SAM Seminar: Shocking Policy: Mediatisation and the Affects of Discourse on Sydney Rail Transport

When:14 Apr 2015, 5pm - 6:30pm
Venue:Robert Webster Building, Room 327
Who:Nicholas Richardson, UNSW Australia
SAM Seminar - Richardson

Drawing on two case studies in Sydney, I adopt Foucault’s conception of discourse and power as an analytical framework to address ‘shocking’ policy.

‘Shocking’ political decisions are policy and project decisions – subject to mediatisation – that do not sit well with the established media and public discourses shifting, circulating and permeating the policy arena. The good intentions of the decision-maker or the objective value of the policy or project count for little.

As shocking policy has significant ramifications, not only for the policy landscape but also for the identities of politicians and politics, this paper argues that discursive analysis is fundamental to dissect, understand and hopefully neutralize these policy decisions.


Nicholas Richardson is a Lecturer at UNSW. He is currently researching the art (or lack there)of communications around policy development, and is particularly interested in the power of the discourses at play in Sydney transport infrastructure.

In previous lives, he has written speeches for politicians; developed communications strategies for international companies; and worked as a planner for one of the world’s biggest and ugliest Advertising agencies.


SAM Seminar Series 2015
Convenor, Collin Chua – c.chua@unsw.edu.au

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