Logics, assumptions and genre chains: a framework for poststructuralist policy analysis

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Abstract

An unresolved aspect of the Logics Approach within Poststructuralist
Discourse Theory (PDT) is how to operationalize its abstract
theoretical concepts – of social, political and fantasmatic logics –
for concrete textual analysis, especially of policy documents.
Policies often institute new understandings, procedures or
practices, something the logics, as originally articulated, fall
somewhat short of capturing. To overcome these methodological
challenges this article constructs a framework for poststructuralist
policy analysis that brings together the Logics Approach with
more textually oriented tools developed within Critical Discourse
Analysis, namely assumptions and genre chains. For empirical
illustration it draws on a case study of the European Union’s
adaptation policy in response to climate change. The resulting
framework offers a means through which more implicit social and
political logics can be examined, and contributes new insights to
methodological debates around the use of the Logics Approach
(and PDT more broadly), specifically in relation to critical policy
analysis. The article concludes with seven observations of
relevance for future studies and suggests avenues for further
empirical and conceptual exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Discourse Studies
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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