular focus on the compatibility of the concept with the narrative policy framework. We then propose that further empirical research on policy entrepreneurs focus on five tasks: (i) delimiting policy entrepreneurs as a distinct class of actor; (ii) investigating contextual factors that encourage the emergence of policy entrepreneurs; (iii) further specifying the strategies policy entrepreneurs deploy; (iv) improving the measurement of the impact policy entrepreneurs have in the policy process; and (v) identifying when policy entrepreneurs prompt widescale change. New theoretical and empirical contributions along these lines could do much to advance our understanding of agency and structure in contemporary politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-967
Number of pages25
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • narrative policy framework
  • policy entrepreneurs
  • policy process theories

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