Despite the undeniably impressive achievements of the European Union, citizens are increasingly sceptical about its political rationale and forms of resistance to the European integration process remain strong in numerous quarters. Drawing upon Critical Discourse Analysis, a theoretical framework focusing on language as social and institutional practice, this lecture explores how recent socio-political transformations have affected the way(s) in which the EU discursively represents itself to the mass public as a legitimate political entity. More specifically, the study looks at how the new priorities set out in the field of EU communication policy have led to the longitudinal evolution of EU discursive practices in a strategic attempt to encourage popular endorsement and challenge the legitimacy crisis. The analytical parts of this corpus-assisted study, based on a wide set of data, all explore discourse change in various institutional genres at two disruptive moments in recent history of European integration: the radical rejection of the draft EU Constitutional Treaty and the UK referendum on EU membership. The theoretical framework is introduced through a series of practical examples to help students familiarise with the toolkit for analysis while encouraging them to use it in the investigation of other genres/text types.
Giuditta Caliendo is Associate Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Lille, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the I-LanD (Identity, Language and Diversity) Journal and Board member of the PhD programme in Mind, Gender and Language (curriculum Languages, Linguistics and ESP) at the University of Naples Federico II. She is a former Fulbright scholar (University of Washington) and Eurias fellow (Marie Curie Action). Her research interests lie in legal translation, institutional discourse, language policies, genre analysis, (critical) discourse analysis.