The Evolution of the Political Agenda Setting Concept in Foreign Political Studies

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-4-91-99
E. Vandysheva (,
National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg Division, 16, Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., St. Petersburg 190008, Russian Federation


Abstract. The article shows which way the views on the first stage of the policy process, the agenda setting, have been developed in political science. The author discusses different approaches to the political agenda definition including governmental and decision agendas, systemic and institutional agendas, symbolic and substantial agendas. Different ways to indicate this kind of agenda focusing on parliamentary agenda are also highlighted. Examples of indicators used by political scientists include parliamentary questions, parliamentary debates or hearings, parliamentary inquiries and legislative initiatives. Moreover, this paper provides an overview of factors deemed to be the most important for the development of an agenda-setting research and the key direction of academic literature in this field. The article contains a critique of the main agenda-setting conceptual models. The current conceptual trends of this approach are outlined, which includes the break with American-based agenda-setting theory, the spread of comparative analysis, the development of quantitatively oriented policy methods, and the increase in policy dynamics research. The relationship between mass media and political agenda, political parties’ influence on the political agenda are also highlighted in the latest empirical studies. Different viewpoints on the media impact are shown: media as a source of their own agenda, media as a resource for promotion of separate issues, and media as a tool of influence over the agendas of political actors. The results are based on an analysis of few research projects that were represented in Web of Science publications with the highest citation index. Publications were selected by using the topic “Agenda Setting” in the category “Political Science”, without selection of a definite time period. Statistics of co-citation were analysed and a co-citation map was created by dint of the VOSviewer computer program. 

Keywords: policy agenda-setting, parliament agenda 


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For citation:
Vandysheva E. The Evolution of the Political Agenda Setting Concept in Foreign Political Studies. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 91-99.

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