Talkin’ ‘bout a revolution: the social, political, and fantasmatic logics of education policy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper provides a critical analysis of the Australian government’s education revolution policy as promulgated in the media release document, Quality Education: The Case for an Education Revolution in our Schools. It seeks to problematize the government’s claim to marry quality and equity, via an analysis of the discursive strategies of the Australian government’s revolution talk. My analysis draws on the work of political theorists Jason Glynos and David Howarth and their synthesis of key ideas from Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory into a framework of explanatory ‘logics.’ This framework provides conceptual tools for conducting critical policy analysis, including: characterizing a discursive regime on a synchronic plane; accounting for its constitution, reproduction, and/or subversion on a diachronic plane; and explaining the ways in which it grips or seduces subjects at a nonrational level. Overall, the analysis of the education revolution in this paper demonstrates the value of this framework of explanatory logics for education policy analysis, in the process shedding some new light on the Australian government’s education revolution policy agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFreud, Lacan, Zizek and Education
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Unconscious Investments in Policy and Practice
EditorsClaudia Lapping
Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351111270
ISBN (Print)9780367586140, 9780815362814
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameEducation and Social Theory


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