Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Graduate Defense: Dalten Fox

March 11 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Dissertation Defense

Dissertation Information

Title: Word Choice, Deep Core Beliefs, And Unlikely Alliances: Increasing The Distance Traveled By The Narrative Policy Framework

Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration

Advisor: Dr. Krista Paulsen, School of Public Service

Committee Members: Dr. Chris Birdsall, School of Public Service; Dr. Sophia Borgias, School of Public Service; and Dr. Mark McBeth, School of Public Service


This dissertation expands the use and capabilities of the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) by utilizing the framework across three projects that address prevailing knowledge gaps. Since 2010, the NPF literature has produced significant evidence for the importance of understanding the roles of narrative language in public policymaking. Moreover, the NPF’s creators have consistently called upon other policy narrative scholars to challenge, refine, and expand the viability of the framework. To contribute to this endeavor, this collection of studies examines language components previously unconsidered by the NPF, leverages the framework in untested belief areas, and examines atypical policy subsystem dynamics using the framework. The first essay considers the roles of language elements like word choice and labeling in the capabilities of policy narratives to influence attitudes when describing policies tied to deep core beliefs. The second essay uses policy narratives and narrators to place two deep core beliefs concerning identity (political partisanship and socio-economic positionality) against one another to explore their relevance to individuals when opining about policies related to socio-economic positionality. The third essay pairs the NPF with qualitative methods to investigate how members of once-competing advocacy coalitions developed and used narratives as they established a cross-coalition coordination and reshaped themselves as an unlikely alliance. The results of this dissertation provide evidence for the efficacy of policy narratives in deep core belief contexts, the influence of labeling and word choice on narrative persuasion, and how once-oppositional policy actors can collaborate and achieve policy narrative learning as a new advocacy coalition. Ultimately, this work can assist NPF scholars and other social scientists to further advance the framework by informing subsequent research designs for NPF testing at the deep core level of beliefs and exploring the understudied concept of policy narrative learning.