New PDF release: Agenda-Setting in the European Union

By Sebastiaan Princen (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230233961

ISBN-13: 9780230233966

ISBN-10: 1349306045

ISBN-13: 9781349306046

ISBN-10: 1403995117

ISBN-13: 9781403995117

ISBN-10: 1403995125

ISBN-13: 9781403995124

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This chapter will clarify the concepts used in analysing agenda-setting processes and develop a framework for understanding agenda-setting in the EU, which will structure the empirical analysis in later chapters. Since the definition of ‘agenda’ is central to any attempt at explaining what shapes it, first the concept of agenda itself will be discussed: what is an agenda, and what types of agenda can be discerned? Because agendas comprise issues, this chapter then turns to the concept of ‘issue’: what is an issue, and where does it come from?

90). These two ‘sources’ of issues conform to two perspectives on agendasetting. The first approach sees issues as arising from the international environment in which states operate. In this approach, issues are external to the political process in the sense that they are determined outside of that process. This approach has dominated the international relations literature, which explains why agenda-setting is analysed rarely as a separate process. The second approach sees issues as arising from the interests and activities of political actors.

Such shifts take place if an already existing EU policy is placed on the EU agenda again: following the conflict expansion and venue shopping logic, they will include attempts to involve new institutional venues within the EU. Adam Sheingate (2000) analysed these dynamics in the reform of EU agricultural policy. The key to policy reform, according to Sheingate, was to shift the focus away from issues of agricultural production to the ‘externalities’ produced by those policies: budgetary constraints, environmental degradation and problematic trade relations with the US.

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Agenda-Setting in the European Union by Sebastiaan Princen (auth.)


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