Governors, Agenda Setting and Divided Government available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
This book examines divided government from a new perspective. By turning to governors and agenda setting, the stage of the policymaking processes where the opportunities for success in terms of legislative output are defined, perhaps the real impact of divided government may be observed. This book compares the agenda setting strategies of four governors, two in states with divided government and two in states with unified government. The analysis is based on legislative records, the governors' state of the state addresses, and in-depth interviews conducted with the governors, their staff members, state legislators, and journalists. Although divided government does not produce gridlock or stalemate at the state level, it is not without impact on governing. Divided government helps to explain a governor's choice of strategy in agenda setting, influencing whether he will work primarily within the system or go public. However, a combination of other factors also affect the agenda setting process. The four case studies provide examples of how agenda setting strategies are explained best by the interplay between personal characteristics of a governor, including his experience and personality, and political factors, including electoral outcomes, the governor's popular support, and his relationship with the legislature, in addition to divided or unified party control.