Site of research: Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere
Project director: Dr. Hanna Rautajoki
Sponsor: Academy of Finland (2018-2021)
Description of the Academy project:
According to the world society theory, the global uniformity of policy models among the nation states is explained by shared modern values, such as rationality and scientific development. My project takes this explanation to be too reductionist, and sets to complement the theory by demonstrating the relevance of identifications in political rhetoric. There are normative orders and expectations also embedded in actor identities and their interrelations, and this normative force can be strategically deployed in the policy debate. My research stems from the epistemic governance theory, which investigates governance at the local level in the actual argumentation practices of the policy makers. I will refine the theory by explicating how actors deploy mutual identifications as assets in political persuasion. The microanalytic tools of cultural membership categorization and narrative positioning analysis are used to uncover the dynamics of this rhetorical game in four policy debates within contemporary European Union.