Acid Rain and the Key Factors of Issue Maintenance

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The purpose of this research project is to analyze the maintenance of the acid rain issue on the governmental agenda during the 1980s within the context of Kingdon's conceptualization of the policy entrepreneur (the critical person who facilitates movement of the issue through the policymaking process), solutions, and windows of opportunity. Emphasis is placed on the issue maintenance stage because the acid rain issue moved steadily through each phase of the agenda-setting process (recognition, adoption, prioritizing) until it reached the issue maintenance stage--where it remained for over a decade. This paper seeks to explain why the issue remained in this stage for so long. The results, based primarily on survey and interview data, suggest that the reasons may be explained within Kingdon's conceptual framework.

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