The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Comparing government agendas: executive speeches in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Denmark

Comparing government agendas: executive speeches in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Denmark
Comparing government agendas: executive speeches in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Denmark
At the beginning of each parliamentary session, almost all European governments give a speech in which they present the government’s policy priorities and legislative agenda for the year ahead. Despite the body of literature on governments in European parliamentary democracies, systematic research on these executive policy agendas is surprisingly limited. In this article the authors study the executive policy agendas—measured through the policy content of annual government speeches—over the past 50 years in three Western European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Contrary to the expectations derived from the well-established “politics matters” approach, the analyses show that elections and change in partisan color have little effect on the executive issue agendas, except to a limited extent for the United Kingdom. In contrast, the authors demonstrate empirically how the policy agenda of governments responds to changes in public problems, and this affects how political parties define these problems as political issues. In other words, policy responsibility that follows from having government power seems much more important for governments’ issue agendas than the partisan and institutional characteristics of governments.
executive speeches, issue agendas, elections, politics matters
0010-4140
973-1000
Mortensen, Peter Bjerre
0b728ba0-e7fc-41f1-973e-8ad47a0275cd
Green-Pedersen, Christoffer
f81e3f67-65bf-471c-b13d-62c9283af40a
Breeman, Gerard
ae006939-cfde-48c9-873b-e0f6bd0a0ba1
Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura
28f78b2e-7723-41e6-b8df-b9452d00e921
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
John, Peter
fd080737-2b23-44ff-bc56-c7f9c2293de4
Palau, Anna M.
abb22512-770a-4438-9ce0-770ca5f8895a
Timmermans, Arco
7e11b412-c2d4-4eba-ba37-7b6dbe576b5b
Mortensen, Peter Bjerre
0b728ba0-e7fc-41f1-973e-8ad47a0275cd
Green-Pedersen, Christoffer
f81e3f67-65bf-471c-b13d-62c9283af40a
Breeman, Gerard
ae006939-cfde-48c9-873b-e0f6bd0a0ba1
Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura
28f78b2e-7723-41e6-b8df-b9452d00e921
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
John, Peter
fd080737-2b23-44ff-bc56-c7f9c2293de4
Palau, Anna M.
abb22512-770a-4438-9ce0-770ca5f8895a
Timmermans, Arco
7e11b412-c2d4-4eba-ba37-7b6dbe576b5b

Mortensen, Peter Bjerre, Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, Breeman, Gerard, Chaqués-Bonafont, Laura, Jennings, Will, John, Peter, Palau, Anna M. and Timmermans, Arco (2011) Comparing government agendas: executive speeches in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Denmark. Comparative Political Studies, 44 (8), 973-1000. (doi:10.1177/0010414011405162).

Record type: Article

Abstract

At the beginning of each parliamentary session, almost all European governments give a speech in which they present the government’s policy priorities and legislative agenda for the year ahead. Despite the body of literature on governments in European parliamentary democracies, systematic research on these executive policy agendas is surprisingly limited. In this article the authors study the executive policy agendas—measured through the policy content of annual government speeches—over the past 50 years in three Western European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Contrary to the expectations derived from the well-established “politics matters” approach, the analyses show that elections and change in partisan color have little effect on the executive issue agendas, except to a limited extent for the United Kingdom. In contrast, the authors demonstrate empirically how the policy agenda of governments responds to changes in public problems, and this affects how political parties define these problems as political issues. In other words, policy responsibility that follows from having government power seems much more important for governments’ issue agendas than the partisan and institutional characteristics of governments.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Published date: 28 August 2011
Keywords: executive speeches, issue agendas, elections, politics matters
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 336603
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/336603
ISSN: 0010-4140
PURE UUID: 561bb71c-6d5c-4ca8-97e8-443e648bcf1e
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Mar 2012 10:51
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:06

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

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

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×