Discourse, Explanation and Critique
It is often alleged that post-structuralist discourse theory suffers from a methodological and a normative deficit, making it unable to either explain or criticize and evaluate the policy practices and regimes it investigates. We challenge such claims, arguing instead that post-structuralist discourse theory is both explanatory and critical. We begin by providing a quick sketch of how the ontological assumptions of post-structuralist discourse theory translate into a novel approach to policy studies, one which foregrounds the critical evaluation of policies and practices in order to explore underlying issues of power and ideology. We then discuss what we term to be the critical dimension of critical explanation. Here we foreground in our discussion how the assumption of radical contingency, the articulation of social, political and fantasmatic logics, and a novel perspective on ethical critique and normative evaluation can offer policy researchers the opportunity to go beyond the strategy of simply inverting existing hierarchies and binary oppositions to project more positive ontopolitical presumptions.
Citation : Howarth, D., Glynos, J. and Griggs, S. (2016) Discourse, Explanation and Critique. Critical Policy Studies, 10 (1), pp. 99-104
Research Group : Centre for Urban Research on Austerity
Peer Reviewed : Yes