Handout - Lancaster University

Ruth Wodak
Distinguished Professor in Discourse Studies
Lancaster University
Formulating the Problem
Theoretical Framework: Reconstructing the EU-Nexus of Competitiveness – a
critical discourse-historical approach
The Competitiveness Advisory Group;
Speculative Speeches;
Redefining the Functions of Multilingualism
Perspectives and Open Questions
In other words, we are faced with the immense responsibility, while remaining faithful to the ideals
which come to characterize and represent Europe, of finding a new synthesis of the aims pursued by
society (work as factor of social integration, equality of opportunity) and the requirements of the
economy (competitiveness and job creation)….
Nothing would be more dangerous that for Europe to maintain structures and customs which
foster resignation, refusal of commitment and passivity…The contribution which the European Union
can make is therefore to assist this movement, which reconciles our historical loyalties with our wish
to take place in this new world that is now emerging. (Preamble, Delors)
WITH COMPETITIVENESS (extensive analysis, Wodak 2000a)
1. People have lost their bearings
(a) They are under the Impression
that our countries have forgotten the recipe for satisfactory economic growth;
that we are subject to ever keener competition caused by trade liberalisation and
technological progress;
• that this competition imposes on us ever faster structural changes which result in:
massive job losses,
serious occupational instability,
growing inequality in wages and salaries,
more generally, increasing injustice in society;
(b)They tend to blame globalization for these difficulties
This globalization process
(a) is natural:
it is the continuation and spread of the process of economic development and social
progress on which the prosperity of our countries is based;
ESRC Seminar, IAS Lancaster, January 18, 2008
(b) is a good thing since it
- helps to satisfy consumer needs,
- enables an increasing number of countries throughout the world to take part in the
economic development process, thereby raising their living standards and thus
giving us increasingly attractive trading partners;
(c) is therefore inevitable and irreversible.
Text 3, Preamble of CAG Policy Paper (extensive analysis, Wodak 2000a)
But it is also a demanding process, and often a painful one.
Economic progress has always been accompanied by destruction of obsolete
activities and creation of new ones.
The pace has become swifter and the game has taken on planetary dimensions.
It imposes deep and rapid adjustments on all countries - including European
countries, where industrial civilisation was born.
Social cohesion is threatened by a widespread sense of unease, inequality and
There is a risk of a disjunct between the hopes and aspirations of people and
the demands of a global economy.
And yet social cohesion is not only a worthwhile political and social goal; it is
also a source of efficiency and adaptability in a knowledge-based economy
that increasingly depends on human quality and the ability to work as a team.
It is more than ever the duty of governments, trade-unions and employers to
work together
to describe the stakes and refute a number of mistakes;
to stress that our countries should have high ambitions and they can be
realised; and to implement the necessary reforms consistently and without
Failure to move quickly and decisively will result in loss of resources, both
human and capital, which will leave for more promising parts of the world if
Europe provides less attractive opportunities.
Text 4, ‘Speculative Speech’
'The challenge is to radically rethink the way we do Europe. To re-shape Europe' …. ‘If we act boldly
and decisively together, we can shape the new Europe our citizens want and that we owe to our future
generations. A just, human, inclusive Europe. An exciting, energetic, enterprising Europe. Everyone’s
Europe. Let us work together to make this decade a decade of outstanding achievement and success. A
decade history will remember as the decade of Europe.'
(Romano Prodi, 4 February 2000)
Text 5, EU Website, Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban
Languages are fundamental for Europeans wanting to work together. They go to the very heart of the
unity in diversity of the European Union. We need to nurture and promote our linguistic heritage in the
Member States but we also need to understand each other, our neighbours, our partners in the EU.
Speaking many languages makes businesses and citizens more competitive and more mobile.
The European Commission needs to deliver results for citizens, and we need to communicate with you
ESRC Seminar, IAS Lancaster, January 18, 2008
in a language you can understand. Promoting multilingualism is an excellent way to bring European
citizens closer to each other. To give you access to information and to contributing your views.
Learning languages leads to better understanding. Interpretation and translation can help you
participate in the activities of the EU and read the publications of the EU.Promoting multilingualism in
the different policies of the European Union, such as culture, education, communication and
employment is at the centre of my objectives. I want to make a real contribution to the competitiveness
of the European economy.
Leonard Orban http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/orban/index_en.htm
Selected References
Etzkowitz H. and Leydesdorf L., eds, (1997).Universities and the Global Knowledge Economy, London: Pinter.
Fairclough N and Wodak R (2008) The Bologna Process and the Knowledge-Based Economy: A CDA
Approach. In N. Fairclough, B. Jessop, R Wodak (eds) (2008), Higher Education and the KBE. London: Falmer
Falkner G et al., 2005 Complying with Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Iedema R and Wodak R 1999 Organizational Discourses. An Introduction. Discourse and Society, 10 (1), 5-19.
Kienpointner M 1992 Alltagslogik. Struktur und Funktion von Argumentationsmustern, Stuttgart: FrommanHolzboog.
Krzyżanowski M. and Oberhuber F. (2007) Analyzing the European Convention, Bern: Peter Lang.
Krzyżanowski M and Wodak R 2008 Theorising and analysing social change in Central and Eastern Europe:
the contribution of critical discourse analysis. In Galasinska A and Krzyżanowski M,( eds), Language and
Political Change, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Krugman P 1996 Pop Internationalism. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press
Luhmann N 1993 Legitimation durch Verfahren. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.
Muntigl P, Weiss G and Wodak R 2000 European Union Discourses on Unemployment. An Interdisciplinary
Approach to Employment Policy-Making and Organisational Change, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John
Nugent N 2003 The Government and Politics of the European Union Fifth Edn, Basingstoke: PalgraveMacmillan
Oberhuber F, Bärenreuter C, Krzyzanowski M, Schönbauer H and Wodak R 2005 'Debating the European
Constitution: On representations of Europe / the EU in the press', Journal of Language and Politics 4 (2),
Reisigl M and Wodak R 2001 Discourse and Discrimination. Rhetoric of Racism and Antisemitism, London:
Scollon, R and Scollon S 2004 Nexus analysis: Discourse and the Emerging Internet, London: Routledge.
Straehle C, Muntigl P, Sedlak M, Weiss G and Wodak R 1999 Struggle as metaphor in European Union
discourses on unemployment. In Discourse and Society, 10 (1), 67-99.
Weiss G and Wodak R 2001 ‘European Union Discourses on Employment. Strategies of Depolitizing and
Ideologizing Employment Policies’ Concepts and Transformation 5/1: 29-42.
Wodak R 2000a ‘From Conflict to consensus? The co-construction of a policy paper’ In P Muntigl, G Weiss, R
Wodak European Union Discourses on Un/employment. An interdisciplinary approach to Employment
policy-making and organizational change. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins, 73-114.
- 2000b Recontextualization and the transformation of meanings: A critical discourse analysis of decision
making in EU-meetings about employment policies. In S. Sarangi and M. Coulthard, eds, Discourse and
Social Life. Harlow: Pearson Education, 185-206.
- 2001 ‘The discourse-historical approach’ In R Wodak and M Meyer Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis,
London: Sage, 63-95.
- 2006 Universität im 21. Jahrhundert. Zukunft 10/2006, 26-33.
- 2007 Discourses in European Union organizations: Aspects of access, participation, and exclusion.' In:
Charles Briggs (ed.) Four decades of epistemological revolution: Work inspired by Aaron V. Cicourel.
Special Issue TEXT and TALK, Vol.27/ Issue 5/6, 655 - 680.
- forthcoming. ‘Politics as Usual’. The Construction and Representation of Politics in Action. Basingstoke:
Wodak R and Van Leeuwen T 2002 Discourses of un/employment in Europe: The Austrian Case. Special
Issue of TEXT (Eds. R Wodak and G Weiss), 22-3: 345-367.
ESRC Seminar, IAS Lancaster, January 18, 2008