Talking about, for, and to the People: Populism and Representation in Parliamentary Debates on Europe

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2019

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Centre Marc Bloch

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Centre Marc Bloch


Keywords

parliamentary discourse people person reference referendum topos Europe populism style citizens representation corpus linguistics


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Naomi Truan, « Talking about, for, and to the People: Populism and Representation in Parliamentary Debates on Europe », Centre Marc Bloch, ID : 10.1515/zaa-2019-0025


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Abstract En

This paper contributes to the discussion on the reference to 'the people' in contemporary politics. Illuminating the tension raised by representation, this corpus-assisted analysis investigates how Members of Parliament discursively construct the necessity to represent and involve the people while being at the same time the ones holding the floor. Close analysis of British, German, and French parliamentary debates on Europe reveals that parliamentary talk relies on a twofold dynamic: enacting the people's voice and making parliamentary debates accessible. These patterns are represented in the speeches of all parliamentary groups. This shows that none of these discourse strategies are, per se, a prerogative of populist movements, thus shedding light on the necessity to think the articulation between populist style and populist ideology.

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