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Interpretive analysis of emotions as a tool to understand policy processes

Anna Durnová, Charles University, Czech Republic & Institute of Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria


This session will give insights to the interpretive analysis of emotions as a tool to understand policy processes. It will outline the theoretical approach of Critical Policy Studies that enables such analysis and then give an overview of the techniques of such analysis. In public policy scholarship, addressing emotions has been linked to the analysis of knowledge. While interpretive approaches to policy studies have been prominently placed within such analysis of knowledge through language - including its various uses and the structural and power biases that such use implies - they tend to omit emotions. Through examples of my current research on emotions around what I call “post-factual citizenship”, I will show how emotions can, and should, be included in the analysis of knowledge in public policy because they inform and structure policies through meanings actors accord them by expressing, e.g., fear, joy, anger, pride, shame, disgust, or rage. Through these meanings, emotions are categorized in ‘acceptable/legitimate’ or ‘unacceptable/illegitimate’ elements of concrete standpoints and actions and, thus, affect who has a voice and how that voice impacts particular policy debates/policy conflicts. This means interpreting (1) when ‘emotions’ are mentioned, (2) who mentioned them, and (3) what specific rhetorical devices are used to describe them. I will conclude by providing further illustrative examples of how such analysis of emotions can be designed and conducted as a part of research projects.



Narrative Policy Framework

Michael Jones, Oregon State University, USA


The Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) is a systematic approach to narrative policy analysis that allows both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.  While developed only in 2010, the NPF has seen rapid adoption, appearing in academic journals such as Critical Policy Studies, Policy Sciences, the Policy Studies Journal, as well as being featured in Paul Sabatier’s and now Chris Weible’s classic Theories of the Policy Process, 3rd & 4th editions.  This lecture offers a three-hour rendering of the NPF with the aim of providing students both breadth and depth sufficient to begin to apply the framework within their own research.  Topics covered include an overview of the framework, experimental NPF applications, content analysis and the NPF, as well as qualitative methods and the NPF.  The lecture culminates in an opportunity for students to actively engage some of the NPF’s commonly employed methodologies.



Feminist Policy in Action: Making Democracies More Democratic?

Amy Mazur, Washington State University, USA


What is feminist policy? Why is it so important for our contemporary democratic systems to adopt and actually implement policies that formally promote women’s rights and status, however those rights and status are defined in a specific national context, and to strike down gender hierarchies? How do students of democratic performance actually assess feminist policy success as it is placed on government agendas and pursued in specific policies across a wide range of sectors of government action? These are especially crucial questions given how on one hand women’s movements, representing a broad range of voices and taking a multitude of forms, have been demanding governments to take action since the mid 1960s and on the other hand, governments have often responded to these demands through quite symbolic reforms- policy outputs without any real results. Thus, the puzzle we seek to examine in this session is how, to what degree and why does feminist policy matter in western post industrial democracies and do they make our stable and consolidated democracies more democratic. We will first examine the highly active and successful field of study that focuses on these questions, Feminist Comparative Policy, will be first covered. Next, students will be exposed to the thorny problems of how to define and measure feminist government action and determine what constitutes a feminist policy success. The workshop will take a close look at the approach, framework and research methodology of the current 100 member research group the Gender Equality Policy in Practice Network (



Institutional Analysis and Development Framework

Edella Schlager, University of Arizona, USA


The Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, developed by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues, is a problem oriented, policy analysis tool that focuses on how actors’ choices, actions, and outcomes are conditioned by the biophysical setting, rules in use, and community characteristics. The session will begin with a basic introduction to the framework and how it compares to other policy process approaches, and what makes the framework different. The introduction will be followed by applications of the IAD framework to numerous collective action dilemmas determined by the interests of the students. How to use the framework to engage in comparative institutional analyses, as well as its use for exploring institutional change and adaptation will be emphasized. The session will conclude with a discussion of different methods of data collection and analysis associated with applications of the framework.



Studying Policy Conflicts

Chris Weible, University of Colorado Denver, USA


The purpose of this session will be to engage students in discussions on overcoming challenges in studying conflicts in policy processes. The first part of this lecture focuses on advances in knowledge and methods in studying coalitions, learning, and policy change based on the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF).  For the first part of the lecture, we will cover the genesis of the approach and its development including the latest updates in its structure and form.   This first part will also cover the gains and gaps in knowledge under this research program from more than 30 years of research that spans the globe.  For the second part of this lecture, we will explore strategies for applying the ACF. This includes the sharing and discussion of survey questions and survey instruments, strategies for research design, and how to apply the approach for theoretical and practical contributions. Finally, this lecture concludes with an introduction to the Policy Conflict Framework and strategies for studying policy conflict and concord.

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