Is it helpful to see issues/policies going through identifiable ‘stages’ of a ‘life cycle’? Or does that impose too much order on chaos? Does it impose a teleology? (see below)
Personally my answers are “maybe/depends” and “yes but whaddyagonnado?”
But then I would say that, since I’ve invested two years of my life (and counting) in the “Dialectic Issue Life Cycle Model”…
“While these early models proved useful, they were also criticised for too much focus on civil society and policy, and a relative neglect of industry strategies: “the perspective of the corporate strategist in dealing with the issues in the public policy arena can too easily be overlooked”  (p. 22). Secondly, interpretive disagreements about issues were downplayed . Thirdly, the early literature placed too much emphasis on the ‘focal’ issue  and ignored the fact that industries simultaneously face multiple issues. Fourthly, the literature has been criticized for assuming a linear progression through stages.
(Penna and Geels, 2012: 1002)
See also cyclical lifecycle models