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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Media Framing And Policy Change After Columbine, Thomas Birkland, Regina Lawrence Dec 2008

Media Framing And Policy Change After Columbine, Thomas Birkland, Regina Lawrence

Thomas A Birkland

The 1999 Columbine school shooting incident in Colorado gained far more media attention across a broader range of issues than any school violence episode before or since. One might expect that Columbine would have had an influence on public opinion, public policy, and scholarship commensurate with the attention it gained. We find that the event did contribute in a limited but interesting way to scholarship on media framing. But the effect of Columbine on public opinion and the nature and substance of public policy was limited. Attention to school shootings peaked with Columbine, and the attention surrounding that event mostly ...


Is Federalism The Reason For Policy Failure In Hurricane Katrina?, Thomas Birkland, Sarah Waterman Dec 2007

Is Federalism The Reason For Policy Failure In Hurricane Katrina?, Thomas Birkland, Sarah Waterman

Thomas A Birkland

Governmental responses to Hurricane Katrina are generally cited as policy failures. Media and popular analyses focus on the federal government’s policy failures in hazard preparedness, response, and recovery. Meanwhile, disaster experts realize that disaster response is a shared intergovernmental responsibility.We examine the federal nature of natural disaster policy in the US to consider whether federalism, or other factors, had the greatest influence on the failures in Katrina.We find that some policy failures are related to policy design considerations based in federalism, but that the national focus on ‘‘homeland security’’ and the concomitant reduction in attention to natural ...