The Emergence and Critical Role of Policy Entrepreneurs in the Operation of Federal Regulatory Agencies

A landmark book titled Lobbying and Policymaking has been published by the Congressional Quarterly based upon a decade of research sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

The focus of the book is to highlight the activities of policy(social) entrepreneurs in their private pursuit of the public interest  by affecting  the activities of regulatory agencies. The authors state that the presence of policy entrepreneurs has lead to significant changes in the operation of federal agencies. More specifically, “Policy entrepreneurs use their knowledge of people and institutions to get their issue on the agenda and to ensure that their preferred policy alternative has the best chance of success”. (p. 55)

It should be noted that the social entrepreneurs studied by the author were located outside the government but that need not be the case; there are social entrepreneurs, however scarce, in the federal government. Furthermore it should be emphasized that the study was conducted under the watchful eye of the National Science Foundation. A synopsis of the study is in this link Penn RegBlog.  See a related article by a political scientist.

                                              Reference Material

Policy entrepreneurs use the proven techniques developed in the private sector to solve societal problems. Private sector corporations could retool some of their employees to become policy entrepreneurs by modifying their Corporate Social Responsibility programs to deliver public benefits by using the expertise they gained through working on their core business activities.

 Policy Entrepreneurs

Leon Billings 

Social Entrepreneurs


Medical Cannabis   


Administrative Law Review (p. 68)

A Forbes List of 400 Social Entrepreneurs?

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