John, Peter and Jennings, Will
Punctuations and turning points in British politics: the policy agenda of the Queen’s speech, 1940-2005
British Journal of Political Science, 40, (3), . (doi:10.1017/S0007123409990068).
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This article explores the politics of attention in Britain from 1940 to 2005. It uses the Speech from the Throne (the King’s or Queen’s Speech) at the state opening of each session of parliament as a measure of the government’s priorities, which is coded according to topic as categorized by the Policy Agendas framework. The article aims to advance understanding of a core aspect of the political agenda in Britain, offering empirical insights on established theories, claims and narratives about post-war British politics and policy making. The analysis uses both distributional and time-series tests that reveal the punctuated character of the political agenda in Britain and its increasing fragmentation over time, with turning points observed in 1964 and 1991.
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