In advocacy coalition framework, deep core beliefs “are fundamental and unlikely to change (like a ‘religious conversion’) but too broad to guide detailed policy (such as one’s views on human nature” (Cairney, 2013)
Ingold (2011:437) puts it well
1. A deep core of fundamental normative and ontological axioms.
2. A policy core of basic strategies and policy propositions for achieving deep core
beliefs in a given political subsystem.
3. A set of secondary aspects comprising a multitude of instrumental decisions
necessary to implement the policy core.
Ingold, K. 2011. Network Structures within Policy Processes: Coalitions, Power, and Brokerage in Swiss Climate Policy. Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 39, (3), pp.435-459.