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Conflicting advocacy coalitions in an evolving modern biotechnology regulatory subsystem: policy learning and influencing Kenya’s regulatory policy process

Kingiri, A

Science and Public Policy   38 (3) 199-211

April 2011

In many countries in Africa, the twin processes of modern biotechnology transfer and development of a regulatory regime have co-evolved. This provides a rich context in which to evaluate the underlying social and institutional factors that confront an evolving regulatory subsystem. This paper uses Kenya’s biosafety regulatory system for the management of biotechnology as a case study to analyse such coevolution. Drawing some insights from the Advocacy Coalition Framework, this politically charged subsystem reveals empirically two advocacy coalitions which influenced the regulatory decision process trajectory. This has had significant implications for emerging regulatory instruments where different sources of knowledge informed the process. Thus, any innovation system with governance issues should reconceptualise how the tacit knowledge emanating from the complex relationships built around different advocacy coalitions is managed.