Making the case for policy : persuasiveness in higher education, science and technology policy discourse
Nokkala, T. (2016). Making the case for policy : persuasiveness in higher education, science and technology policy discourse. European Journal of Higher Education, 6(2), 144-158. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2015.1086664
Published inEuropean Journal of Higher Education
© 2016 Taylor & Francis. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Policy texts present problems, propose solutions to those problems and persuade multiple audiences of the legitimacy of the proposed problems and solutions. The rhetorical analysis of two decades of higher education and science and technology discourse in Finland, Germany, UK, Portugal and USA highlights the discursive elements that contribute to persuasiveness of policy, construe it as rational and logical, and create a sense of urgency in bringing it about. I argue that the analytical and hortatory registers of policy discourse foreground competitive and hierarchical relations of countries and their higher education systems. By construing certain state of affairs and courses of action as self-evidently desirable and true, they contribute to the emergence and reproduction of the neoliberal political rationality proposed by the Foucauldian governmentality theory.
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