Environmental Policymaking in Congress: The Role of Issue Definitions in Wetlands, Great Lakes, and Wildlife Policies

By Kelly Tzoumis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2

Three Models of Issue Definition in Congress

Issue definition in Congress can be categorized into three distinct models: the dominance issue model, bounded issue model, and valence issue model. These issue definition models are the theoretical approach used to explain how policies can change on the agenda over time. The impact of each model on policymaking is profound when the cases of natural resources are used for testing them. Before applying the issue definition models to the specific environmental cases of wetlands, the Great Lakes, and wildlife, the theoretical characteristics of each model are described in detail. In this chapter, these models are described based on the following: the use of symbols and rhetoric, delineation of committee jurisdictions and participants, redefinition of the issue, and policy implementation. In addition, this chapter describes the research design and methods that operationalize the conceptualization of the three models of issue definition. Predictions for detecting the models in Congressional policymaking are described. The chapter concludes with some patterns that should serve as the foundation for understanding agenda dynamics. This design is then implemented in Chapters Three through Five on wetlands, the Great Lakes, and wildlife.


Linking Symbols and Rhetoric, Redefinition of Issues and Policy Implementation with Issue Definition Models

The link between issue definition in Congress and factors such as symbols and rhetoric, redefinition of issue, and policy implementation

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