Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Timing and Sequence in Agenda Setting and Policy Change: A comparative study of lawn care pesticide politics in Canada and the US

Author:Sarah Pralle
Date: September 2006
Publication:Journal of European Public Policy 13 (7): 987-1005, 2006.

Research on agenda-setting often requires long time frames to illustrate and explain the rise and fall of issues on agendas and the punctuated nature of policy change. But less common are studies which treat time itself as a variable that helps to explain the particular trajectory of a policy issue or set of issues. To appreciate the importance of timing, we must examine agenda-setting and policy change processes around similar issues in two contexts where the timing and sequence of key events and strategies differ. This paper examines differences in agenda-setting and policy change around the issue of lawn care pesticides in the United States and Canada. I argue that the timing and sequencing of events, actor mobilization, and venue shifts significantly shaped the divergent paths of the conflicts. The relative mobilization of competing advocacy groups at the start of the campaigns, and successful venue shifts at key moments in the conflicts, led to different policy outcomes in the two cases.


Sarah Pralle
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 03/12/2008 15:11:46