Langue de bois, or, discourse in defense of an offshore financial center
This article brings together trends in Critical Discourse Analysis dating from the 1980s – which examine how language use and ideologies (re)produce social inequality – with current research in the social sciences on neoliberalism and other emerging politico-economic formations. The article addresses such a problematic with an empirical case: the language strategies, dubbed langue de bois, that people affiliated with Luxembourg’s offshore financial center employ to justify their practices. The contribution herein surveys the political rationality of the country’s financial center by analyzing the langue de bois that its representatives and boosters use. These language strategies, furthermore, enable Luxembourg’s finance elites to socialize the domestic public’s understanding of their activities.
- 2.Theoretical approach
- 3.Data collection
- 4.1 Langue de bois No. 1 – competitiveness
- 4.2 Langue de bois No. 2 – transparency
- 4.3 Langue de bois No. 3 – metonymy
- 4.4 Langue de bois No. 4 – jealousy
- 4.5 Langue de bois No. 5 – level playing field
Published online: 16 February 2021
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