Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation is a language-based case study that examines the relationship between academic research and public policy to understand the role of language and rhetoric in how academic research influences public policy. Using one Canadian public inquiry (the Sophonow Inquiry) that clearly resulted in policy uptake of research, this study examines the manner in which academic knowledge and discourse enter public policy, the rhetorical transformation of these knowledge and discourse, and the relevant rhetorical and discourse factors that facilitate policy uptake of research. The analysis in this dissertation reveals that circulation of knowledge and discourse from academic research to public policy is mediated by what I call intermediary genres, and these genres simultaneously filter and validate academic knowledge and discourse into the policy domain through what Anne Freadman theorized as uptake. But this uptake process ironically obscures the epistemological origin of those knowledge and discourse by de-attributing them from academic genres and re-attributing them to other legal or policy genres. This process creates an impression that academic research is less influential than it actually is. Along with this description of the uptake process, this dissertation also identifies a number of rhetorical and discourse factors that facilitate this uptake process. Some of the factors are broad and theoretical (such as the configuration of the intertextual relationship), but others are much more specific (such as, rhetorical emphasis and discourse mode), providing potentially useful information for scholars who are interested in influencing public policy with their research.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Tachino, Tosh, "Academic research and public policy: rhetorical lessons from the Sophonow Inquiry" (2008). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 15800.