Jeni Jenkins


Public Administration


Public Administration


Using the theoretical concept of ‘policy entrepreneurs’ in public policy, this study draws on interview data from six key figures in a controversial city debate, to examine the impact, role, and characteristics such entrepreneurs have in policy making in city politics. This paper begins by providing an overview of public problems and the concept of policy entrepreneurs in relation to their role in the agenda setting process of policy formation. A historical summary of the case in study is then provided. Research is based on an in-depth analysis of data collected during one-on-one oral interviews in August 2004 with six key leaders about their role in the Ten Commandments Monument debate. Numerous characteristics of policy entrepreneurs are examined [as identified by Anderson, 2003, Baumgartner & Jones, 1993, Birkland, 2001, & Kingdon, 1995]. The interviews suggest that such variables as persistence, a willingness to invest in resources, value systems, expertise, opportunity, and influence contribute to the effectiveness of policy entrepreneurs. Some unexpected characteristics emerged as significant including belief system and occupation. Analysis of interview results also highlights the fact that all respondents were not proactive with respect to the Ten Commandments issue; rather they were reactive.

Abstract Format




Faculty Mentor

Dr. Les Alm