Legislative Institutions and Agenda Setting
This introductory chapter presents a framework to understand agenda setting and its policy implications. It argues that there are three dimensions of agenda setting: the partisan, the institutional, and the positional. The partisan dimension focuses on whether there is a cohesive majority in the policy-making institutions. The institutional dimension focuses on the specific provisions regulating who makes proposals and under what conditions they can be amended. The positional dimension focuses on the relative ideological positions of the legislative actors involved, because their positions along with their institutional prerogatives affect their ability to promote policy goals. The chapter explains the interaction between these dimensions and points out how each one of them is a sufficient but not a necessary condition for the production of outcomes conforming to the preferences of the actor(s) that hold the majority, or have agenda setting powers, or are centrally located. The chapter also outlines the book’s organization.
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