This review evaluates the use of spatial models for the analysis of policymaking. First, we examine spatial theory and its applications in a variety ofinstitutional settings. We discuss how the preferences of the actors involvedin political processes, the steps in those processes, and the locations of thereversion policies affect the policies that emerge from the processes. To illustrate this and analyze how the rights of political actors determine the extentof policy reform and the occurrence of gridlock, we use a spatial model ofEuropean Union (EU) policy making. We apply the model to major EU reforms in two resource policy areas: the Common Agricultural Policy reformsof the past two decades and the recent reforms of the Emissions TradingSystem.