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Discourse and democracy: critical analysis of the language of government

Farrelly, Michael



In this new study, Farrelly gives a critical examination of democracy as it is conceived and practiced in contemporary advanced liberal nations. The received wisdom on democracy is probelmatized through a close analysis of discourse in combination with critical theories of democracy and of the State. The central theme of the book is the paradox of pervasive reference to democracy as a legitimation of political action by liberal governments versus the converse weakening of actual democratic practice within the liberal world. Farrelly builds on the work of Fairclough and others to examine this paradox, developing a new critical concept of "democratism" as an ideology that undermines the possibility of a more genuine democracy through political actors who oversimplify the idea of democracy. The book includes critical analyses of key political texts taken from presidential and prime ministerial speeches from the US and UK that attach democracy to non-democratic practices.


Farrelly, M. (2015). Discourse and democracy: critical analysis of the language of government. Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Book Type Monograph
Acceptance Date Jun 2, 2014
Online Publication Date Oct 15, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 20, 2019
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Series Title Routledge Critical Studies in Discourse
Edition 1st
ISBN 9780415872355; 9781138549098
Public URL
Publisher URL