Streams theory: problems, solutions and political momentum as driving forces

Where to the 3 agenda-setting theories focus on?
  • Gap: characteristics of the problems
  • Non-decision: actors
  • Streams: processes
When will a problem reach the policy agenda following the streams theory?
  • The problem is recognized as a collective problem
  • Available viable solution
  • Political support
  • Policy window opens
Which factors form the borders of the streams?
  • Spirit of time
  • Political culture and tradition
  • Economic climate
  • Dominating political coalition
What is the garbage can model?
A loose collection of problems, solutions and participants than rather a coherent structure. Solutions search for problems
What are the 3 streams of the streams theory?
  • Problem recognition (bringing problems to the attention)
  • Policies (soup of means to solve problems)
  • Politics (politicians feel public mood - window of opportunity
What kind of mechanisms bring problems to the attention of policymakers?
  • Change of systematic indicators (disease rates, highway deaths)
  • Focusing events (crisis, disaster, symbol)
  • Feedback (evaluation reports, media, citizen protest)
What is the consequence of fragmentation of policy areas?
Lead to more competing ideas with less support
What happens in the process of softening-up?
Ideas are spread to general public, specific public and the policy community
What are policy entrepreneurs?
Specialist that are willing to invest resources of various kinds in hope of a future return in the form of policies they favour
What is a policy window?
The opportunity for advocates of proposals to push their pet solutions or push attention to their special problems
What happens if separate streams come together?
They offer a short opportunity for a problem to be coupled with a solution
Why do policy windows open?
  • Change in political stream
  • New problem captures the attention
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