The movement of ideas, attention, people from one arena to another (this is a term that means different things in different areas – e.g. policy analysis, social movement theory etc.

“the coupling of MSF and discourse analysis can also help to specify spillovers across policy domains. Reiterating our conceptualization of policy discourses and agents as categories that transverse and possibly connect the streams, policy discourses and agents developing similar story lines in different policy domains may actually facilitate interconnection. For instance, the aforementioned neoliberal market governance discourse has produced similar story lines and subject positions in distinct policy domains.”

(Winkel and Leipold, 2016: 124)


Ackrill and Kay (2011) infuse MSA with the concept of institutional ambiguity as a facilitator of spillovers. In the original MSA application to the USA, Kingdon (1984) observed that major policy change in one area might lead to changes in other related areas. He termed this process spillover, and hypothesized spillovers occur when policy entrepreneurs succeed in transferring winning coalitions across issue areas. In other words, success in one area opens a policy window in another. Ackrill and Kay (2011) formalize the concept by arguing there is frequently overlap across institutional boundaries, especially in the EU.

(Zahariadis, 2016:8)

(See also Zahariadas, 2016: 8)


Winkel, G. and Leipold, S. 2016. Demolishing Dikes: Multiple Streams and Policy Discourse Analysis. Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 44, (1), pp.108-129.


Zahariadis, N. 2016. Delphic oracles: ambiguity, institutions, and multiple streams. Policy Science, Vol. 49, pp.3-12.

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