Critical policy discourse analysis

Authors Nicolien Montesano Montessori
Published in M. Handford & J.P. Gee (Eds.),The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis
Publication date 2023
Research groups Normatieve Professionalisering
Type Book


This chapter presents Critical Policy Discourse Analysis (CPDA) which merges critical discourse analysis (CDA) with critical policy studies (CPS). CPDA engages with a discursive analysis of a policy problem, generally drawing on critical discourse analysis for its methodology, in this case Text Oriented Discourse Analysis (TODA). The research addresses the problem of complexity reduction in the process of policy-making and illustrates this with an analysis of the UN Agenda “Transforming the World, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which introduces the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It presents the reader with a detailed example of how to perform a TODA research. It indeed reveals mechanisms of policy reduction such as decontextualization, singularization, a limited spatio-temporal frame reduced to the timespan of the UN. It discusses the potential consequences of this for the effectivity of the SDGs and presents alternative theories and voices that do capture the complexity of real life events. The final section suggests further developments in CPDA and advocates bringing complexity to the fore.

On this publication contributed

Language Engels
Published in M. Handford & J.P. Gee (Eds.),The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis
ISBN/ISSN URN:ISBN:9781003035244
Key words Critical Policy Discourse Analysis (CPDA)

Nicolien Montesano Montessori

Nicolien Montesano Montessori

  • Onderzoeker
  • Research group: Communicatie in Digitale Transitie