Subproject 3
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Media content analysis of the conditioning factors of issue responsiveness in Denmark & Germany (Rasmussen, Binderkrantz, Klüver, Mäder)

This subproject, which focuses on Denmark and Germany, uses a media content analysis to examine whether media activity conditions the extent to which public wishes for changes in policy on selected issues are implemented in practice. Hereby, we analyze whether politicians respond to calls for actions on specific issues expressed in public opinion polls. The analysis considers whether overall media attention as well as media appearances and positions expressed by different kinds of actors affect the opinion-policy linkage on specific issues. This allows us to examine how the opinion and actions of a broad range of different actors (such as - but not limited to - interest groups) affect the ability and willingness of decision-makers to translate the public's wishes into policy. Moreover, it controls for additional factors at the issue and the country level. In each country a sample of public opinion items from the period 1998-2010 is selected and any policy changes and media activity occurring up to four years after the question was asked are recorded. The samples are stratified in such a way that they include variation in media salience, policy type (distributive, redistributive, regulatory policy), and across time.

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