Edited by Esperanza Morales-López and Alan Floyd
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 71] 2017
► pp. 134–158
Chapter 7. Rhetorical analysis of health risk discourse
The 2009 influenza pandemic crisis
This paper is part of my research on public health crisis communication. I have studied the discursive strategies at play in the case of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic within the framework of rhetoric and argumentation theory. Here, I analyse two opposing speeches given at the turning point of the 2009 pandemic crisis: the hearing in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the management of the pandemic by WHO (World Health Organization).
The aim of my study is to highlight the rhetorical nature of public trust as the central attribute of public health institutions’ professional identity. In other words, how these factors – trust and identity – are constructed using arguments, such as the argument from authority or the precautionary principle, and the narratives that give meaning to these arguments.