A Narrative Policy Framework Analysis of US Space-Defense Policy and the Operationalization of Plot.
Abstract: President Trump’s 2018 announcement of a sixth military branch dedicated to space-defense took many by surprise. Less than two years later, the Space Force was established and given budgetary authority to develop and manage US space-defense assets. Policy narratives surrounded this decision-making process, circulating throughout Congress and the Pentagon to define the purpose, placement, and possibilities of a US Space Force. This research explores these stories by leveraging the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF), a policy process framework identifying core policy actors, arenas, outcomes, and solutions through the examination of policy narrative characters, settings, plots, and morals of the story. Article 1 analyzes partisan narratives on the US Space Force described in congressional testimonies; its findings highlight significant policy differences between Republicans and Democrats. Article 2 presents a scoping review of NPFliteratures on plot, presenting a new operational definition of narrative plot. Article 3 examines the similarities and differences between policymaker and administrator narratives; data indicate significant differences between groups’ interpretation of past events and their construction of future expectations in space-defense policy. Together these articles contribute to the fields understanding of space-defense policy narratives and advance the operationalization of narrative plot for future NPFresearch.
Committee Members: Co-Chairs: Brent Steel and Michael D. Jones; Sarah Cunningham (GCR), Christopher Stout, and Erika Wolters.
May 29th, 1 PM
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