A case study of the Global Food Security Act of 2016: Interorganizational policymaking and food security d/discourses
For this dissertation case study, I examined how individuals, especially those who worked on interorganizational food security programming and policymaking, discussed organizational policy messaging and the discursively constructed meanings around their work related to food security. I focused on the communicative linkages between a US government development organization and the problem of food insecurity because this condition continues to plague nearly a billion people around the world. Specifically, I investigated the communicative processes leading up to the passage of the Global Food Security Act (2016), including the organizational construction of meaning that helped get the bipartisan legislation passed at a contentious time in our government’s history. I conducted in-depth, qualitative interviews with food security professionals and coded documents related to the passage of the GFSA. This study serves a dual purpose: 1) The findings provide evidence of language convergence/meaning divergence that adds to a deeper scholarly understanding of how policies are created and interpreted differently, and 2) the findings offer insight into the ways in which a US government organization uses strategic ambiguity to persuade stakeholders to fund food security programming and support impactful international programming.