The stages of the policy process and the Equal Rights Amendment, 1972-1982

Sarah A. Soule*, Brayden G. King

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1871-1909
Number of pages39
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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