Narrating the ‘Arab Spring’: Where Expertise Meets Heuristics in Legislative Hearings
Dunlop, Claire A.
Radaelli, Claudio M.
Reason for embargo
This chapter uses the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) to analyse and compare the parliamentary hearings on the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011/12 in the UK and the USA. The presence of bias is the main rationale for bringing experts into parliamentary life. However, drawing on the insights of behavioural sciences, our findings show that the politicians’ heuristics were not ‘fixed’ by experts’ testimonies. Rather than generate narrative learning, or at least reduce bias, we have found that there is more evidence for narratives as political devices. Beyond this, the chapter demonstrates the utility for NPF for those who operate in ‘qualitative analysis mode’ and evaluate the work of democratic institutions.
notes: The authors would like to thank Kenneth Fox and Richard Kelly at the House of Commons for their assistance with this research, and to the editors of this volume. This research was supported by the UK Higher Education Authority / Parliamentary Outreach Service and European Research Council’s grant no. 230267 for the project of Analysis of Learning in Regulatory Governance, ALREG (http://centres.exeter.ac.uk/ceg/research/ALREG/index.php).