A New Approach to Public Policy Studies Relying on the Theory of Critical Discourse Analysis Studies the State as a Discourse

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Political Science, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Understanding the policy cycle, as well as scrutinizing the text of hidden and obvious policies and rules, requires a model of discourse analysis based on which discursive ap-proaches of policy makers are understood and estimated. However, when it comes to presenting a policy model, we have to use the views of policy theorists to see how a problem as a "public goods" can be found in the policy agenda setting. Regarding public policy-making procedures, quantitative or descriptive approaches, in studies the state, are often used to pathologizing policies or to obtaining policy advice models. However, this paper attempts to show that studies the state is a discourse that is described by the dominant discursive signifiers in the target society in which policy-makers make mean-ing to concepts. If we assume that the policy making cycle is something other than a several stages, such as defining a problem, finding a solution to it, decision making and implementing, then it is clear that the definition of a problem, whether the presentation of solutions and the process of decision making and its implementation, cannot be out-side the discourse. Therefore, public policy at the macro level and studies the state, as one of its examples and functions, is a discursive, which its understanding is possible only if the dominant discourse and its relation to the realities of the society in question are well understood.