Political Brokers and Entrepreneurs: Distinguishing Between Exceptional Agents

Ingold, Karin; Christopoulos, Dimitris (3 July 2010). Political Brokers and Entrepreneurs: Distinguishing Between Exceptional Agents (Unpublished). In: Sunbelt XXX International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) Conference. Riva del Garda. 29.06-04.07.2010.

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This article contributes to the theoretical discussion about the crucial position of entrepreneurs and brokers in policy networks and provides a test through the analysis of empirical data. Previous studies have demonstrated that exceptional agents play a crucial role in affecting policy outputs and influencing policy change (Schneider and Teske, 1995; Mintrom and Vergari, 1996; Christopoulos, 2006; Ingold, 2008). Earlier empirical analysis however rarely distinguishes entrepreneurs and brokers who are assumed to have similar relational profiles. Policy process theories however, regardless of whether theorized as advocacy coalitions, policy streams or punctuated equilibria invariably accord entrepreneurs and brokers different roles: brokers are assumed to facilitate negotiations and to affect stability within and across networks; while entrepreneurs are assumed to strategically attempt to influence outputs and to gain access in decision making.
Based on network theory and original empirical data, we are able to refine existing conceptual definitions and provide an operationalisation that distinguishes between entrepreneurs and brokers. In our conclusions we offer support to a comprehensive approach in capturing exceptional political action, one that combines data from actors relational profile and attributes with an analysis of a contextual setting on event parameters.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Ingold, Karin Mirjam


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Karin Mirjam Ingold Michel

Date Deposited:

14 Aug 2017 16:21

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:04



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