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Investigating Conflict Discourses in the Periodical Press


Edited By Giuliana Elena Garzone, Mara Logaldo and Francesca Santulli

The contributions collected in this book deal with the representation of conflict in the periodical press, which has often been an arena of adversarial stances, staged and enacted either within the same publication or enlarged to involve various newspapers and magazines in a series of provocations and replies. Underlying all the contributions is the awareness that the periodical press provides an ideal terrain for research on the discursive representation of conflict, having the prerogative to combine insight with a constant updating of the debate. The issue is approached in an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing linguistics and discourse analysis with Periodical Studies, hence highlighting the connection between language and ideology. The focus on lexical choices and rhetorical devices used to tackle current controversial issues such as Brexit, immigration, violence in sports, policies regarding health and food, women’s role and legal matters ultimately transcends national boundaries to become more widely representative of today’s discourses of conflict.

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Representations of Diplomatic Discourse in the Periodical Press after Sir Ivan Rogers’ Resignation as UkRep to the European Union


1 Introduction

On 3 January 2017, after wishing “happy New Year” to his Brussels colleagues, Sir Ivan Rogers resigned from his position as UK ambassador to the EU, where he had been operating since November 2013. Had everything worked according to routine, he would have been appointed at least until October 2017, and he was likely to have his mandate further extended. In his letter of resignation, Ivan Rogers explained that he had decided to “step down” from UKREP (the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union) so that a new appointee could be in place by the time negotiations about Article 50 would start. However, the letter also overtly expressed his opinion on the government’s conduct after Brexit. His remarks, as well as his rather unveiled criticism addressed to pro-Brexit ministers, raised strong reactions both in the UK government and in the media. To be vehemently debated, even before his decision to depart, was not only the ambassador’s standpoint, but the alleged overstepping of his role. Hence, this incident brought to the fore, besides the conflict of opinions, also a conflict that involved the pragmatics of diplomatic discourse in relation to (domestic as well as international) political discourse.

Starting from an analysis of Sir Roger’s letter and a corpus of related articles from British newspapers and magazines, this chapter will investigate how the periodical press covered the debate over the ambassador’s resignations, particularly in terms of conflict between the language of diplomacy...

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