This article revisits the problem of issue ownership, departing from the standard approach of attributing issue ownership to parties based on individual-level perceptions. Using computer-assisted automated content analysis of Canadian and British news from 1990-2010, I forward an alternate method of tracking issue ownership in seven policy areas: welfare, health, defence, education, environment, crime, foreign assistance and the economy.
Building on existing work in issue ownership, I argue that issue ownership should be regarded an important subfield of public policy scholarship, to be studied at the macro-level with a broader conception of issue owners. In doing so, I address some limitations in the issue ownership literature including solely using campaign data, the exclusion of unelected issue owners, and the use of cross-sectional survey data.


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