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Decent Work in Scotland, an Agenda-Setting Analysis



This article uses John Kingdon’s multiple streams framework as an analytical tool to consider how the policy issue of ‘job quality’, in the guises of ‘decent work’ and ‘fair work’, developed a ‘career’ in Scotland between 2013 and 2017. The aim is to understand why, despite the efforts of a variety of policy entrepreneurs and the openness of the Scottish Government to this policy problem, job quality did not arrive on the Scottish Government’s decision agenda. The article finds that the crucial ‘policy window’ did not open due to the 2016 ‘Brexit’ decision dramatically changing the political landscape.

The article demonstrates the applicability of Kingdon’s framework for agenda-setting analysis in a parliamentary environment and constitutes a rare application of the framework to a ‘live’ policy issue.

The authors were involved in a research and advocacy project on ‘decent work’ that was undertaken in Scotland during 2015 and 2016 and therefore were amongst the policy entrepreneurs seeking to place job quality on the Scottish Government’s agenda.



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Decent Work in Scotland, an Agenda-Setting Analysis



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