Skip to main content

Punctuated Equilibrium and Agenda-Setting: Bringing Parties Back in: Policy Change after the Dutroux Crisis in Belgium

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

The article analyzes how focusing events affect the public and political agenda and translate into policy change. Empirically, the study focuses on the policy changes initiated by paedophile Marc Dutroux's arrest in 1996 in Belgium. Theoretically, the article tests whether Baumgartner and Jones's (1993) U.S. punctuated equilibrium approach applies to a most different system case, Belgium being a consociational democracy and a partitocracy. Their approach turns out to be useful to explain this “critical case”: Policy change happens when “policy images” and “policy venues” shift. Yet, the Dutroux case shows also that political parties, as key actors in the Belgian policy process, should be integrated more explicitly in the punctuated equilibrium theory. Finally, the article argues that the quantitative analysis of longitudinal data sets on several agendas should be supplemented with qualitative case study evidence (e.g., interviews with key decision makers) to unravel the complex case of issue attention and policy change.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Antwerp 2: University of Geneva

Publication date: 2008-07-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more