First published in 1979, Official Discourse is an unofficial report of theoretical investigations into a specific state of practice- the publication of reports of official inquiries into law, order and justice issues. The commissions, tribunals and committees of inquiry scrutinized in this book examine problems arising from wrongful imprisonment, police corruption, industrial picketing, and communal rioting and internment in Northern Ireland.
Focusing on the reasons why government reports take the form they do, the authors venture into the areas of linguistics, psychoanalysis and Marxism. The book is an exercise in discourse analysis, an exercise in theoretical work that looks at the relationships between theory and literary production, and a critique of official conceptions of law, order and justice.
Acknowledgements; Prologue 1. Official publications: their historical and constitutional significance 2. Discourse analysis 3. Official Discourse and state apparatuses 4. The judicial stare 5. The judicial discourse 6. Official discourse 7. The reading and writing of Official Discourse 8. Official Discourse: report of an unofficial inquiry; Bibliography; Index