Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2452-0063
  • E-ISSN: 2452-0071
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Why do parties pay more attention to some policy issues than to others? To what extent does policy attention conveyed by the media, public opinion, and parliament explain party agenda-setting? And, more specifically, to what extent does the media agenda influence other agenda effects? This paper addresses these questions in an original manner by analyzing the influence of these three agendas – media, public opinion, and parliament – in party manifesto elaboration. The analysis relies on an extensive database of the Portuguese Policy Agendas Project that includes media attention, voter preferences, parliamentary questions and pledges in manifestos, between 1995 and 2015. Our findings show that the media agenda is the most influential in party manifesto elaboration, and that the other agendas have a stronger effect when the media also give attention to the issue. This depends, however, on the political party being in cabinet or in opposition, as well as on the economic context. These findings have important implications for party competition literature.


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