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© 2017

Policy Agendas in Australia

Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
    Pages 1-10
  3. Theory and Measurement of the Policy Agendas Project

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 13-31
    3. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 33-55
  4. Australian Politics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-57
    2. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 59-83
  5. Agendas Within Formal Institutions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 85-85
    2. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 87-128
    3. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 129-148
    4. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 149-169
  6. Outside Influence: Media and Public Agendas

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 173-202
    3. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 203-227
  7. Conclusion and International Comparisons

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 229-229
    2. Keith Dowding, Aaron Martin
      Pages 231-246
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 247-263

About this book

Introduction

This book contributes to and expands on the major international Comparative Policy Agendas Project. It sets the project in context, and provides a comprehensive assessment of the changing policy agenda in Australia over a forty-year period, using a unique systematic dataset of governor-general speeches, legislation and parliamentary questions, and then mapping these on to media coverage and what the public believes (according to poll evidence) government should be concentrating upon. The book answers some important questions in political science: what are the most important legislative priorities for government over time? Does the government follow talk with action? Does government attend to the issues the public identifies as most important? And how does media attention follow the policy agenda? The authors deploy their unique dataset to provide a new and exciting perspective on the nature of Australian public policy and the Comparative Policy Agendas Project more broadly. 
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Keith Dowding is Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. He has published extensively in political science, public policy and political philosophy. His recent books include The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science (Palgrave 2016), Exits, Voices and Social Investment (2012) and Accounting for Ministers (2012).

Aaron Martin is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Young People and Politics (2012) and numerous articles on political attitudes and behaviour.

Keywords

Legislation Political communication Media Policy change Public opinion

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.University of MelbourneAustralia

About the authors

Keith Dowding is Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. He has published extensively in political science, public policy and political philosophy. His recent books include The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science (Palgrave 2016), Exits, Voices and Social Investment (2012) and Accounting for Ministers (2012).

Aaron Martin is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Young People and Politics (2012) and numerous articles on political attitudes and behaviour. 


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Reviews

“Keith Dowding and Aaron Martin’s Policy Agendas in Australia is an exceptional book.  Based on data from the Australian Policy Agendas Project, directed by the authors, it traces quantitatively the development of the policymaking agenda in Australia.  This is important enough, but Policy Agendas in Australia provides much more.   It provides the historical context for the development of the Australian policy agenda, integrates agenda theories with broader comparative political analysis, and suggests new theoretical and empirical developments for the future.  It is an important milestone in the integration of individual country studies into a broader frame for the study of policy processes.  I highly recommend this book for students of comparative politics, Australian politics, and policy process theorists.” ( Bryan D. Jones, J.J. 'Jake' Pickle Regents' Chair in Congressional Studies, Director, US Policy Agendas Project, University of Texas at Austin, USA)

“Dowding and Martin provide a unique insight into Australian politics and show important changes that have taken place.  Policy Agendas in Australia also makes a profound contribution to the study of public policy and agenda setting. Scholars and practitioners around the world have much to learn from this excellent and well-written book.” (Peter John, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University College, London, UK)

“Dowding and Martin have written an outstanding book that works on many different levels.  It is at once an exceptional primer on Australian politics, while providing a valuable summary of the theories of policy making.  This is accomplished while expertly placing the agendas of Australia’s political institutions within an historical and comparative context. Their research is an important advance for our understanding of how the workload of political actors develops.  I consider this book a must both for scholars of political agendas and observers of Australian politics generally.” (E. Scott Adler, Professor of Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA)

“This book provides a valuable addition to the Australian political science literature.  It will become an indispensable resource for those seeking an empirically grounded account of trends and directions in the Australian policy agenda over the past fifty years.” (Linda Botterill, Professor in Australian Politics, University of Canberra, Australia)