Policy bandwagons, and how they start rolling
In the current issue of Governance, Darren Halpin of the University of Aarhus examines the behavior of organized interests in Scotland, and asks whether they are prone to the same kind of bandwagon behavior observed elsewhere. They are: most issues attract little attention, while a few issues gain the most attention. Halpin advances the literature by examining the reasons for this. It is not simply that some issues are more important than others, he says. A large number of actors cannot monitor the policy environment directly and rely instead on cues from “keystone groups.” This process of cue-taking frequently generates “cascades of attention,” and thus bandwagons. Read the article.