Discourse and political culture: the language of the Third Way in Germany and the UK

Author(s) Kranert Michael
Year 2019
Language of Investigation GB
Studied Language DE, GB
Please cite as follows: Kranert Michael (2019): Discourse and political culture: the language of the Third Way in Germany and the UK. Amsterdam.

Even if political actors try to align their political efforts because they think they share a common goal, they will adapt a global ideology to local political circumstances in order to convince the local electorate. Local contexts are reflected in political discourse on the level of genre, lexis, argumentation, and metaphor. In order to understand the relation between the political contexts and political language use, this book presents a new approach to comparative politico-linguistic discourse analysis. The developed methodology stands in the tradition of transdisciplinarity and combines analytical tools from linguistic discourse analysis (catch term analysis, metaphor analysis, argumentation analysis, genre analysis) and political science (political culture, comparative politics, morphology of ideologies, identity of party-political ideologies). It is comprehensive in its introduction of approaches from the German tradition of politico-linguistics that have so far not been accessible to a non-German speaking readership and that add valuable insights into the mechanics of political discourse.

Using the example of the modernisation discourses in social democratic parties in Britain and Germany, a project that was named ‘Third Way’, this study demonstrates how political language and political culture are related. At the same time, it presents new insights into the German political culture and the version of Third Way discourses in the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) under the leadership of Gerhard Schröder which have played a key role in shaping current political discourse in Germany.