Research on agenda setting seems to have arrived at a second stage in its development. In recent years, it has moved beyond both metaphors and popular units of analysis to study the mechanisms and dynamics of agenda setting in the public policy process. This essay synthesizes the last two years of research on agenda setting. It classifies the divergent work into three broad categories. The first focuses on information processing and punctuated equilibrium processes. The second addresses the attempts by scholars to move beyond subsystems as a unit of analysis. The third addresses the role of the bureaucracy in agenda setting, particularly during crises. The final section of the essay concludes by discussing future directions for research.