Comparing government agendas: executive speeches in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark and Spain

P.B. Mortensen, C. Green-Pedersen, G.E. Breeman, L. Chaqués Bonafont, W. Jennings, P. John, A. Palau Roque, A. Timmermans

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic

Abstract

At the beginning of each Parliamentary session, almost all European governments give a speech in which they present the government’s policy goals and legislative agenda for the year to come. Despite the enormous body of literature on governments in European parliamentary democracies, systematic work on these executive policy agendas is surprisingly limited. In this paper we compare the evolvement of executive policy agendas - measured through the annual government speeches in four West European countries, UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark over the past 50 years. We find that government policy agendas on the one hand are relatively stable on a year to year basis, On the other hand, when looking at the long-term development, government policy agendas do show significant patterns of change, which furthermore looks remarkably similar across the four countries despite the differences in the four countries’ political institutional structure. Hence, over the long run, executive policy agendas do change substantially, but contrary to election-based explanations of policy change, elections are not the main driver of change. Instead, the results are consistent with a more general model of issue intrusion
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event2nd Annual Meeting of the Comparative Policy Agendas Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands -
Duration: 18 Jun 200919 Jun 2009

Conference

Conference2nd Annual Meeting of the Comparative Policy Agendas Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands
Period18/06/0919/06/09

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