Using the Comparative Agendas Project to understand policy priorities in presidential agendas in Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico
The Comparative Agendas Project (CAP) is an initiative that has made the comparative study of policy agendas possible. This article introduces a dataset on three Latin American countries to describe policy priorities in presidential agendas. Therefore, we use our data to explore the policy priorities of the current Brazilian, Ecuadorian and Mexican presidents. The study offers a systematic descriptive analysis of executive policy agendas to find patterns of policy attention in presidential agendas using the CAP. The analysis starts by identifying the issues that catch most of the presidents' attention (policy priorities), and the dynamics of policy change in policy priorities in Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico presidential agendas are described. The effects of democratisation, elections, and change of political party between elections for the executive branch are some factors explaining the policy priorities and policy changes in presidential agendas. We explore the effects of political factors and cycles and whether these variables affect policy priorities. Finally, the study discusses the importance of partisan and institutional characteristics and challenges the influence of authoritative presidential powers on defining policy priorities.