Minority Group Influence: Agenda Setting, Formulation, and Public Policy

Minority Group Influence: Agenda Setting, Formulation, and Public Policy

Minority Group Influence: Agenda Setting, Formulation, and Public Policy

Minority Group Influence: Agenda Setting, Formulation, and Public Policy

Synopsis

Although there has been intense interest in racial minorities and public policy, most research has focused on the implementation of policies after legislative passage or on the consequent effects of those policies. Few studies have focused on the definitional stage of the policy process--agenda setting--or have examined the way issues of concern to minority populations are raised. This volume fills that void by examining where policy issues originate and the impact of racial, ethnic, and other minority groups on the agenda setting process and the formulation of public policy. The work will be of interest to scholars in public policy, ethnic studies, government, and politics.

Excerpt

Since the early 1930s, political scientists have developed a keen interest in the politics of African-Americans. Beginning with the works of Ralph Johnson Bunche, the modern foundations of black politics have examined a variety of issues and areas, for example, voting behavior, political attitudes, electoral structures. While the New Deal sparked some interest in African-Americans and public policy, the majority of the scholarly interest in racial minorities and public policy issues stems from the passage of various civil rights and social program statutes during and since the 1960s.

Although there has been an intense interest in racial minorities and public policy in the political science literature, most of the research has focused on the implementation of policies after legislative passage, or on the effects of the policies several years after passage. Little work has focused on the predecision stage of the policy process, agenda setting, and the way in which issues of concern to racial minority populations are raised to the agenda. Agenda setting, with its roots in interest group politics, is critical to the framing of the issue, for how an issue is defined, in many instances, determines the direction it will take in the subsequent policy process. Given the importance of agenda setting for public policy issues one would have expected much more attention to have been paid to that aspect of the policy process. Yet, little has been done.

This volume is an attempt to continue to fill the void in the public policy literature concerned with racial minority group access to the agenda-setting process. the editor's interest in this process stemmed from early work on nuclear decommissioning and the influence of the utility industry in defining the issue of decommissioning and narrowing the scope of debate . . .

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