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Profile picture of Åsa Knaggård. Photo.

Åsa Knaggård

Associate professor

Profile picture of Åsa Knaggård. Photo.

Framing the Problem: Knowledge Brokers in the Multiple Streams Approach


  • Åsa Knaggård

Summary, in English

A lot of attention has been focused on the policy stream of the multiple streams framework (MSF). John Kingdon used the role of the policy entrepreneur to theorize what was going on when problems become political issues. In order to fully grasp this process we need to further theorize also the problem stream. What is going on in the problem stream is defining the conditions for coupling done by policy entrepreneurs. It creates the context for coupling. Framing of a condition as a problem make us think about the problem in a particular way, which enables coupling to certain policies, but not to others. By including the knowledge broker as an actor in the problem stream, we can study the process of framing conditions as political problems and thereby the context of coupling. How political problems are viewed in different countries could possibly depend on differences in problem framing, rather than regarding policy entrepreneurs. The constant framing and reframing by knowledge brokers makes it important to study who gets to talk and who is listened to. Time, access, and credibility are crucial for the success of a knowledge broker. A further benefit of including the knowledge broker in the MSF is that we can theorize why actors move or do not move between streams. Kingdon argued that this movement was possible, but rather limited. The presence of institutional constraints is suggested as important for understanding this. My arguments are illustrated by a case study of climate change policy-making in the Swedish and international context.


  • Department of Political Science
  • Miljöpolitik-lup-obsolete
  • Förvaltning - demokrati-lup-obsolete

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper


  • Political Science


  • multiple streams framework
  • framing
  • knowledge broker
  • Kingdon

Conference name

ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, 2013

Conference date

2013-03-11 - 2013-03-16

Conference place

Mainz, Germany



Research group

  • Miljöpolitik-lup-obsolete
  • Förvaltning - demokrati-lup-obsolete