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Title: In search of the 'inclusive agenda' through a series of discursive 'snapshots' : ideological challenges to 'Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015-2024' Ireland
Author: Van Aswegen, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 7058
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis offers a critique of the Irish labour market activation policy ‘Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015-2024’, through a series of discursive snapshots. In utilising a critical discourse analysis framework and a policy problematisations approach, the study exploits the discursive space afforded by this policy event, to examine the complex interplay of welfare and education discourses, across time, place and other policy domains. Reflecting on previous studies of special education policy-making in Ireland, this strategy provides a unique opportunity to take once more, a reading of the deep conceptual issues upon which ‘disability’ is conceptualised, constituted and articulated in Irish policy-making. The purpose of this study therefore, is to examine, not only how disability is understood in this particular policy, but more importantly, to evaluate the implications which accompany such understandings, across other policy domains, and the effects on those for whom the policy is intended. In particular, the overarching aim of this study is to assess the implications emanating from this policy event, on the national aspiration for an inclusive education agenda. In essence, the study seeks to examine what this policy event ‘means’—not just for the future development of Irish disability policy, but for the implementation of the already established policy of special needs education. As we move once again towards ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, within a climate of deepening neoliberal and economic imperatives, the rationale for undertaking such an approach to policy analysis, becomes increasingly urgent. Recent calls from eminent Irish and international scholars have urged a re-engagement with the politics of dis/ability, and discourses of renewal and hope, in order to challenge the discursive legitimacy crisis that prevails at this time in Europe and beyond. It is the explicit intention of this study therefore, to commit and contribute to this political endeavour, in the hope of creating new discursive possibilities in thinking about disability in policy-making.
Supervisor: Hyatt, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available