Agendas and Instability in American Politics

ISBN-10: 0226039390
ISBN-13: 9780226039398
Edition: 1993 (Reprint)
List price: $22.00
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Description: In this innovative account of the way policy issues rise and fall on the national agenda—the first detailed study of so many issues over an extended period—Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones show that rapid change not only can but does happen  More...

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Book details

List price: $22.00
Copyright year: 1993
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/1/1993
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 312
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

In this innovative account of the way policy issues rise and fall on the national agenda—the first detailed study of so many issues over an extended period—Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones show that rapid change not only can but does happen in the hidebound institutions of government. Short-term, single-issue analyses of public policy, the authors contend, give a narrow and distorted view of public policy as the result of a cozy arrangement between politicians, interest groups, and the media. Baumgartner and Jones upset these notions by focusing on several issues—including civilian nuclear power, urban affairs, smoking, and auto safety—over a much longer period of time to reveal patterns of stability alternating with bursts of rapid, unpredictable change. A welcome corrective to conventional political wisdom,Agendas and Instabilityrevises our understanding of the dynamics of agenda-setting and clarifies a subject at the very center of the study of American politics.

Frank R. Baumgartner is a highly respected political scientist with a long list of scholarly writings based on his research interests. He was born in 1958 and educated at the University of Michigan (B.A., 1980; M.A., 1983; Ph.D., 1986). Included in his works are political planning, political jurisdictions, legislative behavior, comparative politics, French politics, American national institutions, and research design and measurement. Two of Baumgartner's better known books are Agendas and Instability in American Politics (1993), an account of how public policies can change rapidly even in established institutions; and Survey Research and Membership in Voluntary Organizations (1988), a study of the political action of lobbying and interest groups. Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science written with Beth L. Leech, is a work that reviews books and articles about interest groups from 1940 to the present, and examines the methodology of political scientists. The authors conclude that in order to improve the methodology of political scientists better research questions are needed along with more attention to the context of group behavior. Baumgartner is a professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University.

List of Illustrations
Preface
Theoretical Beginnings
Punctuated Equilibria in Politics
Policy Images and Institutional Venues
Studying Agenda Change
Tracing Policy Change in America
The Construction and Collapse of a Policy Monopoly
Two Models of Issue Expansion
The Dynamics of Media Attention
Cities as a National Political Problem
Connecting Solutions to Problems: Three Valence Issues
Structural and Contextual Change in Politics
Interest Groups and Agenda-Setting
Congress as a Jurisdictional Battlefield
Federalism as a System of Policy Venues
Governing through Institutional Disruption
Data Sources
Regression Analysis of Agenda Dynamics
References
Index

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