Agenda Setting and Public Policy
Course Code: PUBLG039
Course Tutor: Professor Peter John (Department of Political Science)
Assessment: One 3,000 word essay
Credit Value: 15 credits
About this course
Agenda Setting and Public Policy is about how political participants seek to influence the policy agenda. The course has as its main focus the agenda-setting role of the media and public opinion on public policy, particularly through the internet. The greater use of social media, like Twitter, has involved citizens much more directly in political movements and direct action and has challenged decision-makers, and the course covers this important topic. There is also a practical element to the course: seeking to find out and use data to measure the policy agenda, such as from the Policy Agendas Project and other online sources. There will be attention to data analytics: that is the use of open access sources and Big Data for understanding public policy. Students will be encourage to follow recent debates about data and public policy, such as on The Guardian’s Datablog. Topics to be covered are: agenda setting, power, the media, social media, public opinion and punctuated equilibrium.