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On any given day, policymakers are required to address a multitude of problems and make decisions about a variety of issues, from the economy and education to health care and defense. This has been true for years, but until now no studies have been conducted on how politicians manage the flood of information from a wide range of sources. How do they interpret and respond to such inundation? Which issues do they pay attention to and why? Bryan D. Jones and Frank R. Baumgartner answer these questions on decision-making processes and prioritization in The Politics of Attention. Analyzing fifty years of data, Jones and Baumgartner's book is the first study of American politics based on a new information-processing perspective. The authors bring together the allocation of attention and the operation of governing institutions into a single model that traces public policies, public and media attention to them, and governmental decisions across multiple institutions. The Politics of Attention offers a groundbreaking approach to American politics based on the responses of policymakers to the flow of information. It asks how the system solves, or fails to solve, problems rather than looking to how individual preferences are realized through political action.
How does the government decide what’s a problem and what isn’t? And what are the consequences of that process? Like individuals, Congress is subject to the “paradox of search.” If policy makers don’t look for problems, they won’t find those that need to be addressed. But if they carry out a thorough search, they will almost certainly find new problems—and with the definition of each new problem comes the possibility of creating a government program to address it. With The Politics of Attention, leading policy scholars Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones demonstrated the central role attention plays in how governments prioritize problems. Now, with The Politics of Information, they turn the focus to the problem-detection process itself, showing how the growth or contraction of government is closely related to how it searches for information and how, as an organization, it analyzes its findings. Better search processes that incorporate more diverse viewpoints lead to more intensive policymaking activity. Similarly, limiting search processes leads to declines in policy making. At the same time, the authors find little evidence that the factors usually thought to be responsible for government expansion—partisan control, changes in presidential leadership, and shifts in public opinion—can be systematically related to the patterns they observe. Drawing on data tracing the course of American public policy since World War II, Baumgartner and Jones once again deepen our understanding of the dynamics of American policy making.
Das Handbuch bietet einen Überblick über den aktuellen Stand der Policy-Forschung, der in drei Teile gegliedert ist. Die Theorie-Beiträge präsentieren die Annahmen, Grundideen, Hauptargumente und Hypothesen der jeweiligen Theorieansätze zur Erklärung von Policies und diskutieren die empirische Eignung der Theorie durch einen Überblick über den Forschungsstand. Die Beiträge „Methoden der Policy-Forschung“ stellen Grundzüge, Stärken und Schwächen sowie Anwendungsfelder einschlägiger Methoden dar. Anhand ausgewählter Politikfelder werden Ergebnisse der Policy-Forschung in unterschiedlichen Bereichen der Staatstätigkeit aufgezeigt und Querverbindungen sowohl zu den unterschiedlichen theoretischen Zugängen als auch zu unterschiedlichen Methoden gezogen.​
Die Qualität von politischen Entscheidungen und Verwaltungshandeln hängt maßgeblich davon ab, inwieweit die Akteure in der Lage sind, sich Wissen strategisch zu erschließen und zu nutzen. Vor diesem Hintergrund präsentieren die in diesem Band versammelten Aufsätze neueste Erkenntnisse, aktuelle Analysen und Konzepte aus der Wissenspolitologie, der Verwaltungs-, Evaluations- und Beratungsforschung.
This book develops a new theoretical perspective on bureaucratic influence and congressional agenda setting based on limited attention and government information processing. Using a comprehensive new data set on regulatory policymaking across the entire federal bureaucracy, Samuel Workman develops the theory of the dual dynamics of congressional agenda setting and bureaucratic problem solving as a way to understand how the US government generates information about, and addresses, important policy problems. Key to the perspective is a communications framework for understanding the nature of information and signaling between the bureaucracy and Congress concerning the nature of policy problems. Workman finds that congressional influence is innate to the process of issue shuffling, issue bundling, and the fostering of bureaucratic competition. In turn, bureaucracy influences the congressional agenda through problem monitoring, problem definition, and providing information that serves as important feedback in the development of an agenda.
Legislatures are political bodies essential to democracy and the rule of law. They present social scientists with numerous intriguing puzzles, with far-reaching implications for our understanding of political institutions. Why, and how, have these ancient assemblies, established in pre-democratic times, survived the transition to mass democracies? How have they adapted? How do they structure such processes as budgeting, legislation, and executive oversight? How do their members get selected, and what consequences flow from differences in these rules? What roles do committees and political parties play in contemporary legislatures? What functions do legislatures perform in autocratic, semi-democratic or recently democratized societies? What explains the similarities and differences in legislative rules, powers and recruitment? What are the policy and other consequences of variation in how legislatures are organized and function? The 33 chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies, written by 47 of the most distinguished legislative scholars, provide a comprehensive and up-to-date description and assessment of the state of the art in legislative studies. Key themes explored include theoretical paradigms and methodological approaches to the study of legislatures, representation and legislative careers, internal organization, the role of parties within legislatures and the role of legislatures in policy making and accountability. The Handbook also explores the emergence of parliaments in historical and contemporary contexts, including new democracies and trans-national institutions.
Corporate lobbyists are everywhere in Washington. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 represent business. The largest companies now have upwards of 100 lobbyists representing them. How did American businesses become so invested in politics? And what does all their money buy? Drawing on extensive data and original interviews with corporate lobbyists, The Business of America is Lobbying provides a fascinating and detailed picture of what corporations do in Washington, why they do it, and why it matters. Prior to the 1970s, very few corporations had Washington offices. But a wave of new government regulations and declining economic conditions mobilized business leaders. Companies developed new political capacities, and managers soon began to see public policy as an opportunity, not just a threat. Ever since, corporate lobbying has become increasingly more pervasive, more proactive, and more particularistic. Lee Drutman argues that lobbyists drove this development, helping managers to see why politics mattered, and how proactive and aggressive engagement could help companies' bottom lines. All this lobbying doesn't guarantee influence. Politics is a messy and unpredictable bazaar, and it is more competitive than ever. But the growth of lobbying has driven several important changes that make business more powerful. The status quo is harder to dislodge; policy is more complex; and, as Congress increasingly becomes a farm league for K Street, more and more of Washington's policy expertise now resides in the private sector. These and other changes increasingly raise the costs of effective lobbying to a level only businesses can typically afford. Lively and engaging, rigorous and nuanced, The Business of America is Lobbying will change how we think about lobbying-and how we might reform it.

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