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Handbook of Public Policy Agenda Setting (2016)

(Publisher : Elgar Publishers)

Author(s) : Nikolaoas Zahariadis

Setting the agenda on agenda setting, this Handbook explores how and why private matters become public issues and occasionally government priorities.


It provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the perspectives, individuals, and institutions involved in setting the government's agenda at subnational, national, and international levels. Drawing on contributions from leading academics across the world, this Handbook is split into five distinct parts. Part one sets public policy agenda setting in its historical context, devoting chapters to more in-depth studies of the main individual scholars and their works. Part two offers an extensive examination of the theoretical development, whilst part three provides a comprehensive look at the various institutional dimensions. Part four reviews the literature on sub-national, national and international governance levels. Finally, part five offers innovative coverage on agenda setting during crises. The first of its kind, this Handbook will be the definitive reference tool in public policy agenda setting for scholars, students, and practitioners in political science, public policy, public administration, and mass communication.

Table of contents

1. Setting the Agenda on Agenda Setting: Definitions, Concepts, and Controversies, Nikolaos Zahariadis


Part I. People and Context

2. A Radical Idea Tamed: The Work of Roger Cobb and Charles Elder, Bryan D. Jones

3. Agenda Setting, Problem Definition, and their Contributions to a Political Policy Analysis, David A. Rochefort

4. John Kingdon and the Evolutionary Approach to Public Policy and Agenda Setting, Frank R. Baumgartner


Part II. Theoretical Developments

5. Punctuated Equilibrium Theory, Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Sebastiaan Princen

6. Multiple Streams Analysis: A Flexible Metaphor Presents an Opportunity to Operationalize Agenda Setting Processes, Paul Cairney and Nikolaos Zahariadis

7. Making Sense of Complexity: The NPF and Agenda Setting, Holly L. Peterson and Michael D. Jones

8. Constructivism and Agenda Setting, Sabine Saurugger


Part III. Institutional Dimensions

9. Political Agenda Setting by the Mass Media, Peter Van Aelst and Stefaan Walgrave

10. Policy Entrepreneurship and Agenda Setting, Nissim Cohen

11. Interest Groups and Agenda Setting, Laura Chaqués-Bonafont

12. Political Parties and the Policy Agenda, Vilém Novotný, Martin Polášek, and Michel Perottino

13. Presidential Power and Agenda Setting, Paul Rutledge

14. The Domestication of a “Wild” Problem: Taming Policy Agenda Setting, Philippe Zittoun

15. Knowledge, Epistemic Communities, and Agenda Setting, Claire A. Dunlop


Part IV. Comparative Applications across Levels of Government


16. Local Government Agenda Setting, Rebecca Eissler, Peter B. Mortensen, Annelise Russell

17. Agenda Setting Dynamics and Differences across Issues: Agenda Setting on the Economy and Foreign Policy, Jeffrey S. Peake

18. Communications Policy in the EU: The UK as a Policy Entrepreneur, Alison Harcourt

19. Agenda Setting in the European Union: From Sui Generis to Mainstream, Sebastiaan Princen

20. The United Nations and Agenda Setting, Jutta Joachim and Natalia Dalmer


Part V. Agendas and Crises

21. Attention and Natural Disasters, Thomas A. Birkland

22. Institutional Crisis and the Policy Agenda, Chris Ansell, Arjen Boin, and Sanneke Kuipers

23. Financial Regulation and Agenda Dynamics: Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis, Roy Gava

24. Problem Definition and the Social Dimensions of Crises, Stella Ladi




Bibliographic Information

'The study of agenda setting and the content of public agendas are key elements of politics and political science. This outstanding collection of essays is an important volume for any scholar working in the area. It covers the origins of ideas about agenda setting, theoretical developments in the field, the institutions that play a key role in setting agendas, comparative agenda setting, and agendas and crises; indeed, everything you are likely to think about when it comes to public policy agenda setting. An invaluable resource.'

- Joel D. Aberbach, University of California, Los Angeles, US


'This is an essential guide for scholars and policy practitioners who seek to understand the forces that shape policy agendas and their consequences for policymaking and governing. The collection provides a wealth of historical, theoretical, and empirical insights grounded in contemporary issues. The contributions enliven the field by considering comparative research issues, methodological developments, and future research agendas. The assembly of a highly distinguished set of scholars as authors makes this all the more impressive.'

- Peter J. May, University of Washington, US


'This Handbook is an excellent resource for students and researchers who want a great introduction to the field of agenda setting and public policy. The diverse contributing authors range from established scholars to early career researchers, and the chapters really work well and integrate effectively to make an important statement about the field of agenda setting today. The editor has done a great job. This book will have a prominent place in my reading list.'

- Peter John, University College London, UK



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