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The policy-opinion link and institutional change: the legislative agenda of the UK and Scottish parliaments

John, Peter, Bevan, Shaun and Jennings, Will (2011) The policy-opinion link and institutional change: the legislative agenda of the UK and Scottish parliaments Journal of European Public Policy, 18, (7), pp. 1052-1068. (doi:10.1080/13501763.2011.599982).

Record type: Article


Institutions can affect the degree to which public opinion influences policy by determining the clarity of responsibility in decision-making. The sharing of power between national and devolved levels of government makes it difficult for the public to attribute responsibility for decisions. In the UK, this generates the prediction that the devolution of power to territorial units weakens the effect of public opinion on policy both for the UK and Scottish governments. To test this expectation, this paper analyses responsiveness of the legislative outputs of the UK and Scottish parliaments to the issue priorities of the public. It finds the policy-opinion link in the UK appears to be weaker since devolution to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 compared with the period between 1977 and 1998. It shows no evidence of a direct link between issue priorities of the Scottish public and legislative outputs of the Scottish Parliament.

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Published date: 9 September 2011
Keywords: agendas, devolution, legislation, opinion, policy, scotland
Organisations: Politics & International Relations


Local EPrints ID: 336587
ISSN: 1350-1763
PURE UUID: 23414649-349d-492b-a8ce-387f636b0f5d

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Date deposited: 30 Mar 2012 09:30
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:07

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Author: Peter John
Author: Shaun Bevan
Author: Will Jennings

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