Dear members of the Open DiscourseNet Seminar London,
we are excited to invite you to our next seminar , which will take place on Friday, 2 December 2022, 1-2pm (London time). We will hear Michael Farrelly (University of Hull) on the topic of "Can discourse analysis predict policy failure? - Applying Critical Policy Discourse Analysis to Policy Concepts of ‘Competition’ and ‘Cooperation’"
A Zoom link will be sent out on the night before.
If you have friends and colleagues who you think might be interested, please ask them to sign up on our webpage by Thursday evening to receive the Zoom link: https://discourseanalysis.net/DN/seminars/OpenDNLondon
We are looking forward to seeing you on 2nd December.
Stefanie, Michael, Johannes and Jaspal
Analysis of how policy makers and legislators represent social actors in texts can give valuable insight into their conceptualisation of objects of governance. Shifts in models of governance have been closely theorised in cultural political economy; Jessop and Sum (2013), for example, suggest that governance change is achieved - in part - through the adoption of economic ‘imaginaries’ - simplified discourses (patterns of language use) which re-describe and re-conceptualise objects of governance. However, methods of critically analysing these discourses has been underdeveloped; this paper contributes to the development of such an analytical method. Drawing on analytical methods of critical discourse policy analysis (Mulderrig, Montessori and Farrelly, 2019, Farrelly, 2019), critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 2003, van Leeuwen, 2008) and the theoretical perspective of cultural political economy (Sum and Jessop, 2013), this paper presents a framework for analysing ‘concept formations’ in the shaping of policy and political imaginaries and objects of governance. It takes steps toward an interpretive framework for evaluating their adequacy. The paper presents a comparative analysis of how ‘competition’ and ‘cooperation’ have been conceptualised in UK policy and political discourse. In the case of ‘competition’ the paper presents analysis of the representation of social actors in the ‘texts’ of two parliamentary ‘second reading debates’ (in 1985 and 1995) and shows how contemporary problems in the UK’s competitive energy markets are, effectively, prefigured in the way social actors had been represented in the conceptualisation of competition during these debates. In the case of ‘competition’ the paper presents analysis of the emerging ‘Preston Model’ as a re-conceptualisation of how to govern at the municipal scale in the UK, which promotes worker cooperatives and local procurement policies in ‘anchor’ institutions. It presents analysis of pro- and anti- Preston model texts. It argues that though proponents of the Preston model have used a more elaborated, coherent, and specific concept formation than have its opponents, there are potentially problematic absences in the pro-Preston Model discourse. The paper concludes that analysis of ‘concept formations’ gives a powerful method for uncovering implicit conceptualisation of objects of governance and a potential route to diagnosing nascent policy problems.
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