(Neo)liberalizing the state – Privatization of core government competencies
A CDA approach
For a few decades now and most prominently promoted by the US, neoliberal economics have been on the rise, epitomized in recent austerity policies with regard to countries that have met financial trouble. In particular the drive for privatization of core public services relating to basic human needs, such as water, social services or pensions, has been increasingly criticized because of a perceived incompatibility between the profit motive and social solidarity. This article uses a corpus-based analysis of the discourse on privatization in the US of proponents supporting, respectively opposing it, with an overall corpus size of about 230,000 tokens. It examines how the two groups conceptualize privatization differently and which strategies are applied to fore- or background particular aspects of it.
Keywords: privatization, neoliberalism, public services, CDA, corpus linguistics
Published online: 29 October 2021
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