Legitimization and delegitimization strategies on terrorism: A corpus-based analysis of building metaphors
Maria Jose Hellin Garcia
This article examines the role of Building Metaphors in the political discourse of the former Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. More specific, it analyzes how Building Metaphors serve as legitimization and delegitimization strategies used by the Government and its anti-terrorist plight. The corpus of investigation comprises all political speeches on terrorism during Zapatero’s two terms in office (from April 2004 to December 2011). I argue that the use of Building Metaphors is a strategy of Zapatero’s whereby the solid ground of the Government’s anti-terrorist initiative is juxtaposed with terrorism’s lack of foundation. Findings suggest that the following conceptual metaphors are used as framing devices: POLITICS IS BUILDING, POLITICAL ENTITIES ARE BUILDINGS, THE GOVERNMENT IS THE BUILDER, TERRORISM IS THE DESTROYER, DEMOCRACY IS A STANDING BUILDING WITH SOLID FOUNDATIONS, TERRORISM IS A BUILDING WITH NO FOUNDATIONS, DEMOCRATIC VALUES ARE CONNECTORS, and TERRORIST VALUES ARE OBSTRUCTORS.