Struggles over legitimacy in the Eurozone crisis: Discursive legitimation strategies and their ideological underpinnings

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Abstract

This article focuses on the discursive underpinnings of the legitimacy crisis that the Eurozone as a transnational institution is facing. By adopting a critical discourse analysis (CDA) perspective, the empirical analysis focuses on the media discussion in Finland. The analysis shows how discourses of financial capitalism, humanism, nationalism and Europeanism played a central role in legitimation, delegitimation and relegitimation. Furthermore, the analysis elaborates on the legitimation strategies that were often used in the media texts: position-based authorizations involving institutionalized authorities and ‘voices of the common man’, knowledge-based authorizations focusing on economic expertise, rationalizations concentrating on economic arguments, moral evaluations based on unfairness used especially for delegitimation, mythopoiesis involving alternative future scenarios and cosmology used to construct inevitability. By so doing, this study adds to our understanding of the discursive and ideological underpinnings of the social, political and financial crisis in Greece and other European countries and contributes to research on discursive legitimation more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-518
JournalDISCOURSE AND SOCIETY
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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