Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas

Will Jennings, Shaun Bevan, Arco Timmermans, Gerard Breeman, Sylvain Brouard, Laura Chaqués-Bonafont, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Peter John, Peter B. Mortensen, Anna M. Palau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The distribution of attention across issues is of fundamental importance to the political agenda and outputs of government. This article presents an issue-based theory of the diversity of governing agendas where the core functions of government-defense, international affairs, the economy, government operations, and the rule of law-are prioritized ahead of all other issues. It undertakes comparative analysis of issue diversity of the executive agenda of several European countries and the United States over the postwar period. The results offer strong evidence of the limiting effect of core issues-the economy, government operations, defense, and international affairs-on agenda diversity. This suggests not only that some issues receive more attention than others but also that some issues are attended to only at times when the agenda is more diverse. When core functions of government are high on the agenda, executives pursue a less diverse agenda-focusing the majority of their attention on fewer issues. Some issues are more equal than others in executive agenda setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1030
Number of pages30
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • agenda setting
  • comparative public policy
  • executive speeches
  • policy dynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • CAP: Comparative Agendas Project

    Bevan, S., Baumgartner, F. R., Jones, B., Walgrave , S. & Green-Pedersen, C.

    1/01/93 → …

    Project: Research Collaboration with external organisation

Cite this