The "mouse that roared": Agenda setting in Canadian pesticides politics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Issue redefinition and venue shopping have been identified as key strategies for enacting agenda and policy change, but much work remains to be done in elaborating these processes. I argue that an important aspect of issue redefinition involves shifting not only the image of an issue but also the bases for considering those issues - what I call policy principles. Policy principles are the core values, beliefs, or guidelines attached to policies that help direct decision making. The emergence and acceptance of new principles by the public and policymakers can be a vital source of policy change, at times having far greater consequences for policy than redefining an issue. Venue shopping is also a multifaceted undertaking involving efforts by policy entrepreneurs and advocacy groups to keep issues out of venues they would rather not participate in as well as move decision making to new arenas. Moreover, while the literature suggests that shifting venues is usually a sensible strategy, sometimes venue shopping can backfire. A case study of the municipal movement to restrict the nonessential use of lawn and garden pesticides in Canada illustrates these theoretical points and shows the applicability of agenda setting models to contexts outside the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-194
Number of pages24
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2006

Keywords

  • Agenda setting
  • Environmental policy
  • Pesticides
  • Policy change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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