PAP-52306 Policy Agenda Setting and Issue Framing


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper2
Group work14
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. TAP Metze-Burghouts
Lecturer(s)dr. A Dewulf
dr. TAP Metze-Burghouts
Examiner(s)dr. TAP Metze-Burghouts
dr. A Dewulf

Language of instruction:



Through lectures, tutorials and learning by doing, students will learn how policy issues get framed and how this framing relates to agenda setting and policy change. We will use framing theory and analysis to understand how certain aspects of a policy issue get attention while others are downplayed - for example, framing climate change as an urgent problem that requirs immediate action versus framing climate change as too complex and uncertain to handle. The lecturer and students will present and discuss the literature for this course; students will engage in several framing exercises;  and students will use the literature and skills to conduct their own study on a topic of their choice, such as the death penalty, animal welfare, climate change, safety policies, or water management and energy controversies. Students will acquire practical research skills on qualitative and quantitative methods, and learn how to create a database of, for example, newspaper articles, expert reports, laws and policy documents. In addition students will learn how to conduct an analysis of heightened political attention and framing.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the dynamics of political agenda-setting and issue framing;
- analyse the rise and fall of political attention;
- analyse the framing of policy issues;
- apply both qualitative and quantitative methods.


- discussing and presenting literature;
- creating media and policy datasets;
- analysing textual data, both quantitatively and qualitatively;
- writing a research report about issue framing and the politics of attention of a specific policy topic;
- presenting preliminary research results.


- paper 80%;
- presentation literature 10%;
- presentation draft paper 10%.


Reader and book.