Impending crisis in Scotland: political discourse in interesting times

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Abstract

This chapter looks at the management of political instability across the political and media spheres before and after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, and prior to the UK’s vote to exit the European Union. Looking first at a selection of political speeches, the chapter finds those politicians opposed to independence construct constitutional change as impending crisis, whereas speeches from a pro-independence position articulate the pursuit of a new political settlement and crisis aversion at an EU and international level. In a media context, the Scottish newspapers, all of which were opposed to independence, emphasise the threat of upheaval, and extend the crisis frame onto coverage of the economy and the National Health Service. Overall, while explicit references to crisis were comparatively across amongst politicians and media, the chapter suggests the tactical use of a “crisis” frame is an important component of political discourse in times of constitutional uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrisis Talk in the Media
Subtitle of host publicationConstructions of Crisis in (New) Media Discourses across Cultural Contexts
EditorsMarianna Patrona
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Chapter8
Pages177-201
Number of pages24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2018

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Keywords

  • national identity
  • nationalism
  • Scottish independence referendum 2014
  • crisis frame
  • newspaper reports
  • constitutional uncertainty
  • political speeches
  • political leaflets

Cite this

Higgins, M. (2018). Impending crisis in Scotland: political discourse in interesting times. In M. Patrona (Ed.), Crisis Talk in the Media: Constructions of Crisis in (New) Media Discourses across Cultural Contexts (pp. 177-201). Amsterdam. https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.76.09hig