Vol. 14:4 (2023) ► pp.546–567
A marathon to nowhere
Conceptualisation of the integrations of the Western Balkans into the EU through the accession is a race metaphor
The paper examines the accession is a race metaphor in the online news articles published in three Western Balkans’ countries (Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Hercegovina), in the context of their accession to the EU. Through the methodological lens of the conceptual metaphor theory and critical metaphor analysis, our study shows that the conceptualisation of the accession as a race might purport different, even mutually conflicted political stances, i.e. it can have a laudatory function praising those at the forefront of the “race”, while at the same time calling for patience invoking the picture of the race as a marathon, long and exhausting, demanding in both time and stamina. Without delving further into the political reasons, concerns and vested interests of the stakeholders involved, what can be said with much certainty is that both the EU and the regional officials have made some creative excuses for the excessive duration of the EU integration process for the WB’s countries, and these have been analysed in the present study. The analysis has shown that the “finish line” of the race (the accession itself), long or short, is far less important in the regional news discourse than reaching further out than your co-runners, i.e. your immediate neighbours and competitors.
- 2.Socio-political background
- 3.Theoretical background
- 3.1Conceptual metaphor theory and critical metaphor analysis
- 3.2Conceptual metaphor politics is sport
- 3.3Conceptualisation of the EU
- 4.Research aim and questions
- 5.Corpus and methodology
- 6.1How frequently is the accession is a race metaphor used in the online news articles published in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Hercegovina?
- 6.2How is the accession is a race metaphor linguistically realised in the online news articles published in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Hercegovina?
- 6.3How is the accession is a race metaphor strategically exploited to political purposes the online news articles published in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Hercegovina?