Bigelow et al.  propose some interesting ideas. Besides a ‘normal path’, they suggest that issue evolution may follow other patterns such as: a) halted path (issue progression stops because of weakening pressures and increased industry resistance, as in our case), b) skipped path (the issue accelerates and skips phases because of intense external pressure), c) recursive or cyclical path (the issue moves backwards and forwards between phases depending on varying strengths of external pressures and industry resistance).
(Penna and Geels 2012:1015)
Bigelow, B., Fahey, L. and Mahon, J. 1993. A typology of issue evolution. Business & Society, Vol. 32., pp.18-29.