Subsystem Stability And Stability In American Politics Essay

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Baumgartner and Jones (2010) answer an array of questions on subsystem stability and instability in American politics. Accentuating the aspects of dramatic policy change and its involved actors, which have been comparatively neglected in the literature where the most focus was on the long-term stability of policymaking, the authors effectively incorporate empirical observations into their theoretical framework. This essay focuses on answering a set of unanswered questions elicited from the book. The book illustrates the process that incremental and stable status of policy monopoly is interrupted by the emergence of new actors and their new ideas (positive feedback). Such disruption induces critical policy changes, but the opposite…show more content…
In the case of ‘Caylee’s law’, for example, atomized individuals brought the result of making a new policy and policy change, although they were neither mobilized individuals nor a formulated group (Sigillo and Sicafuse, 2015). Then, how would Baumgartner and Jones (2010) explain this new kind of phenomenon where such scattered individuals themselves take an active part in the policy process? Although the book does not explicitly mention such new form of citizen participation, the authors would argue that such social media use and citizens’ policy inputs as a result could be understood as a part of the nonincremental stimulus that induces new policy ideas and thus policy punctuations by impelling policy makers in the ‘venue’. However, this interpretation leaves room for refutation. Even if individual citizens could finally induce policy changes by utilizing social media and by interacting each other and with key players in the policy process, they are still atomized without a group and do not have a tangible power unlike other actors such as policy entrepreneurs. Moreover, the social media spheres could not play the identical role with that of the venue. Thus, it is not easy to simply argue that citizens using social media could explicitly or directly exert their power over the policy process. Yet, it still seems that such new actors in the online space and their influence on policy change

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