Reference : The metaphors of the Belgian political crisis: evidence from citizens' discourse and ...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
The metaphors of the Belgian political crisis: evidence from citizens' discourse and the parties' manifestos
Perrez, Julien mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des langues et littératures modernes > Langue néerlandaise moderne et linguistique synchronique >]
Reuchamps, Min mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Politique européenne >]
RaAM (Researching and Applying Metaphor) 9th Conference
University of Lancaster
[en] Political discourse analysis ; Political representations ; Conceptual metaphors ; Analyse du discours politique ; Représentations politiques ; Métaphores conceptuelles
[en] Since 2009 Belgium has been through an unprecedented political and institutional crisis, which has come to an end with the forming of a new federal government in December 2011. This crisis can partly be explained by the victory of the Flemish nationalist party (N-VA) in the federal elections of 2009 and by the diverging views of the two main parts of the country on the functioning and the future of the federal state. In this presentation, we try to assess to what extent this political crisis can be explained on the metaphorical level by analysing the use of conceptual metaphors in different types of political discourse for the period 2007-2010.

While politics constitutes an abstract and complex domain of experience in which metaphors play a prominent role (Lakoff 2002, De Landtsheer 2009, Semino 2008), little attention has been paid to the use of conceptual metaphors in actual political discourse (see Authors to appear, De Landtsheer 2009, Koller 2009, L’Hôte & Lemmens 2009 for some examples). In this contribution we propose to study political conceptual metaphors in two types of corpora, which have traditionally been left out of the analysis, namely political party programmes on the one hand and citizens’ discourse on the other.

Our first research goal is to identify the conceptual metaphors the main Flemish (Groen!, SP.a, CD&V, Open VLD, N-VA, Vlaams Belang) and Walloon (Ecolo, PS, CDH, MR) political parties developed in their programmes and to study their level of circularity, that is to what extent they are present in the other parties’ programmes. This will allow us to determine which were the dominant metaphors of the campaign leading to the federal elections of 2009 and the victory of the Flemish nationalist party (N-VA). In a second stage, we will analyse citizens’ discourse, which was collected during two citizen panels on Belgian federalism, and evaluate to what extent these dominant metaphors determined the citizens’ perception and comprehension of the Belgian political situation.
Researchers ; Professionals

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