Scientific article

Do the media set the parliamentary agenda? A comparative study in seven countries

Published inEuropean journal of political research, vol. 55, no. 2, p. 283-301
Publication date2016

A growing body of work has examined the relationship between media and politics from an agenda-setting perspective: Is attention for issues initiated by political elites with the media following suit, or is the reverse relation stronger? A long series of single-country studies has suggested a number of general agenda-setting patterns but these have never been confirmed in a comparative approach. In a comparative, longitudinal design including comparable media and politics evidence for seven European countries (Belgium,Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), this study highlights a number of generic patterns. Additionally, it shows how the political system matters. Overall, the media are a stronger inspirer of political action in countries with single-party governments compared to those with multiple-party governments. But, this larger media effect under single-party governments is due fully to the higher reactivity of the opposition parties; government parties are more reactive to media under multiparty governments.

  • Agenda-setting
  • Comparative research
  • Media
  • Parliamentary questions
  • Political systems
Citation (ISO format)
VLIEGENTHART, Rens et al. Do the media set the parliamentary agenda? A comparative study in seven countries. In: European journal of political research, 2016, vol. 55, n° 2, p. 283–301. doi: 10.1111/1475-6765.12134
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0304-4130

Technical informations

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