Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership & Policy Studies

Committee Chair

Steven Nelson


This dissertation follows a three-article format that build upon each other to examine and analyze how the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 (CCTA) both emerges from and reinforces a broader project of neoliberal reform within institutions of higher education through a Foucauldian Archaeologic framework. The first article unpacks and examines the functioning of the CCTA through common methodologies for policy analysis. Through this examination, the first article also highlights how these methodologies for policy analysis miss certain aspects for the functioning and flowing of power through the CCTA within a broader neoliberal context. The second article unpacks and examines Michel Foucault’s work on Archaeological analysis as well as his work on neoliberalism to highlight the need for an archaeological review of the CCTA to connect the findings of traditional policy analysis with how truth and power function within society to complete a full picture of the CCTA and its affects within a neoliberal society. The third article conducts an archaeological analysis of the CCTA through the examination of a constructed archive. This examination highlights the dominant discourses involved, their connection to non-discursive events found in more traditional policy analysis and constructs a polyhedron of intelligibility to understand how the CCTA functions within our society. This dissertation explores how traditional policy study captures an incomplete picture of how policy is created and functions through its focus on human actors’ beliefs and actions. Additionally, adding Foucauldian archaeology to the toolbox of policy studies allows researchers to better account for the ways in which discourse produces a field of intelligibility and action prior to human thought and action. Finally, this dissertation presents a methodological way forward that connects traditional analysis with archaeological analysis to understand how thoughts and actions interact with discourse to produce the contingent world in which policy originates and governs.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access