New Research Paper published: “A Discourse Analysis of the UK Referendum Campaign on EU Membership”

In this IEP Research Paper the author Elisabeth Weißbecker uses Ruth Wodak’s Discourse-Historical Approach to analyse “The Facts of Life say Leave” speech by Michael Gove in order to examine how the case for Brexit was made in the refer­endum campaign. Weißbecker shows that his argumen­tation relies on numerous misrep­re­sen­ta­tions of the EU and the delegit­imi­sation of the opposing ‘Remain’ camp by ridicule, in order to convey that leaving the EU is a promising prospect while staying is a danger. Gove’s argumen­tation benefits from a histor­i­cally negative EU-discourse based on negative media coverage, politi­cians’ EU-bashing rhetoric, a cultural distance and a disdain for supra­na­tion­alism, suggesting that the refer­endum result can be traced throughout the UK-EU relationship.

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