Critical Policy Discourse Analysis
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Critical Policy Discourse Analysis

Edited by Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Michael Farrelly and Jane Mulderrig

This book provides a series of contemporary and international policy case studies analysed through discursive methodological approaches in the traditions of critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and discourse theory. This is the first volume that connects this discursive methodology systematically to the field of critical policy analysis and will therefore be an essential book for researchers who wish to include a discursive analysis in their critical policy research.
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Chapter 5: Advocacy NGOs in Chilean education policy-making: spaces of resistance or agencies fostering neoliberalism?

Juan Francisco Palma Carvajal


In recent decades NGOs have become one of the most important actors participating in social policy. However, there is still discussion about their role in promoting or resisting neoliberalism. Engaging directly with this debate, this chapter explores the role of two advocacy NGOs involved in processes of policy-making during the recent education reform carried out in Chile, a country known as the first laboratory of neoliberalism around the world. Based on Foucault’s theoretical work on governmentality in combination with a Discourse Historical Approach (DHA), the research investigates these NGOs’ discursive practices to analyse their role in relation to neoliberal rule in Chile. Results indicate that none of the NGOs is able to challenge the hegemonic neoliberal discourse. On the contrary, the NGOs’ discourse practices not only mask the power of the neoliberal model ruling Chilean education, but also dilute the recent process of discussion and critique regarding the rules of the game.

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