Policy Dynamics

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-06-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr

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While governmental policies and institutions may remain more or less the same for years, they can also change suddenly and unpredictably in response to new political agendas and crises. What causes stability or change in the political system? What role do political institutions play in this process? To investigate these questions, Policy Dynamics draws on the most extensive data set yet compiled for public policy issues in the United States. Spanning the past half-century, these data make it possible to trace policies and legislation, public and media attention to them, and governmental decisions over time and across institutions. Some chapters analyze particular policy areas, such as health care, national security, and immigration, while others focus on institutional questions such as congressional procedures and agendas and the differing responses by Congress and the Supreme Court to new issues. Policy Dynamics presents a radical vision of how the federal government evolves in response to new challenges-and the research tools that others may use to critique or extend that vision.

Author Biography

Frank R. Baumgartner is a professor in and the head of the political science department at The Pennsylvania State University.

Bryan D. Jones is the Donald R. Matthews Distinguished Professor in American Politics and director of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy at the University of Washington. Together they wrote the award-winning Agendas and Instability in American Politics, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
List of Contributorsp. xi
Theoretical Beginningsp. 1
Positive and Negative Feedback in Politicsp. 3
Studying Policy Dynamicsp. 29
Multidimensionality and Punctuated Equilibrium in Public Policyp. 47
The Logic of Positive Feedback: Telecommunications Policy through the Creation, Maintenance, and Destruction of a Regulated Monopolyp. 51
The Multiple and Changing Goals of Immigration Reform: A Comparison of House and Senate Activity, 1947-1993p. 73
Multiple Topics, Multiple Targets, Multiple Goals, and Multiple Decision Makers: Congressional Consideration of Comprehensive Health Care Reformp. 96
The Multiple Goals of Science and Technology Policyp. 125
The Changing Focus of National Security Policyp. 155
The Coevolution of the Issues and Structures of American Politicsp. 185
The Changing Public Agenda over the Postwar Periodp. 189
Omnibus Legislation: An Institutional Reaction to the Rise of New Issuesp. 205
New Issues, New Members: Committee Composition and the Transformation of Issue Agendas on the House Banking and Public Works Committeesp. 230
Using Bills and Hearings to Trace Attention in Congress: Policy Windows in Health Care Legislatingp. 250
The Changing Agendas of Congress and the Supreme Courtp. 270
Conclusionsp. 291
Punctuations, Ideas, and Public Policyp. 293
Complete List of Topics and Subtopics Used in the Policy Agendas Projectp. 307
Complete List of Topics and Subtopics Used by OMBp. 317
United States Supreme Court Judicial Data Base Codes Used by Spaethp. 319
Linking the Policy Agenda Topic Codes with Those Used by Spaethp. 327
Referencesp. 331
Indexp. 353
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