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When open-meets-digital: info-attention marketplace, actionable UK government priorities and agenda-attention

Norderland, Miran Andreas (2022) When open-meets-digital: info-attention marketplace, actionable UK government priorities and agenda-attention. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004461


Social scientists have tried to decode institutional and societal priorities for decades – which issues/events/countries attract attention and how long they maintain their actionable agenda status. One of the reoccurring challenges in the process was the lack of accessible, standardised, and comparable data, especially when trying to identify government priorities and measure policy/public agenda-attention. However, as the adoption of web-based technology changes how government communicates and engages citizens, our ability to access open-digital information and make more accurate agenda observations has improved. As the role of centralised government portals expands, so is the need to examine how this ‘Open-Information meets Digital Attention’ nexus can help us identify actionable government priorities, improve our understanding of how issues are (re)prioritised and how those agenda-attention dynamics change over time. We consider the launch of in 2012 to be highly relevant for this research. Thanks to the portal’s centralised knowledge management system, standardised organisational typology, and uninformed search filters, we can now access new data, observe users’ preferences, and repurpose government information to establish associations between 357 departments/agencies, 47 policy areas, 219 policies, 49 topical events and 237 locations. The premise of this thesis is to examine the untapped potential of centralised government portals for agenda-attention research. We want to know if portals like can unlock alternative agenda-perspectives and data sources that can be aligned with existing theoretical frameworks as we seek to bridge a gap between theory and practice? We address this issue by contextualising as an ‘InfoAttention Marketplace’ – to be observed as a space where a Supply of digitised government information meets a digital footprint of users’ Demand for open data. In the process, we have used published government ‘info-flows’ to establish institutional preferences and the ‘pageview’ analytics to define public attentiveness for actionable government priorities over six years (10.05.2010 – 10.05.2016). Finally, we were able to demonstrate the applicability and resourcefulness of a centralised government portal for the agenda-attention research by (1) mapping out the UK Policy Platform and identifying the actionable government priorities; (2) computing policy/public agenda-attention frequency; (3) observing Aggregated-Coordinative-Communicative agenda-attention perspectives; (4) establishing a ranking order of institutional preferences along the Agenda-Attention Continuum; and (5) detecting the level of (miss)alignment between policy and public agendas when ‘Supply-meets-Demand’ on the platform. Norderland, Miran Andreas (2022) When Open-meets-Digital: platform

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2022 Miran Andreas Norderland
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Lodge, Martin

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