Conceptions of public policies and discursive pratices: An analysis of higher education public policies in Lula’s Government (2003-2010)

Márcio Barcelos, Marcio Silva Rodrigues


The main objective of this work is to analyze a set of conceptions and discursive practices underpinning the construction of public policies for the area of higher education during the two governments of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010). A theoretical-analytical approach was adopted from approaches that have been defined as post-empiricist and that emphasize the dimension of ideas, discourses and narratives in the processes of formulation and implementation of public policies. This approach incorporates the methodology of critical discourse analysis, with the purpose of examining three specific policies: SINAES, PROUNI and REUNI. This analysis reveals that, despite having differences in form, the public policies implemented in the Lula’s government maintain a set of neoliberal conceptions structured in Brazil throughout the 1990s, especially during the two governments of Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2002).


Discursive Practices; Public Policy; Higher Education; Lula’s Government


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