Research on agenda-setting dynamics in American politics has a rich and deep history. Recent efforts to extend this work into other countries provides a comparative perspective on how differing institutional designs shape attention allocation and punctuated equilibrium. This comparison is not only possible cross-nationally, but also between the American states. Using an untapped resource—the Pennsylvania Policy Agendas Project—the author replicates three components of punctuated equilibrium and agenda-setting theory (leptokurtic budget distributions, agenda-opinion correspondence, and media effects) that provide a benchmark for future comparative analysis as additional states join the project. This work argues that these efforts are beneficial not only for understanding agenda dynamics within the states, but also broader issues of representation, responsiveness, and their relationship with institutional design.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration
- Political Science and International Relations