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After Disaster : Agenda Setting, Public Policy, and Focusing Events - Thomas A. Birkland

After Disaster

Agenda Setting, Public Policy, and Focusing Events

Paperback Published: 1st October 1997
ISBN: 9780878406531
Number Of Pages: 178
For Ages: 22+ years old

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Disasters like earthquakes are known as focusing events-sudden calamities that cause both citizens and policymakers to pay more attention to a public problem and often to press for solutions. This book, the first comprehensive analysis of these dramatic events, explains how and why some public disasters change political agendas and, ultimately, public policies.

Thomas A. Birkland explores important successes and failures in the policy process by analyzing the political outcomes of four types of events: earthquakes, hurricanes, oil spills, and nuclear accidents. Using this empirical data to go beyond an intuitive understanding of focusing events, he presents a theory of where and when these events will gain attention and how they trigger political reactions. Birkland concludes that different types of disasters result in different kinds of agenda politics. Public outrage over the highly visible damage caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, for example, ended a fourteen-year logjam holding back Congressional legislation to regulate oil spill cleanups. On the other hand, the intangible effects of Three Mile Island had less concrete results in a political arena that was already highly polarized.

Integrating a variety of theories on the policy process, including agenda setting, policy communities, advocacy coalitions, the political aspects of the news media, and the use of symbols in political debate, Birkland illuminates the dynamics of event-driven policy activity. As the first extensive study of its kind, this book offers new insights into the policy process.

List of Selected Abbreviationsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Focusing Events, Agenda Setting, and the Policy Processp. 1
A Theory of Focusing Events and Agenda Changep. 21
Natural Disasters as Focusing Eventsp. 47
Oil Spills as Focusing Eventsp. 74
Nuclear Power Plant Accidents as Focusing Eventsp. 106
The Importance of Focusing Events in Policy Makingp. 131
Appendix Comments on the Methodp. 151
Notesp. 159
Referencesp. 163
Indexp. 171
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780878406531
ISBN-10: 0878406530
Series: American Governance and Public Policy
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 178
Published: 1st October 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.27