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Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas

Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas
Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas
The distribution of attention across issues is of fundamental importance to the political agenda and outputs of government. This article presents an issue-based theory of the diversity of governing agendas where the core functions of government—defense, international affairs, the economy, government operations, and the rule of law—are prioritized ahead of all other issues. It undertakes comparative analysis of issue diversity of the executive agenda of several European countries and the United States over the postwar period. The results offer strong evidence of the limiting effect of core issues—the economy, government operations, defense, and international affairs—on agenda diversity. This suggests not only that some issues receive more attention than others but also that some issues are attended to only at times when the agenda is more diverse. When core functions of government are high on the agenda, executives pursue a less diverse agenda—focusing the majority of their attention on fewer issues. Some issues are more equal than others in executive agenda setting.
comparative public policy, agenda setting, executive speeches, policy dynamics
0010-4140
1001-1030
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Bevan, Shaun
3142fa60-e99e-4f65-8ece-37cea21799cf
Timmermans, Arco
7e11b412-c2d4-4eba-ba37-7b6dbe576b5b
Breeman, Gerard
ae006939-cfde-48c9-873b-e0f6bd0a0ba1
Brouard, Sylvain
ff626210-3c0e-4f13-827e-d1d54da26df8
Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura
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Green-Pedersen, Christoffer
f81e3f67-65bf-471c-b13d-62c9283af40a
John, Peter
fd080737-2b23-44ff-bc56-c7f9c2293de4
Mortensen, Peter B.
7e41a4a2-c050-4ed3-8296-a12c9e2fabec
Palau, Anna M.
abb22512-770a-4438-9ce0-770ca5f8895a
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Bevan, Shaun
3142fa60-e99e-4f65-8ece-37cea21799cf
Timmermans, Arco
7e11b412-c2d4-4eba-ba37-7b6dbe576b5b
Breeman, Gerard
ae006939-cfde-48c9-873b-e0f6bd0a0ba1
Brouard, Sylvain
ff626210-3c0e-4f13-827e-d1d54da26df8
Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura
28f78b2e-7723-41e6-b8df-b9452d00e921
Green-Pedersen, Christoffer
f81e3f67-65bf-471c-b13d-62c9283af40a
John, Peter
fd080737-2b23-44ff-bc56-c7f9c2293de4
Mortensen, Peter B.
7e41a4a2-c050-4ed3-8296-a12c9e2fabec
Palau, Anna M.
abb22512-770a-4438-9ce0-770ca5f8895a

Jennings, Will, Bevan, Shaun, Timmermans, Arco, Breeman, Gerard, Brouard, Sylvain, Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura, Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, John, Peter, Mortensen, Peter B. and Palau, Anna M. (2011) Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas. Comparative Political Studies, 44 (8), 1001-1030. (doi:10.1177/0010414011405165).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The distribution of attention across issues is of fundamental importance to the political agenda and outputs of government. This article presents an issue-based theory of the diversity of governing agendas where the core functions of government—defense, international affairs, the economy, government operations, and the rule of law—are prioritized ahead of all other issues. It undertakes comparative analysis of issue diversity of the executive agenda of several European countries and the United States over the postwar period. The results offer strong evidence of the limiting effect of core issues—the economy, government operations, defense, and international affairs—on agenda diversity. This suggests not only that some issues receive more attention than others but also that some issues are attended to only at times when the agenda is more diverse. When core functions of government are high on the agenda, executives pursue a less diverse agenda—focusing the majority of their attention on fewer issues. Some issues are more equal than others in executive agenda setting.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 15 May 2011
Published date: August 2011
Keywords: comparative public policy, agenda setting, executive speeches, policy dynamics
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 336602
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/336602
ISSN: 0010-4140
PURE UUID: 60c73196-f1ed-4050-8465-353e916675fa
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Mar 2012 10:42
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:06

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Contributors

Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD
Author: Shaun Bevan
Author: Arco Timmermans
Author: Gerard Breeman
Author: Sylvain Brouard
Author: Laura Chaqués-Bonafont
Author: Christoffer Green-Pedersen
Author: Peter John
Author: Peter B. Mortensen
Author: Anna M. Palau

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