"Let’s Talk about Regulation: The Influence of the Revolving Door and Partisanship on FCC Regulatory Discourses." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 2020.

Pawel Popiel

The content of political communication of independent regulatory agencies (IRAs) is understudied. Combining computational text analysis and qualitative document analysis, this study analyzes over 7,500 speeches and statements of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioners, given over two decades, to examine how political and industry influence on policymaking manifest themselves discursively. The results shed light on how external factors, such as regulator party affiliation and passage through the revolving door, exert influence on IRAs by impacting agenda-setting processes and occasionally the content of regulators’ political communication. However, the findings also reveal the contingency of this influence in selected contexts as well.