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2 - Theoretical Framework

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2020

Marius R. Busemeyer
Affiliation:
Universität Konstanz, Germany
Julian L. Garritzmann
Affiliation:
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Am Main
Erik Neimanns
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, Cologne
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Summary

This theoretical chapter introduces in greater detail the conceptual framework of the book. In the first part of this chapter, we revisit and review existing scholarship on public attitudes and preferences. The second half focuses on how public preferences are transferred into policy-making. We argue that the influence of public opinion on policy-making is strongest in the world of “loud politics,” when the salience of an issue is high and attitudes are coherent. In contrast, interest groups have a strong influence on policy-making in the realm of “quiet politics,” when salience is low. Third, when salience is high, but popular attitudes are conflicting, the dynamics of policy-making are likely to follow a pattern of partisan politics (“loud but noisy politics”). We posit that education is a particularly well-suited policy area to demonstrate the usefulness of our framework as salience and coherence of attitudes vary across different educational sectors and policy issues. However, the framework is also applicable to other policy areas.

Type
Chapter
Information
A Loud but Noisy Signal?
Public Opinion and Education Reform in Western Europe
, pp. 17 - 52
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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