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Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, Update Edition, with an Epilogue on Health Care / Edition 2

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In revising classic works in political science, Longman celebrates the contributions its authors and their research have made to the discipline. The Longman Classics in Political Science series honors these authors and their work. Providing students with an updated context, each title in the series includes a foreword, written by one of today's top scholars, offering a fresh, in-depth analysis of the book and its enduring contributions.

Kingdon's landmark work on agenda setting and policy formation is drawn from interviews conducted with people in and associated with the U.S. federal government, and from case studies, government documents, party platforms, press coverage, and public opinion surveys. While other texts examine how policy issues are decided, Kingdon's book was the first to consider how issues become issues. This enduring work attempts to answer the following questions: How do subjects come to officials' attention? How are the alternatives from which they choose generated? How is the governmental agenda set? Why does an idea's time come when it does?

Longman is proud to announce that Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies has been reissued in this Longman Classics edition, featuring a new epilogue: "Health Care Reform in the Clinton and Obama Administrations." Comparing the Clinton administration in 1993 with the Obama administration in 2009 and 2010, Kingdon analyses how agenda setting, actors, and alternatives affect public policy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Kingdon’s book is an outstanding teaching tool about the policy process. I have used it in my undergraduate and graduate public policy seminars since its first publication and found it to be fresh and interesting to the students, always generating lively discussion about how issues get on the agenda.”

–from James A. Thurber’s Foreword

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205000869
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 138,961
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the First Edition xvii

Preface to the Second Edition xix

Chapter 1 How Does an Idea's Time Come? 1

Concepts and Definitions 2

A Brief Account of the Research 4

The Lay of the Land 5

Some Explanations 15

A Brief Preview of the Book 18

Chapter 2 Participants on the Inside of Government 21

The Administration 21

By Contrast: Civil Servants 30

Capitol Hill 34

Conclusion 42

Chapter 3 Outside of Government, but Not Just Looking In 45

Interest Groups 46

Academics, Researchers, and Consultants 53

The Media 57

Elections-Related Participants 61

Public Opinion 65

Conclusion 67

Chapter 4 Processes: Origins, Rationality, Incrementalism, and Garbage Cans 71

Origins 71

Comprehensive, Rational Decision Making 77

Incrementalism 79

The Federal Government and Garbage Cans 83

Chapter 5 Problems 90

Indicators 90

Focusing Events, Crises, and Symbols 94

Feedback 100

Why Problems Fade 103

Budgets: A Special Problem 105

Problem Definition 109

Conclusion 113

Chapter 6 The Policy Primeval Soup 116

Policy Communities 117

Communities and the Soup 121

Criteria for Survival 131

The Short List of Ideas 139

Conclusion 143

Chapter 7 The Political Stream 145

The National Mood 146

Organized Political Forces 150

Government in the Political Stream 153

Consensus-Building in the Political Stream 159

Conclusion 162

Chapter 8 The Policy Window, and Joining the Streams 165

What Policy Windows Are and Why They Open 166

Coupling 172

Policy Entrepreneurs 179

Occurrence of Windows 184

Spillovers 190

Conclusion 194

Chapter 9 Wrapping Things Up 196

Agenda Setting 197

Alternative Specification 200

Coupling and Windows 201

Entrepreneurs 204

Conclusion 205

Chapter 10 Some Further Reflections 209

New Case Studies 209

Thoughts about the Modelling 222

Epilogue: Health Care Reform in the Clinton and Obama Administrations 231

Problems 232

Policies 236

The Political Stream 239

The Open Window 241

The Rest of the Story 243

Conclusion 247

Appendix on Methods 249

The Interviews 250

Coding 255

Case Studies 258

Noninterview Measures of Agenda Status 260

Index 263

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