Chapter published in:Crisis and the Media: Narratives of crisis across cultural settings and media genres
Edited by Marianna Patrona
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 76] 2018
► pp. 177–202
Impending crisis in Scotland
Political discourse in interesting times
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 as a means of crisis aversion at an EU and international level. In turning the analysis to 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 are comparatively unusual amongst politicians and across media, the chapter suggests the tactical use of a “crisis” frame is an important component of political discourse in times of constitutional uncertainty.
Keywords: the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, constitutional uncertainty, crisis frame, political speeches, newspaper reports, political leaflets
Published online: 22 February 2018
Carrell, Severin and Nicholas Watt
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Van Leeuwen, Theo