Semiotic Analysis and Public Policy evaluates several key areas of public policy that are dependent on narrative, naming, sign, and branding to create meaning. Semiotic analysis, drawing on the work of Saussure, Peirce, and others, allows for creation of a case-oriented model of brand versus product, and of medium compared with message.

Using a critical Habermasian lens, Atkinson convincingly exposes approaches focusing too heavily on instrumentality and rhetoric that claims a resolution of complex societal dilemmas. Rooted in the literature on public policy and semiotics, Atkinson creates an opportunity to delve more fully into the creation of narratives and meaning in policy, and the origins and maintenance of public programs. Evaluation of such programs shows various levels of disconnect between popular understanding of public considerations, political outcomes, and what results from the administrative/regulatory process in support of the law.

This book will be of interest for scholars and researchers of public policy, policy analysis, public administration, public management, and policy implementation.

chapter 1|23 pages


chapter 2|23 pages

Semiotic Analysis and Public Policy

Theory and Practice

chapter 3|28 pages

On Filth

Food Regulation, Enforcement, and Cheese

chapter 5|20 pages

New York City’s Conflicts of Interest Law

Compliance versus Ethical Capacity

chapter 6|24 pages

Symbol and Substance in Local Government Workforce Development

‘First Source’ Hiring Programs

chapter 7|24 pages

By Soil, Blood, and Administration

A Narrative Analysis of German Immigration Law

chapter 8|27 pages

Reforming the Affordable Care Act

A Semiotic Analysis of Tweets Using LIWC

chapter 9|28 pages

Economic and Energy Development and the Goal of Sustainability in Thailand

An Argumentation Analysis

chapter 10|17 pages

Bridging the Gap between Intent and Practice