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The Politics of Attention: How Government Prioritizes Problems

The Politics of Attention: How Government Prioritizes Problems
Author: Bryan D. Jones - Frank R. Baumgartner
ISBN 13: 9780226406534
ISBN 10: 226406539
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 2005-10-26
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $32.00

On any given day, policymakers are required to address a multitude of problems and make decisions about a variety of issues, from the economy and education to health care and defense. This has been true for years, but until now no studies have been conducted on how politicians manage the flood of information from a wide range of sources. How do they interpret and respond to such inundation? Which issues do they pay attention to and why? Bryan D. Jones and Frank R. Baumgartner answer these questions on decision-making processes and prioritization in The Politics of Attention.
Analyzing fifty years of data, Jones and Baumgartner’s book is the first study of American politics based on a new information-processing perspective. The authors bring together the allocation of attention and the operation of governing institutions into a single model that traces public policies, public and media attention to them, and governmental decisions across multiple institutions.
The Politics of Attention offers a groundbreaking approach to American politics based on the responses of policymakers to the flow of information. It asks how the system solves, or fails to solve, problems rather than looking to how individual preferences are realized through political action.

Political Science Quarterly

"The book illustrates the continuing development of the punctuated equilibrium model of policy change and the diversity of issues that the model provides leverage in explaining."

— Scott E. Robinson