Author: Pelling, Matt
This thesis introduces a research programme to develop and test a theory for understanding the role of ideas in the policy process. By focusing on actors’ treatment of policy anomalies, the theory builds upon existing frameworks that map “orders” of ideational change using the concept of policy paradigms. The empirical section employs discourse analysis and process tracing techniques to explain industrial policy change in the province of Saskatchewan between 1970 and 1995. Using new analytical tools, this thesis explains how paradigmatic ideas may come to be dominant, hegemonic or contested, and how formulation processes came to yield the replacement of the industrial policy paradigm in many other jurisdictions but a much less consequential paradigmatic shift in Saskatchewan. The concluding section outlines the next steps of the research agenda and highlights areas in which discourse analysis may play a greater role in the policy sciences.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Howlett, Michael
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