Article published in:Speaking of Europe: Approaches to complexity in European political discourse
Edited by Kjersti Fløttum
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 49] 2013
► pp. 135–150
The heart of Europe
Synchronic variation and historical trajectories of a political metaphor
The chapter analyses the development of the heart-of-Europe metaphor in British political discourse during the past two decades and in the wider context of conceptual history. On the basis of a corpus of media texts from 1990 to 2010, we chart the discursive career of programmatic statements by successive governments “to put Britain at the heart of Europe” and the metaphor’s changing cognitive import and pragmatic function. We compare this micro-history of the heart of Europe-phrase with the macro-perspective of long-term developments of political metaphors based on heart concepts, which form an important strand of the body politic tradition in European political thought. The combination of discourse history and conceptual history complements and to some extend corrects, an ahistoric cognitive analysis of body-related metaphors which views them as being grounded mainly or exclusively in “primary” (physiological) experiences.
Published online: 16 April 2013
Cited by 15 other publications
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