An Integrated Approach for Doing Comparative Discursive Policy Analysis



Public policy scholars study an array of contentious issues. Consider practices such as Muslim women’s dress that many argue involve a clash between culture and women’s rights. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I argue this clash is never inevitable. Instead of seeking to resolve it, liberal democratic states should attack imperial sexism instead. Qualitative policy scholars can generate novel claims like these while enhancing the trustworthiness of their scholarship by carefully tethering constructivist and constructionist policy methods. This paper explains how to apply this integrated approach by drawing on two types of discursive policy analysis: Critical Frame Analysis and “What is the Policy Represented to Be?” I illustrate my argument with examples from three dissimilar policy controversies involving culture and women’s rights. The result is an integrated approach for doing discursive public policy analysis that is systematic, rigorous, and can generate politically provocative results.


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