The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict

ISBN 9781032338385
Published June 13, 2022 by Routledge
612 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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


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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