The UK Policy Agendas Project seeks to develop systematic measures of the policy agenda of British government and politics over time. It applies the policy content coding system of the original Policy Agendas Project in the United States, founded by Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones, with the aim of creating a consistent record of the issues that are attended to at different points in time, across many of the main venues of British public policy and politics – namely in parliament, the media and public opinion. The reliability of these measures of policy attention are ensured through adherence to clearly defined coding rules and standards, which give us confidence that changes in the priorities of government can be tracked consistently over time and in different arenas of politics.
The project has generated a number of datasets for use by other researchers, students, practitioners and the public. These are freely available and we encourage anyone who is interested either in using the data or applying the policy content coding system to create their own measures of other aspects of British public policy to contact us so that we can advise on coding rules and standards.
At present, data collected for the project includes:
- The Speech from the Throne (the Queen’s Speech), 1911-2012.
- Acts of UK Parliament, 1911-2012.
- Prime Minister’s Questions, 1997-2008.
- Front page headlines of The Times of London, 1960-2008.
- Public expenditure by function of UK government, 1910-2007.
- Bills and Hearings of the Scottish Parliament, 1999-2008.
- Public opinion about the ‘most important problem facing the country’, 1946-2014.