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The importance of skillful community leaders: understanding municipal pesticide policy change in Calgary and Halifax


  • R. Hirsch
  • J. Baxter
  • C. Brown


This paper focuses on policy change under scientific uncertainty. This is done by exploring two case studies of Canadian pesticide policy evolution applied to Sabatier's 'Advocacy Coalition Framework'. 'Stakeholder' and 'narrative policy' analyses are emphasised to understand pesticide policy changes in Calgary (public education without a restrictive by-law) and Halifax (restrictive by-law). The parallel case studies consist of qualitative interviews with members of pesticide policy advisory committees in each city and a content analysis of local newspaper articles. Key resources mobilised by coalitions to achieve their policy goals include skillful leadership, and the use by those leaders of the media to disseminate coalition narratives. Further, the context of policy change contributed to the scenarios whereby pro-by-law grassroots activists were particularly successful in Halifax and anti-by-law city employees were most influential in Calgary.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Hirsch & J. Baxter & C. Brown, 2010. "The importance of skillful community leaders: understanding municipal pesticide policy change in Calgary and Halifax," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(6), pages 743-757.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:53:y:2010:i:6:p:743-757
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2010.488110

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