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

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), pp. 1001-1030. (doi:10.1177/0010414011405165).

Record type: Article


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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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


Local EPrints ID: 336602
ISSN: 0010-4140
PURE UUID: 60c73196-f1ed-4050-8465-353e916675fa

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Date deposited: 30 Mar 2012 10:42
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:07

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Author: Will Jennings
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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