The Stages of the Policy Process and the Equal Rights Amendment, 1972-1982, American Journal of Sociology
Studies of how social movements impact policy outcomes typically treat policy change as a dichotomous phenomenon; a governmental unit either adopts or does not adopt a particular policy in a particular time frame. This simplistic view of the policy process runs the risk of masking how movements and other factors matter at various stages of the policy process. Each stage is characterized by different rules and different consequences; thus, movements and other factors ought to matter differently at each stage. The authors examine three stages of policy development with regard to state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Results show that movements mattered more to legislative decisions in the earlier stages of the policy process, but that their effects were eclipsed in later stages by public opinion.
Sarah A. Soule, Brayden King
Soule, A. Sarah, and Brayden King. 2006. The Stages of the Policy Process and the Equal Rights Amendment, 1972-1982. American Journal of Sociology. 111(6): 1871-1909.