Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

Comparative Agendas Project: Australia and New Zealand

The Clark Center is a contributor to the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP), an international research collaborative that brings together scholars who study the politics of policymaking processes. The CAP extends to other nations the Policy Agendas Project topic system that was originally developed for the United States. This topic system consists of 19 major topics (e.g. defense or health) and over 200 subtopics (e.g. military personnel or hospitals) that can be used to classify different types of events (e.g. bills, parliamentary questions, or media stories) consistently across time.  It enables scholars to study the frequency of these events and to find and investigate particular events in more detail across decision-making venues within a single country as well as across countries around the world.

The Clark Center has responsibility for collecting and coding data on New Zealand.  To date, a complete dataset has been created for the New Zealand Supreme Court (2004-2015), and work is underway to collect and code Questions for Oral Answer in the New Zealand Parliament (2002-2015).  With respect to Australia, the Clark Center share responsibility with colleagues based at the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.  It is now collecting data on the High Court of Australia (1901-2015) and the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald (1950-2015). 

The CAP will soon publish a website that provides public access to data collected by all of the research teams. For more information about the Policy Agendas Project, which is housed in the Department of Government at UT-Austin, and for more information about CAP, visit

CAP scholars gather annually for a conference at which they share their work.  Learn more about these opportunities at

  • Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

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