1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict

Edited By Matthew Evans, Lesley Jeffries, Jim O'Driscoll Copyright 2019
    612 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    610 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict presents a range of linguistic approaches as a means for examining the nature of communication related to conflict. Divided into four sections, the Handbook critically examines text, interaction, languages and applications of linguistics in situations of conflict. Spanning 30 chapters by a variety of international scholars, this Handbook:

    •  includes real-life case studies of conflict and covers conflicts from a wide range of geographical locations at every scale of involvement (from the personal to the international), of every timespan (from the fleeting to the decades-long) and of varying levels of intensity (from the barely articulated to the overtly hostile)
    • sets out the textual and interactional ways in which conflict is engendered and in which people and groups of people can be set against each other 
    • considers what linguistic research has brought, and can bring, to the universal aim of minimising the negative effects of outbreaks of conflict wherever and whenever they occur.

    The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict is an essential reference book for students and researchers of language and communication, linguistics, peace studies, international relations and conflict studies.


    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors


    Introduction: the origins of the Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict

    Lesley Jeffries and Jim O’Driscoll

    Section 1: Text in conflict

    1: Introduction: textual choice and communication in conflict

    Lesley Jeffries

    2: Discursive (re)construction of the prelude to the 2003 Iraq War in op/ed pieces: dialectics of argument and rhetoric

    Ahmed Sahlane

    3: Stark choices and brutal simplicity: the blunt instrument of constructed opposition in news editorials

    Matt Davies

    4: Projecting your ‘opponent’’s views: linguistic negation and the potential for conflict

    Lisa Nahajec

    5: Ideological positioning in conflict: the United States and Egypt’s domestic political trajectory

    Gibreel Sadeq Alaghbary

    6: Homosexuality in Latvian and Polish parliamentary debates 1994-2013: a historical approach to conflict in political discourse

    Joanna Chojnicka

    7: Conflict and categorisation: a corpus and discourse study of naming participants in forced migration

    Charlotte Taylor

    8: Hate speech: conceptualisations, interpretations and reactions

    Sharon Millar

    Section 2: Interaction in conflict

    9: Introduction

    Jim O’Driscoll

    10: Conflict, disagreement and (im)politeness

    Maria Sifianou

    11: Offence and conflict talk

    Michael Haugh and Valeria Sinkeviciute

    12: Conflict interaction: insights from Conversation Analysis

    Phillip Glenn

    13: Conflict in political discourse: conflict as congenital to political discourse

    Petter Bull and Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen

    14: Discourse features of disputing in small claims hearings

    Karen Tracy and Danielle M. Hodge

    15: Leadership in conflict: disagreement and consensus negotiation in a start-up team

    Christian J. Schmitt and Rosina Marquez-Reiter

    16: Interaction and conflict in digital communication

    Sage L. Graham

    Section 3: Languages in conflict

    17: Introduction: conflict with the stuff of language

    Jim O’Driscoll

    18: Ethnicity, conflict and language choice: the case of northern Ghana

    Paul Kerswill and Edward Salifu Mahama

    19: Language and conflict in the Mapuche context

    Robbie Felix Penman

    20: Linguistic Landscape as an arena of conflict: language removal, exclusion and ethnic identity construction in Lithuania

    Irina Moore

    21: "You are shamed for speaking it or for not speaking it good enough": the paradoxical status of Spanish in the US Latino community

    Pilar G. Blitvich

    22: Hate crimes: language, vulnerability and conflict

    Kamran Khan

    23: Language ideologies in conflict at the workplace

    Julia de Bres and Anne Franziskus

    Section 4: Linguistics in conflict

    24: Introduction: the potential for Linguistics to change conflict in the ‘real’ world

    Lesley Jeffries

    25: The value of linguistics in assessing potential threats in an airport setting

    Dawn Archer, Cliff Lansley and Aaron Garner

    26: Threatening contexts: an examination of threatening language from linguistic, legal and law enforcement perspectives

    Tammy Gales

    27: Talk in mediation: metaphors in acrimonious talk

    Madeline M. Maxwell and Scott V. Anderson

    28: Conflicts of policy and self-representation in the UK asylum process

    Rachel Hanna

    29: On agency, witnessing and surviving: interpreters in situations of violent conflict

    Rebecca Tipton

    30: The Irish language in Belfast: the role of a language in post-conflict resolution

    Marcus Mac Coinnigh, Linda Ervine and Pol Deeds


    Oliver Ramsbotham and Tom Woodhouse



    Matthew Evans is a Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Huddersfield.

    Lesley Jeffries is Professor of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Huddersfield.

    Jim O’Driscoll is a member of the Language in Conflict team at the University of Huddersfield.

    "The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict is the outcome of an innovative project started by the editors a decade ago. They have gradually extended the scope of their inquiry integrating the finest research in this new discipline. The book is a comprehensive overview of the field and a must-read publication for everyone who wants to know more about how language is used in conflict situations."

    Distinguished Professor Istvan Kecskes, State University of New York, USA

    "The editors are to be commended for having put together a rich international range of excellent contributions on the thorny issue of social conflict – particularly with respect to what is happening on a daily basis in the social media – one that centrally involves language as ‘languaging’ in social interaction rather than language as a semiotic system."

    Professor Emeritus Richard Watts, University of Bern, Switzerland