In the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, governments around the developed world coordinated policy moves to stimulate economic activity and avert a depression. In subsequent years, however, cuts to public expenditure, or austerity, have become the dominant narrative in public debate on economic policy.
This unique collaboration between economists and linguists examines manifestations of the discourses of austerity as these have played out in media, policy and academic settings across Europe and the Americas. Adopting a critical perspective, it seeks to elucidate the discursive and argumentation strategies used to consolidate austerity as the dominant economic policy narrative of the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Anne Pettifor
Foreword by Darren Kelsey
Introduction: Interdisciplinary* approaches to austerity discourses
Part I: Approaching austerity through discourse
1. Deep interdisciplinarity and responses to crisis
2. Austerity and the eclipse of economic alternatives: The theoretical terrain of neoliberal economic crisis narratives
Part II: Historical perspective
3. Austerity in the Commons: A corpus critical analysis of austerity and its surrounding grammatical context in Hansard (1803–2015)
4. ‘Less State’ in austerity: A concept masking the central agent of neoliberal policies
5. Discourses of crisis and representation of Greece in a period of austerity
Part III: The notion of ‘crisis’
6. The recent economic crisis in Brazil and beyond: Some discussions on the weight of empirical issues, methodology and rhetoric
7. Tales of austerity, and a crisis of wealth distribution
8. Discursive uses of ‘abnormality’ in the Greek crisis
Part IV: Metaphors
9. Are the metaphors underlying institutional and academic discourse on austerity reliable predictors of the stances adopted?
10. Metaphors in times of crisis: Legitimizing austerity?
Part V: Argumentation
11. The ‘eternal character’ of austerity measures in European crisis policies: Evidence from the Fiscal Compact discourse in Austria
12. The mirage of expansionary fiscal consolidation to resolve the euro-area crisis
13. Why should we all tighten our belts? On arguments for austerity in political discourse
Part VI: Responses to ‘crisis’
14. The austerity discourse of the Romanian economic-political elites: Neoliberal or (pseudo)European?
15. An analysis of El Roto’s newspaper cartoons discourse as social indictment against Spanish austerity policies
Kate Power is a lecturer in Management Communication at the University of Queensland Business School, Australia. A critical discourse analyst with particular interest in interdisciplinarity, she has published linguistic analyses of both religious and economic discourses.
Tanweer Ali is a lecturer in finance and economics with Empire State College, SUNY. His research interests are in corporate governance and the application of linguistic methods to economic questions. He has guest edited two special editions of On The Horizon, focused on language and economics.
Eva Lebdušková is a PhD candidate at the J.E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. In addition she holds a senior administrative position with the Charles University in Prague. Her main field of research is in linguistics, and she has published a number of articles on the use of language in economic discourse.