In Advocacy Coalition Framework, a hurting stalemate can occur when competing advocacy coalitions fight each other to a (bloody) standstill, but keep shedding blood…
Once conflicts escalate for extended periods of time, the coalitions may reach a stalemate: a situation in which neither side can win, but neither side wants to back down or accept loss either (Rubin, Pruitt, & Kim, 1994). In the ACF, such a situation is called a “hurting stalemate” when both coalitions perceive the status quo as unacceptable and perceive no alternate venues for achieving their objections other than negotiations (Sabatier & Weible, 2007). In such a situation, policy brokers have the potential to help negotiate agreements between coalitions (Sabatier, 1988, p. 133). The broker’s principal concern is to keep the level of conflict within acceptable limits and to help the parties reach some “reasonable” solution (Sabatier, 1993, p. 27).
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.
see also Menahem and Gilad (2016) who recommend the following three works.
Ingold, K., & Varone, F. (2011). Treating policy brokers seriously: Evidence from the climate policy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22, 319–346.
Sabatier, P. A., & Weible, C. M. (2007). The advocacy coalition framework: Innovations and clarifications. In P. A. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process, 2nd ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Sabatier, P. A., Leach, W. D., Lubell, M., & Pelkey, N. W. (2005). Theoretical frameworks explaining partnership success. In P. A. Sabatier, et al. (Eds.), Swimming upstream: Collaborative approaches to watershed management (pp. 173–200). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
See also policy punctuation, policy brokers