Critical Policy Discourse Analysis


Critical Policy Discourse Analysis

9781788974950 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Associate Professor, Research Centre for Learning and Innovation, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands, Michael Farrelly, Lecturer in English Language, Department of English, Creative Writing and American Studies, University of Hull and Jane Mulderrig, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, School of English, University of Sheffield, UK
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78897 495 0 Extent: 296 pp
This book provides a series of contemporary and international policy case studies analysed through discursive methodological approaches in the traditions of critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and discourse theory. This is the first volume that connects this discursive methodology systematically to the field of critical policy analysis and will therefore be an essential book for researchers who wish to include a discursive analysis in their critical policy research.

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Critical Acclaim
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Critical Policy Discourse Analysis bridges the literature on critical discourse analysis (CDA) and critical policy analysis to provide a practical guide on how to combine these major approaches to critical social science. The volume gives a clear introduction to concepts and analytical procedures for critical policy discourse analysis. Utilising ten international case studies, the authors explain and critically reflect upon the methods and theories that they have used to successfully integrate CDA with critical policy studies across a diverse range of policy issues.

Case studies are used to explore issues in economics, health, education, crisis management, the environment, language and energy policy. Analysing these through discursive methodological approaches in the traditions of CDA, social semiotics and discourse theory, this book connects this discursive methodology systematically to the field of critical policy studies.

This is an essential read for researchers wishing to practically combine methods of CDA with critical policy studies. It provides key insights for politics scholars looking to gain a more in-depth understanding of the impact and analysis of discourse.

Critical Acclaim
‘Finally, a very timely and useful volume which addresses scholars and graduate students in the Social Sciences, and – importantly – also policy makers as well as practitioners. The chapters illustrate how systematic interdisciplinary, in-depth textual analysis of policy documents, on the one hand, and of debates about policies, on the other, allow for an understanding and explanation of the complexity of policy processes and procedures in innovative ways.’
– Ruth Wodak, Lancaster University, UK

‘By bringing together, in a highly innovative and informative way, up-to-date theory, detailed methodological guidance and well-documented empirical examples, Critical Policy Discourse Analysis is now the go-to book for everyone interested in the contribution of critical discourse analysis to policy studies. The book captures the enormous theoretical and methodological progress CDA has made over the last decade. It convincingly demonstrates that CDA should be part of the standard repertoire of policy analysis and a core topic of every policy studies curriculum.’
– Hendrik Wagenaar, King’s College London, UK and The University of Canberra, Australia

‘An exciting, important and, above all, extremely useful collection of essays, offering excellent and practical guidance on how to conduct critical policy discourse analysis. Timely and highly recommended.’
– Colin Hay, Sciences Po, France

‘This fascinating and varied collection admirably achieves its aim of demonstrating the value of integrating critical discourse analysis with critical policy studies. In so doing, the Critical Policy Discourse Analysis enriches our understanding of policy discourse and sharpens our methodological means of doing so. Operating through a fascinating set of case studies that range from a study of Nokia through to Slovenian language policy, and looking at the production of ideas like “competition” and “fiscal discipline”, the volume emphasises the meaning-making practices involved in the production and interpretation of policy. This is done through a detailed textual analysis of policy combined with innovative conceptual and methodological arguments. Maintaining a critical edge, the approaches gathered here all move from a normative study of discourse to an explanatory critique concerned with the role of social power and power relations.’
– Jonathan Joseph, University of Bristol, UK

‘This volume testifies to the productive encounter between Critical Policy Studies and Discourse Analysis. Accessible, informative and exhaustive, it presents model examples of discourse research in the area of policy research.’
– Johannes Angermuller, The Open University, UK

‘This is a significant contribution to the fields of critical discourse and critical policy studies. With a diverse selection of relevant contemporary policy issues, as well as explicit discussions of the methodological tools deployed and their connection to critical social theories, the book as a whole offers a valuable snapshot of the potential of integrated approaches, showing how they can enhance structurally-oriented policy critiques by grounding them in the specifics of discursive practices.’
– Susana Martínez Guillem, University of New Mexico, US

‘Uncovering dominance and addressing learned helplessness is part of any effort to enact change, especially when faced with wicked problems. However, change agents are not always equipped to deal with that adequately. This volume presents methodology and examples of how to do so by connecting theory and practice, insiders and outsiders, and micro events and macro processes. It points to powerful ideas and subtle craft and will inspire not only scholars but also practitioners seeking to better understand and address the complexities involved.’
– Hans Vermaak, Sioo, Twynstra and NSOB, the Netherlands
Contributors: T. Bartlett, D. Caterina, M. Farrelly, S. Horrod, N. Montesano Montessori, J. Mulderrig, J.F. Palma Carvajal, M. Poutanen, M. Rieder, K. Savski, H. Theine



1 Introducing critical policy discourse analysis 1
Jane Mulderrig, Nicolina Montesano Montessori and Michael Farrelly
2 Text oriented discourse analysis: an analysis of a struggle for hegemony in Mexico 23
Nicolina Montesano Montessori
3 Analysing orders of discourse of neoliberal rule: health ‘nudges’ and the rise of psychological governance 48
Jane Mulderrig
4 The recontextualisation of higher education policy in learning and teaching practices: the discursive construction of community 73
Sarah Horrod
5 Advocacy NGOs in Chilean education policy-making: spaces of resistance or agencies fostering neoliberalism? 97
Juan Francisco Palma Carvajal
6 Business logics: co-option of media discourse by pro-market arguments in the case of Nokia in Finland 122
Mikko Poutanen
7 Analysing the representation of social actors: the conceptualisation of objects of governance 147
Michael Farrelly
8 ‘The billionaires’ boot boys start screaming’ – a critical analysis of economic policy discourses in reaction to Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century 169
Hendrik Theine and Maria Rieder
9 Historical ethnography of policy discourse: examining the genesis of a language strategy in Slovenia 193
Kristof Savski
10 Historical materialist policy analysis meets critical discourse analysis of practical argumentation: making sense of hegemony struggles in Italy’s crisis management 216
Daniela Caterina
11 Scaling the incommensurate: discourses of sustainability in the Western Isles of Scotland 242
Tom Bartlett
12 Concluding remarks on critical policy discourse analysis 264
Michael Farrelly, Nicolina Montesano Montessori and Jane Mulderrig

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