Publication details [#56994]

MacDonald, Malcolm N., John P. O'regan and Duncan Hunter. 2013. Citizenship, community, and counter-terrorism: UK security discourse, 2001–2011. Journal of Language and Politics 12 (3) : 445–473.
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Article in journal
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Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper analyses a corpus of UK policy documents which sets out national security policy as an exemplar of the contemporary discourse of counter-terrorism in Europe, the USA and worldwide. A corpus of 148 documents (c. 2.8 million words) was assembled to reflect the security discourse produced by the UK government before and after the 7/7 attacks on the London Transport system. To enable a chronological comparison, the two sub-corpora were defined: one relating to a discourse of citizenship and community cohesion (2001–2006); and one relating to the ‘Preventing Violent Extremism’ discourse (2007–2011). Wordsmith Tools (Scott 2008) was used to investigate keywords and patterns of collocation. The results present themes emerging from a comparative analysis of the 100 strongest keywords in each sub-corpus; as well as a qualitative analysis of related patterns of the collocation, focusing in particular on features of connotation and semantic prosody.