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Authoritative GovernancePolicy Making in the Age of Mediatization$
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Maarten A. Hajer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281671.001.0001

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A Framework for Analysis

A Framework for Analysis

(p.48) 2 A Framework for Analysis
Authoritative Governance

Maarten A. Hajer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that an appreciation of the symbolic and the performative dimensions of politics and policy making is crucial to understand how authoritative governance is possible in an age of multiplicities, as these factors determine how politics ‘meets the eye’. Reminding the reader how the staging of parliamentary decision-making is itself the product of an active search for a symbolization of political legitimacy in the eighteenth century, the chapter suggests it is questionable whether this particular staging of politics can hold its symbolic power in the age of mediatization. A performance perspective on governance holds that policy makers and politicians are constantly trying to create order and structure in potentially unstable situations. The very variability of the setting and staging of politics calls for more explicit attention to how actors use particular terms in particular settings. Politics is (counter-)scripted and staged for multiple audiences: politics and media are fundamentally intertwined. Understanding governance thus comes from studying the contextualized interaction as a series of ‘performances’, drawing on the combined analytical vocabularies of discourse analysis and dramaturgy to open up the concept of ‘practice’.

Keywords:   discourse analysis, dramaturgical analysis, performance, ritual, practice

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