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2001 L. Rev. M.S.U.-D.C.L. 331 (2001)
A Model of Agenda-Setting, with Applications

handle is hein.journals/mslr2001 and id is 347 raw text is: A MODEL OF AGENDA-SETTING, WITH
APPLICATIONS*
John W. Kingdon
2001 L. REV. M.S.U.-D.C.L. 331
I was asked to discuss political constraints on policy change, using this
model of agenda-setting that people have talked about. So I am going to do
three things today. First, I am going to give you a brief sketch of this model.
Second, I will give you an illustration of it by talking about the way
deregulation emerged in the field of transportation. Third, I will discuss some
implications that will get me back to this issue about whether change takes
place incrementally or in big lumps all at once.
So first, the model. It is contained in this book that is in your handout
called Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies,' and it is based on a lot of
empirical research in health and transportation policy. Today, I amjust going
to sketch a few concepts out of it, and then refer you to the book for the rest.
What I want to understand, and what all of us want to understand, is why
things happen the way they do in entities like the federal government, or a
university, that people have called organized anarchies. These are large,
fragmented, multi-purpose organizations. For some purposes, the emphasis
is on the organized, for some purposes it is on the anarchy, and that is why
they are called organized anarchies.
Running through such organizations are separate streams. Each of these
streams has a life of its own, and they are largely unrelated to the others. The
outcomes really turn on how the streams get joined at the end. So in this
particular case, what I think runs through the federal government, in the
course of people grappling with policy formation, are three streams. First is
a stream of problems. People come to concentrate on certain problems rather
than others and there is a process by which they decide on which problems
they are going to concentrate. Second, there is a stream of policies. They
propose policies and refine policy proposals. Third, there is a stream of
* This text is from a speech delivered at the Second Annual Quello Telecommunications
Policy and Law Symposium, held jointly by The Law Review of Michigan State University-
Detroit College of Law and The Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law
at Michigan State University, on April 4, 2001, in Washington D.C.
** Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
I. See JOHN W. KINGDON, AGENDAS, ALTERNATIVES, AND PUBLIC POLICIES (2d ed. 1995).

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