Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies - John Kingdon's Streams Model – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper “ Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies - John Kingdon’ s Streams Model” is a  forceful example of a book review on politics. John Kingdon’ s streams model is one of the few solutions to public policy that scrutinizes the political system as a whole. In addition, it tends to embrace the relative significance of individual ideas, agents, institutions, as well as external processes. Other than commencing with stability, the policy streams approach of John Kingdon presumes a continual change of policy. All the elements that are relevant to the process of policymaking shift and change, and eventually policy outcomes take place from the continual interplay.

Kingdon's policy streams are as close to an adequate theory of public policy as has so far been surveyed in his arguments in the book, hence it is worth setting it out in detail (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003 pp53). The multiple streams model of John Kingdon tends to emphasize the timing and flow of policymaking as well as implementation. It takes a bigger picture viewpoint which is contrary to the other models that dwell on individual steps or the policy process components.

John Kingdon’ s stream model is valuable in the sense that it facilitates the understanding of the significance of context in terms of timing, political-climate, in addition to changing realities that must be addressed in the policy and agenda-setting process. Basically, the model is principally valuable for understanding the agenda-setting. This is based on the fact that why some issues are of high main concern and have concrete policy measures that are developed and why other issues are marginalized and focused on to a slighter scope, or not at all (Linder & Peters, 1989 pp56).

In contemporary Australian policy examples, Kingdon’ s Stream Model is important. The essay below seeks to provide a comprehensive description of John Kingdon’ s streams model. Through his book “ Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies” , Professor John Kingdon introduced a new approach of analyzing public policy decision making in 1984. John Kingdon established the theory that the timely convergence of “ three streams” is what creates the force necessary to place a subject on the public policy agenda, to move it from the government agenda box to the decision agenda box, and to lead government finally to change public policy.

The three streams include the problem stream, the policy stream, as well as the political stream. For instance, it is relevant to the policy decisions of every agency in the Australian government; the theory of John Kingdon offers a principally useful prism for analysis of the political branches of the federal government (Kingdon, 1995 pp26). The policy streams approach rejoices the importance of ideas in public policy, although it also seeks to give details of how ideas materialize by their implementation and rejection by the many decision-makers who get involved in the process.

John Kingdon as well does an investigation on many of the other processes that are discussed in his arguments with regards to the streams mode, but he approaches them in the vibrant framework. As result institutions are significant in shaping transformation and the development of policies as well as policy problems. This is particularly based on when they are highly patchy and give room for the flow of ideas (Cahn, 1997 pp158). Rather than ideas in public policy just reflecting power relationships, they start off from a number of dependent and often contradictory selection processes (Sabatier, 1988).


List of References

Althaus, C., Bridgman, P., & Davis, G 2007, The Australian Policy Handbook, Allen & Unwin,

Cahn, 1997, Public Policy, Pearson, Boston.

Hood, C 1983, The Tools of Government, Macmillan, London.

Howlett, M., & Ramesh, M 2003, Studying public policy. Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems, Oxford University Press, Toronto.

John, P 1998, Analyzing Public, PolicyPrinter, London.

Kingdon, J 1995, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. New York: Longman.

Linder, H., & Peters, G 1989, Instruments of Government: Perceptions and Contexts, Journal of Public Policy, 35-58.

Sabatier, P 1988, An advocacy coalition framework of the policy change and the role of policy-oriented, Policy Science, 129-168.

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