Political Communities and their Language
need a new language (and a bit of love!)
Born to Franco-German parents, I am a child of Europe. After more than a decade in the UK, I dream of one day developing a sense of humour! Analysing the language of Brexit I am struck by the extent to which Leave has come to dominate public discourse, from individual word choices to grand narratives. Peace and prosperity in Europe – on both sides and across the Channel – are in need of a language that is vivid, heartfelt, truthful, and brave. From my European home in Britain I support centrists in their fight against cynics.
Als Sohn einer deutschen Mutter und eines französischen Vaters bin ich ein Kind der europäischen Einigung. Nach zehn Jahren in England klappt’s sogar mit dem Teetrinken. Im Zuge meiner Analysen zum Brexit staune ich, wie sehr die EU-Gegner den Diskurs dominieren. Das europäische Friedensprojekt hat eine Chance, wenn es mit dem Herzen spricht – mutig und wahrhaftig. Kämpfen wir gemeinsam für die Mitte und gegen den Zynismus!
100 days before the Brexit date of 31.10.2019 I gave an interview with Germany's Catholic News Agency, explaining my view that much of the current controversy around Brexit is a result of Theresa May's unwillingness to communicate -- she created one big communications...read more
The idea of a citizens’ assembly has been proposed by many in the UK as a way of bringing a divided country together. New research on citizenship raises questions about the prospects of this exercise. Together with my colleague, Cory Massaro, I have analysed the...read more
What does the language that we use about Brexit reveal about what is important to Brexiteers? Analysis of the language around the Irish backstop may shed light on positions and preferences. Brexit has caused new tensions between the United Kingdom and Ireland. The...read more
Strengthening communities through changes in language
“What’s the link between innovation and personal relationships?”
This was a fascinating project in which my client had a very specific problem, but chose to ask me a rather broad question. Much of my work was finding out more about pain points in the company, which were based on wide-spread misunderstandings of terms in their guidance documents.
“Who’s an expert on health?”
Research for a large public institution revealed that very often in debates around health the issue is not information as such but the status accorded to those who may possess it. Discourse analysis informed by theories of knowledge provided a solid basis for new forms of stakeholder engagement.