What is the major social problem in the news today? Who made it so important? Social issues that are widely recognized on the media agenda often demand attention on the public agenda, and in turn move quickly up the policy agenda, creating policy changes. Based on research of contemporary social issues that have hit the headlines - including the war on drugs, drink-driving, the Exxon Valdez oil spillage, AIDS and the Ethiopian famine - this book provides important theoretical and practical insights into the agenda-setting process and its role in effecting social change.

Policy Agenda Studies

Policy agenda studies

The great problem in American politics is: What makes things happen?

E. E. Schattschneider (1960, p. vii)

Agendas are not first set and then alternatives generated; instead, alternatives must be advocated for a long period before a shortrun opportunity presents itself on an agenda.

John W. Kingdon (1984, p. 215)

The central topic of this chapter is how an issue gets on the policy agenda, and leads, perhaps, to government policies designed to address or solve a social problem. A public policy may be expressed in the form of a new law, an executive order, an appropriation, or some other governmental action. The policy agenda is of key importance because it represents an outcome of activity and influence on the media agenda and on ...

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