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Samenvatting - CPT-21806 Class notes
1395010800 College 1: Policy as a communicative practice
What shouild good policy consist of?
- not ignoring significant problems (world hunger)
- not ignoring significant risks (financial markets)
- not responding to phantom problems (meteors, gmos, immigrants, obesity?)
- not investing in phantom solutions (novel food, border control?)
Social reality is based in social experience
What are the first order constructs of social reality? And second order constructs?
When socail actors understand social reality through preselected and preinterpreted concepts.
When social sciences can attempt to reconstruct the meaning of a phenomenom from the actor's perspective. Not through empathy but careful reconstruction of the social meaning.
What is the empiricists understanding of policy?
- good policy is based on facts
- problems can be clearly identified, based on evidence.
- good policy analysis can identify the the best course of action
- experts ans politicians have to explain the selected policy to the public.
What is the postempericists understanding of policy?
- facts have meaning only in social contexts
- what ounts as a policy problem depends on facts, values and perceptions.
- means and ends are not independent
- the role of the policy analyst is to 'help citizens to reflect on the conflicting frames inherent in policy controversies' - Fischer
Fischer - The hallmark of political argument is the near-impossibility of marshalling evidence that can persuade everyone.
Invoking frames and discourses are ways of assigning meaning to specific events
What is framing?To select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and\or treatment recommendation.
What is a discourse?A specific ensemble of ideas, consepts and categorizations that is produced, reproduced, and transformed in a particular set of practices and through which meaning is given to physical and social realities.
Why are meanings and interpretations important for policy making?Policies are both substantive and symbolic
How are social meanings about policy-making constructed? And what does this means for the academic understanding of policy-making?Constant processes of contested interpretation. From empiricist to post-empiricist apporach.
How do meanings and interpretations influence policy?Through political language and symbols which invoke broader frames of discourses. In many ways, including ideological contestation, agenda-setting, construction of target groups.
What are the most important points made by Fischer?
- The phenomenology of social action's critique on social science for not making the ffort of making the distiction between the social and pyisical world and the methodologies to appropriate to each.
- To accurately explain social phenomena, the investigator must first attemopt to understand the meaning of the sical phenomenon from the actor's perspective that is derrived from motive and values. (example of reasearch as to why college students go to school)
- Consequence of not understanding motives and values is excluding people.
- The social constructionist approach is relevent for policy analysis because: it has a major influence on science and technology (better explained as a social process with similarities instead of total objectivity) and because it plays a major role in social problems and thus public policy.
- Polictical language is political reality itself, policitcal events that we personally witsess take their meaning from the language that portrays them. For both participants and observers there is no other reality.
- Social situations and the discoursesabouth them create political arguments that cannot be ginally verified or falsified. Because a social problem is not a verifieable entity but a construction that furthers ideaological interests, its explanation is bound to be part of the process of construction rather than a set of falsifiable propositions.
- A society of multiple realtities and relative standards are all we ever achieve. It is a reality that social scientists must accept and learn to deal with.
- The political spectacle as hyperreality - the horserac in the election for a american preseident - the race is more important than the issues themselves.
- Pretty much everything becomes a symbol. Policy is a symbolic entity.
1395270000 College 2: Governmental communication
A thin line between government communication and political communication.
Politics - activities thrugh which people and groupes arcticulate, negotiate, implement and enforce competing claims.
What types of governmental communication are there?
- Official government communication - administered by government institutions, government funded (government ads, press conferences..)
- Non\semi- official communication - tv appearances by policticians, interviews, debates...
Communication as policy to acheive goals such as healthy eating, safe sex..
Communication on accepted policy - informatipn, implementation, transparency, persuasion (for legitimacy)
Communication on not yet accepted policy - a touchy matter
What are the elements of Rhetoric (by Gottweis)?
- Ethos - the trustworthy character of the speaker
- Pathos - the emotional effect created by the discourse on the audience
- Logos - the logic of the argument set out in the discourse
(- scenography + narrative)
Do criticized elements of comminication management (Sanders) and rhetoris (Gottweis) relate to 'truth' in similar ways?mn
The key questions fro government communication are how to relate to citizens, build legitimacy of government actors, operations and policy under conditions of political challenge (media, opposition, citizens whose support has to be won).
What is rhetoric?An integral moment of policy making, pointing to the neccesity of convincing, persuading, and communicating efficiently in the context of shaping and implementing public policies.
What are the two understandings of ethos?
The first is the it is the broad presentation of ones self and it's connection to one's personality, ideology, status and milieu.
The second implies a certain form of argumentation (logos), a certain way to express emotions and one's self as a speaker.