Neoliberalism Criticism 1NC

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Prioritizing policy deliberation is vital to effective action and decision-making

Bunker, 11 (James; 7/15/11; Masters at the Department of Communication of U-Utah; Dissertation, “THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF DELIBERATIVE CRITICISM: RHETORIC, DIGITAL ARCHIVES, NEW MEDIA, AND PUBLIC POLICY DELIBERATION”

The study and analysis of public policy is an integral part of political criticism within rhetorical studies. Public policy as an academic endeavor broadly construed concerns itself with the end result of political policy, the decision-making process, and the analysis of governmental decisions. Due to its emphasis on deliberation, rhetorical critics interested in deliberative democracy have increasingly turned their attention to public policy because of its focus on matters of political importance. Fontana Benedetto, Cary Nederman, and Gary Remer referred to this as deliberative democracy’s rhetorical turn.48 The significance of this turn from a discursive standpoint is that it recognized “the centrality of rhetoric to the processes of deliberative democracy” a claim that rhetoricians interested in public policy are well aware of.49 A 2010 special issue in Rhetoric and Public Affairs explored the theoretical implications of the rhetorical turn for public policy studies. Specifically, these scholars focused on the relationship between rhetoric and public policy, the place of rhetoric in the policy domain, and the rhetorical study of policy. Contributors were asked to respond to two questions: (1) What is the role of rhetoric in policymaking; and (2) How should rhetorical scholars approach public policy? Several themes emerged that warrant discussion due to their relationship to political criticism, as well as the development of a deliberative criticism theory. These critics articulated the importance of studying public policy from a rhetorical perspective, the role of debate, the critic’s role in this process, and several theoretical and methodological concerns that need to be addressed within future rhetorical approaches to public policy studies. 50 One benefit of a rhetorical approach to public policy is that it connects the critic’s expertise with the public’s desire to receive quality information. Trevor Parry-Giles believed that the rhetorical analysis of public policy provided the public with both a more advanced “deliberative arsenal” but also “frees citizens from the burden of extensive public-policy knowledge and expertise.”51 The public, from this perspective, has the advantage of receiving critically evaluated policy decisions without having to labor through elaborate technocratic arguments common to think-tanks and scholars of public policy. Rhetorical criticism of public policy discourse therefore not only provides a public service, it also provides the foundation for critics to communicate their expertise on important political topics to improve the quality of deliberation. The study of public policy requires critics to become familiar with and readdress the traditional topics of war and peace. Political topics or topoi are the resting place of the texts that critics choose to access, define, and analyze. Therefore, their familiarity is crucial to public policy studies from a rhetorical perspective. G. Thomas Goodnight summarized Aristotle’s topics, outlined their implications, and showed where to find them in public policy discourse.52 Accessible in historical documents and collective memory, topoi are embedded in the practices of expert advisors, elected officials, and publics. Advocates work to (1) justify policy from a politically supportable standpoint; (2) assess material limitations to intelligence, planning, tactics, and strategy, (3) compare the present range of threats, duties, and opportunities as similar to those past or emergent and novel, and (4) find the means of public translation of doctrinal, technical, historic, and strategic discourses internal to think-tanks, public institutions, and other specialized communities.53 Goodnight recognized that for the critics to understand the rhetorical implications of policy, they must first locate where political debate takes place, the actors and advocates involved, and the strategies employed to justify them. Debate is the forum for public policy analysis and it often takes place within elite policymaking circles, both in historical and contemporary form. It is within these arenas that critics find topics for the study and analysis of public policy. Accordingly, Goodnight focused on rhetorically analyzing the 2002 Congressional debate over Iraq, which he read as an intertextual extension of administration rhetoric that highlighted fear appeals over pragmatic policy questions.54 Exploration of public policy debate from a rhetorical perspective is not new but the argumentative turn offers substantial benefits for public comprehension of public policy.

Criticism is important, but only effective when adopted under cost-benefit policy

Bunker, 11 (James; 7/15/11; Masters at the Department of Communication of U-Utah; Dissertation, “THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF DELIBERATIVE CRITICISM: RHETORIC, DIGITAL ARCHIVES, NEW MEDIA, AND PUBLIC POLICY DELIBERATION”

The ability for critics to engage in politically motivated criticism is the result of a paradigm shift in rhetorical studies. Starting in the 1970s, critics questioned the legitimacy of confining rhetorical critique to traditional approaches like Neo- Aristotelianism. Debates emerged in the field that explored both the objective nature of criticism, as well as what constituted proper rhetorical criticism. This section explores those debates and their significance for critics interested in political criticism. It also places those debates in context and discusses how they provided the foundation for the ideological turn in rhetorical studies and politically active types of criticism. The ideological turn’s historical foundation rests in the Forbes Hill/Kathryn Kohrs Campbell debate (1972) over the analysis of Nixon’s Vietnam address of 1969 and extended to include the appropriateness of modes for rhetorical criticism.4 Nixon’s speech raised three theoretical questions important for the emergence of ideological criticism and thus provided the foundation for expanding rhetoric’s focus beyond Neo- Aristotelian approaches. First, could critics appreciate the way in which a rhetor adapted his message to a target audience, while at the same time ignoring other audiences? Second, is the critic warranted in excluding moral judgments about the speaker or excluding issues that raise the question of morality when producing criticism? Finally, were critics warranted in not addressing the truth of a discourse or set of discourses as an aspect of critique? Forbes Hill, in his defense of Neo-Aristotelianism, replied yes to all three questions, believing that critics should focus on the means by which a rhetor developed a text and not concern themselves with its ends or results. Kathryn Kohrs Campbell argued the opposite, that rhetoric needed to: expand its notion of audience past target audiences; broaden rhetorical analysis to encompass other perspectives beyond Neo-Aristotelianism; and include issues of morality and truth within the legitimate scope of the rhetorical critic. The Hill/Campbell debate represented the changing nature of rhetorical studies, and complemented the argument for the plurality of methods advocated by Edwin Black and others at the time.5 The theoretical issues raised by Hill and Campbell were expanded upon by other rhetoricians, forever changing the role of the critic and politicizing the act of criticism. Debates over objectivity, for instance, opened up new doors for politically motivated forms of criticism and reconceptualized the role of the critic in rhetorical studies. Philip Wander and Steven Jenkins challenged the idea that critique, as historically conceived by rhetoricians, was objective.6 The two critics challenged Neo- Aristotelian textual orthodoxy and raised questions about what constituted good criticism; issues that scholars would expand upon a decade later. The significance of their argument for political criticism is that, like Campbell, they challenged the validity of value neutral criticism. Wander and Jenkins advocated that criticism should expand past confining limitations of texts as conceived by Neo-Aristotelians and believed that the “ultimate test of criticism is not whether it is true or false, but whether it is adequate or inadequate, useful or useless, misleading or helpful for you or us.”7 In other words, the primary driver of criticism was whether it provided a practical benefit and whether it had the opportunity to both educate and inform its audience. In this sense, they argued, criticism is political and “at its best, is informed talk about matters of importance.”8 Critically informed talk about the pressing political issues of the day represented a paradigm shift from the belief that criticism could be value neutral. It signified not only that critics were political, but that it was also within their scope to engage and comment on public policy.

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