Brussels – boss, bully or the big brother?

Réka Benczes, Lilla Petronella Szabó
2020 Jezikoslovlje  
According to political realism, conflict is an immanent feature of world politics (Morgenthau 1948/1973). Drawing on this basic premise, it can be expected that the conflict frame is routinely exploited by politicians to explain and justify their foreign policy (Musolff 2016). Conflict is especially prevalent in populist narratives, where the "pure people" are juxtaposed with the "corrupt elite" (Mudde 2004). Accordingly, we hypothesized that the current Hungarian populist government would also
more » ... frame its turbulent relationship with the EU by metaphorically conceptualizing it as a violent conflict. Drawing on a discourse dynamics approach to metaphor identification (Cameron et al. 2009; 2010), we analysed the metaphorical framing of the term Brüsszel ('Brussels') found in articles published on official government websites between 2015 and 2017. Our results indicate that explicit manifestation of the conflict frame in the form of violent conflict (such as a military operation) is less prevalent in contemporary government rhetoric, as opposed to the eu as person frame. This latter conceptualization, however, is manifested by metaphorical scenarios that evoke conflictual relations with varying degrees (and thus feed into populist narratives) by making sense of the EU as an authority figure, a partner in a joint venture, a bully, and an opponent in a battle.
doi:10.29162/jez.2020.11 fatcat:cu7f7g45e5hnbmrhgxcmnetqam