Jones, Peter D.
'Requisite irony' and the knowledge based economy: a critical discourse analysis of the drafting of education policy in the european union.
Jessop, Bob, Fairclough, Norman and Wodak, Ruth (eds.)
Education and the Knowledge Based Economy in Europe.
(Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, 24).
This chapter makes a case for combining the critical analysis of discourse with an embrace of ‘self-reflexive irony’ (Jessop, 2002, 2004a) in the investigation of the articulations between the Knowledge Based Economy (KBE) and education policy in the European Union (EU). Irony is embraced as a topic within the study of EU governance of education policy in so far as it contributes to an analysis of the activities of supranational and national actors within complex multi-scalar political structures. In addition, the implications of self-reflexive irony are considered so as to suggest a series of clarifications for the process of analysing policy texts within a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) framework (Fairclough,1989,1996,1999).
In essence, the chapter does two things. It interrogates the contradictory strategies and sources of conflict in the production of EU scale education policy texts and questions both the significance and the stability of the articulation of education reform with KBE discourses. At the same time, the chapter argues that the production of such texts contingently but incrementally contributes to the production of a relatively stable governance framework for EU scale education policy and that it is to the significance of this that a critical discourse analysis leads.
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