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Problem detection in legislative oversight: An analysis of legislative committee agendas in the U.K. and U.S.

Problem detection in legislative oversight: An analysis of legislative committee agendas in the U.K. and U.S.
Problem detection in legislative oversight: An analysis of legislative committee agendas in the U.K. and U.S.
This paper outlines a dynamic problem-detection model of legislative oversight where legislative committees engage in information-gathering to identify emerging policy problems. It is argued that activities of legislative committees are responsive to indicators of problem status across a range of policy domains. This enables committees to react to problems before, or at least simultaneously to, citizens. Our analyses use a new dataset on the policy agenda of UK Parliamentary Select Committees in combination with directly comparable data on US Congressional hearings. Aggregate measures of problem status (e.g. GDP, crime rates) and public opinion on the ‘most important problem’ facing the country are used as independent variables. The comparison between a well-established and developing committee system offers insights into common dynamics across institutional contexts. The findings show that committee agendas in both the UK and US are responsive to problem status for the majority of issues.
1350-1763
1-19
Bevan, Shaun
3142fa60-e99e-4f65-8ece-37cea21799cf
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Pickup, Mark
9f23d950-f879-448e-b7a6-4b7f55ebe999
Bevan, Shaun
3142fa60-e99e-4f65-8ece-37cea21799cf
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Pickup, Mark
9f23d950-f879-448e-b7a6-4b7f55ebe999

Bevan, Shaun, Jennings, Will and Pickup, Mark (2018) Problem detection in legislative oversight: An analysis of legislative committee agendas in the U.K. and U.S. Journal of European Public Policy, 1-19. (doi:10.1080/13501763.2018.1531910).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper outlines a dynamic problem-detection model of legislative oversight where legislative committees engage in information-gathering to identify emerging policy problems. It is argued that activities of legislative committees are responsive to indicators of problem status across a range of policy domains. This enables committees to react to problems before, or at least simultaneously to, citizens. Our analyses use a new dataset on the policy agenda of UK Parliamentary Select Committees in combination with directly comparable data on US Congressional hearings. Aggregate measures of problem status (e.g. GDP, crime rates) and public opinion on the ‘most important problem’ facing the country are used as independent variables. The comparison between a well-established and developing committee system offers insights into common dynamics across institutional contexts. The findings show that committee agendas in both the UK and US are responsive to problem status for the majority of issues.

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BevanJenningsPickup_CommitteesAgendas_JEPP_Combined_181001 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 27 September 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 October 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424960
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424960
ISSN: 1350-1763
PURE UUID: 9200b650-62c1-45c8-afa0-74727f62c20a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Oct 2018 16:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 17:58

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