The Analytical Foundation Of Agenda Setting

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Introduction: Agenda setting is the most critical phase of the policy cycle and has a decisive impact on the entire subsequent policy and its outcomes. Agenda setting, Birkland suggests (1997, p.11), is “the result of a society acting through political and social institutions to define the meanings of problems and the range of acceptable solutions”. In other words, agenda-setting as a term was introduced by Cobb and Elder (1971) who “are concerned with how issues are created and why some controversies or incipient issues come to command the attention and concern of decision makers, while others fail” (p. 905). The analytical foundation of agenda-setting can be traced back to psychological theories of priming in work on intellectual transforming of semantic information. , Although policy making is very much a domestic concern involving national governments and their citizens, the international organizations (known as network actors) also are increasingly vital in shaping domestic or national policy choices and policy developments. Network actors help build norms by bringing new ideas/opinions and issues in the policy debates and serving as sources of information and testimony. They help build up issues, set agendas and provide information to create awareness of a problem. This is often done in such a way that it becomes more salient by underlining specific values, facts, and other socioeconomic considerations and how audience members interpret a particular situation.
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