By Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Stefaan Walgrave
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Mayhew, in attempting to capture this, developed measures that involved the judgments of both contemporaneous and later observers (1991). His approach was systematic, but the judgments of editors and compilers certainly involved subjectivity. Several scholars have critiqued this aspect of his study and suggested modiﬁcations (Howell et al. Moreover, retrospective judgments of statutory importance are irrelevant to the decisions that led to a statute’s passage. An eﬀect cannot precede its cause.
Changes in agenda composition, while more elusive, are clearly understandable within a framework of the political history and development of the United States. Our tentative conclusion is that standard quantitative counts of activities are amenable to study by techniques that aﬀect lawmaking throughout the period of study—such as the size of the Democratic majority in Congress, public mood, and conditions of uniﬁed or divided government. However, we ﬁnd that examining the policy content of laws requires sensitivity to the temporal context of policy evolution and development.
Government 19. 8. 7. 21. 10. 12. Law 32 | john, bevan, and jennings (see Farrall and Jennings 2012), but also to signal that Labour had become moderate after its shift to the left during the early 1980s. Before becoming leader of the Labour party, Blair was opposition spokesman on home affairs and famously used the slogan “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime,” which subsequently appeared in the 1997 manifesto and became a symbol for a more populist Labour party. If the regression is reestimated to include a variable controlling for the period after 1997, this variable has a signiﬁcant eﬀect on attention to the issue of crime and renders the party eﬀect statistically insigniﬁcant.