Montesquieu Instituut: van wetenschap naar samenleving

Behind the scenes of agenda setting

woensdag 4 september 2013, 11:01

The Montesquieu Institute Campus The Hague team organized a think tank

session with invited guests to discuss the world behind the scenes of

agenda setting. Among the participants were MI fellows Gerard Breeman,

Hanco Jürgens and Ruud Koole; PhD researchers Petya Alexandrova and

Wimar Bolhuis; as well as colleagues from Leiden University, Campus

The Hague Anchrit Wille, Uli Mans and Gideon Shimshon. The session

resulted in a lively debate chaired by MI Research Director Arco


One of the central questions discussed was what issues will enter the

political scenes in the coming time. The group discussed some of the

conditions that cause promoting or hindering an issue to reach the

governmental agenda and become prominent in policy making.

The discussion got two general points of view. On the one hand this

means zooming out and looking at the system, and on the other hand the

group zoomed in into different topics. Exemplary for the first point

of view was a discussion about governance. The act of governance with

(de)centralization is itself a subject, but it also led to other

topics. In the field of social policies it is de-centralization that

currently plays a major role. Another observation about the system was

the tendency to more depolitization and a more technocratic system.

Zooming in, some "frequently seen friends" on the agenda were

discussed. These are for example sustainable energy and education. But

the biggest surprises in the future are no `usual suspects'. The

topics discussed during European summits will rise on the agenda. An

example is 3D printing. It changes not only the debate on security and

safety drastically because printing weapons becomes possible. The

production of other products may change as well. These and other

topics that may occupy an important place on the agenda in the coming

years were discussed during this think tank session organized by

Campus The Hague in the framework of the MI Summer Conference 2013.