Understanding Agenda Setting in Local Governments (Case Study: Mashhad City Council)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.


Objective:This is an inquiry in agenda setting in Mashhad city council as an example of a local government in Iran. This research is undertaken in order to understand and improve agenda setting in local governments.
Methods: Phenomenological hermeneutics and hermeneutic phenomenology (constructivist grounded theory) are used in this research.
Results: A dual construct is made for agenda setting in local governments, based on soft periphery and a hard core. The hard inner core constitutes of personal features of policy maker while soft periphery is based on circumstances. There are pre-factors and post factors that embed pre and post effects of an issue when it is set as an agenda. Pre factors include ex-ante evaluation, temporal effects and the likelihood of a bills to pass. Post factors are feedbacks, target population and the issue itself.
Conclusion: Agenda settingdynamic in Mashhad city council as a local government differs from existent patterns. Here, the agenda setting process has become individualized due to the lack of a decision support systems and proper feedback.


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