Summaries essay

Summary of the Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas, Political Science Quarterly by Deborah Stone

Deborah A Stone’s main argument emerges in the form of a theory of defining problems, which explains the way social conditions become social problems on the policy agenda of the community. The author shows the importance of causal stories in this process. She evaluates political strategies or strands used to manipulate the causal stories. The author is trying to solve the failure of political strategies in addressing social problems using the agenda.
There are three strands or strategies within the policy agenda. The first strand centers on the political actors and their identity. It includes leaders, professionals, and interest groups. The second strand majors on the nature and characteristics of the harms and difficulties that occur in the society. The last strand centers on how language use happens in a deliberate and symbolic manner (Stone, 1989, p. 2).
The strands relate the causes of problems found in the types of causal theories. The types of causal theories assert that there are two elementary frameworks of interpreting the world. The two typologies are the natural and fabricated typologies. The natural framework does not suffer external influence from human activities. It defines occurrences such as accidents. On the other hand, the fabricated framework states that social problems are due to man’s fault.
According to the argument of causal stories, there are strategies used to pass responsibilities to other people. When political leaders delegate their duties to other people, social problems arise from a lack of efficiency by those tasked with performing the duty.
(250 Words)
Cobb, Roger W., Jennie K. Ross, and M. Howard Ross (1976). Agenda Building as a Comparative Political Process, American Political Science Review 70 (1): 126-38.
Agenda setting relies on the public media, which has great power in society. However, it is wrong for one to focus on the government and underestimate the power of the media and interest groups. There is a close interaction between the media and the government. The interaction affects the perception of the government by the people.
Since the media has significant influence, it affects the way the government builds sets the agenda. The media compels the government to use a policy window in agenda building. The policy window refers to a period where the government finds an opportunity to act depending on the expected or unexpected change in the political environment.
Roger et al. have three descriptions of agenda building based on the models of policymaking. The first model is the outside initiative model. In the model, civil societies try to create awareness of the issues within the general population. Secondly, there is the mobilization model. In the mobilization model, the civil service and the government gunner support of the issues that already exists in the formal agenda. Lastly, the authors have the inside initiative model. In the model, the government supports issues that exist in within the government (Cobb et al., 1976, p. 2).
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Cobb, Roger W., Jennie K. Ross, and M. Howard Ross. (1976). Agenda Building as a Comparative Political Process. American Political Science Review 70 (1): 126-38.
Stone, Deborah A. (1989). Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas. Political Science Quarterly 104 (2): 281-300.