Interpretive Policy Analysis 11th International Conference

5 to 7 July 2016


Call for papers

Deliberation informed by political discourse analysis and social practice theory

(or: Participatory deliberation informed by theoretic pluralism)


Session organizer: Tira Foran (CSIRO Australia)


Session abstract

This session proposes to explore the challenges and opportunities of face-to-face multi-stakeholder processes which are explicitly informed by concepts of dialogue and collaborative governance (e.g. Ansell and Gash 2008) on the one hand, and discourse analysis or social practice theory on the other hand.  Both discourse analysis and social practice approaches offer insights that may improve the soundness of policy formulation, but appear to be infrequently applied in active participatory settings. Having designed and implemented such work the organizer is of a number of practical and conceptual challenges and tensions. For example, conducting technical discourse analysis in a multi-stakeholder setting raises questions of translation and accessibility. A tension exists between deliberative approaches, and social practice theory, which tends to be pessimistic about the possibilities of intentional change. By eliciting the insights of workers in this field the session aims to improve ongoing work. The selection of keynote speakers at IPA 2016 (Isabella Fairclough, Norman Fairclough, and Elizabeth Shove) suggests that the timing is opportune. We welcome contributions from authors that have previously convened such processes, or can offer insights into the challenges posed by such theoretically plural (or interdisciplinary) work. The session welcomes contributions which address the following sorts of questions:


Can political discourse analysis be actively integrated into dialogue processes to improve reflexivity?

Can social practice theory be effectively integrated into dialogue processes to improve reflexivity?

What conceptual insights ensue from attempts to apply either or both frameworks in participatory settings?


Authors should submit the details of their paper, including an abstract of no more than 350 words, to the conference website at:

The deadline for Abstracts is 15 February 2016.  The proposed format of this session will be 20 minute presentation of selected papers.



Ansell, C. and A. Gash. 2008. Collaborative Governance in Theory and Practice. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 18:543-571.

Fairclough, I. and N. Fairclough. 2012. Political Discourse Analysis: A Method for Advanced Students. Taylor & Francis.



Tira Foran, PhD

Adaptive Social and Economic Sciences Program | CSIRO Land and Water Flagship | Black Mountain Laboratories, Clunies Ross St, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA, +61 2 6246 4308 or +61 448 539 051 Mailing address: GPO Box 1700 Canberra ACT 2601 AUSTRALIA

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