The Alcohol Health Alliance: the emergence of an advocacy coalition to stimulate policy change

Thom, Betsy, Herring, Rachel, Thickett, Anthony and Duke, Karen L. ORCID: (2015) The Alcohol Health Alliance: the emergence of an advocacy coalition to stimulate policy change. British Politics . ISSN 1746-918X (Published online first) (doi:10.1057/bp.2015.50)

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This paper provides an account of the emergence and early development of the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), a coalition of organizations including medical bodies, charities and alcohol health campaigners. Launched in 2007, the AHA aimed to re-frame awareness of alcohol consumption and related harms, to gain greater policy saliency for health compared to criminal justice priorities, and to shift policy towards adopting a population approach as compared to a targeted approach to intervention. The strategies used by the AHA to mobilize support and re-frame understanding of the alcohol problem, were successful in the short term. The alliance benefited from their links with established powerful institutions that helped them secure a strong presence within the policy arena and in the media, not least by forging relationships with political allies. However, in the longer term, it may be difficult to maintain a position of strength and to combat pre-existing entrenched relationships that favour competing alternative perceptions of the alcohol problem and the appropriate policy response.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Advance online publication : 8 February 2016
Keywords (uncontrolled): stakeholders, policy advocacy, alcohol, UK
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 18816
Notes on copyright: Attached full text: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in British Politics. The definitive publisher-authenticated version "Thom, B., Herring, R., Thickett, A., & Duke, K. (2016). The Alcohol Health Alliance: The emergence of an advocacy coalition to stimulate policy change. Brit Pol. doi:10.1057/bp.2015.50" is available online at:
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Depositing User: Rachel Herring
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 11:32
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2019 10:24

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