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LIP Talk - Struggles over Legitimacy in the Eurozone Crisis: Discursive Legitimation Strategies and their Ideological Underpinnings

Date: 18 November 2013 Time: 5.00 pm

Venue: Faraday Building LB02 (Cavendish Colloquium Room)

At the next Language, Ideology and Power (LIP) Research Group we will be pleased to welcome Eero Vaara (Hanken School of Economics, Finland) who will be speaking on:

"Struggles over Legitimacy in the Eurozone Crisis: Discursive Legitimation Strategies and their Ideological Underpinnings"

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the discursive legitimation struggles in the Euro crisis. The empirical analysis is based on a corpus of 496 media texts published in Finland in 2009-2013.

As a result of this analysis, I identified a range of legitimation and delegitimation strategies that played a central role across the media texts: position-based authorizations involving institutionalized authorities and 'voices of the common man', knowledge-based authorizations focusing on economic expertise, rationalizations concentrating predominantly on economic arguments, moral evaluations based on unfairness used especially for delegitimation, mythopoiesis involving alternative future scenarios, and cosmology used to construct inevitability specifically for legitimating purposes. The analysis also shows how this discussion reproduced broader ideologically-laden discourses as part of an ongoing ideological struggle around the Euro as an institution. In particular, this involved four types of discourse-ideological bases: financial capitalism, humanism, nationalism as well as Europeanism.

This paper contributes to our understanding of the characteristics of the contemporary crisis around the Euro. Furthermore, by providing insights into the discursive dynamics of the crisis, it helps to better comprehend institutional legitimacy crises more generally. By so doing, this analysis also helps to integrate research on institutional theory and discourse analysis to advance our trans-disciplinary understanding of the legitimacy crises and legitimation in contemporary society.

Eero Vaara works as a Professor of Management and Organization at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Lancaster University, UK, and a permanent Visiting Professor at EMLYON Business School, France. His research interests focus on organizational and institutional change, strategic practices and processes, multinational corporations and globalization, management education, and methodological issues in organization and management research. He has worked especially on discursive and narrative approaches. His work has been published in leading journals and several books.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Language, Ideology and Power Group (LIP), Linguistics and English Language


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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