Codebook

The original US Policy Agendas Project developed a comprehensive topic codebook for its policy content coding system, assigning ‘major’ topic codes for general categories of public policy, such as macroeconomics, the environment, education and health, and ‘sub-topics’ within each of these categories, identifying the more specific focus of policy. The UK Policy Agendas Project has generated a national version of the codebook, which retains the original categories but uses UK examples to aid the user. Our codebook reports UK-specific examples or clarifications in blue text (as additions to the original US codebook), while new sub-topics (e.g. fisheries) are presented in green text. See the UK Policy Agendas Codebook (last updated February 2010 by Will Jennings and Shaun Bevan). The Comparative Agendas Project is in the process of establishing a universal codebook for all countries, and this work is being coordinated by Shaun Bevan.

The major policy topic codes for the UK are:

1. Macroeconomics
2. Civil Rights, Minority Issues, Immigration and Civil Liberties*
3. Health
4. Agriculture
5. Labour and Employment
6. Education
7. Environment
8. Energy
10. Transportation
12. Law, Crime, and Family Issues
13. Social Welfare
14. Community Development, Planning and Housing Issues
15. Banking, Finance, and Domestic Commerce
16. Defence
17. Space, Science, Technology and Communications
18. Foreign Trade
19. International Affairs and Foreign Aid
20. Government Operations
21. Public Lands and Water Management (Territorial Issues)

*Note that the UK version of the Policy Agendas coding system includes immigration issues under major topic 2, rather than major topic 5 as in the US. This can simply be re-coded by reallocating the “230” sub-topic as “530” in our dataset. Similarly, the sub-topic for terrorism can be re-allocated as “1927” instead of “1627”.

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