General Conference prizes to Ian Kleinnijenhuis (FU Amsterdam) and Thomas Colley (King’s College)

The Section on “Analysing Political Discourse” at the General Conference in Montreal was a success. The attendance has been higher than elsewhere in the conference and we believe this was well deserved. Thank you all for contributing, especially the Master and PhD students who agreed to confront a demanding audience.

We are happy to announce the names of the section prize winners, awarded by the Standing Group on Political Methodology:

– Jan Kleinnijenhuis (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) for his paper entitled “Religious and Political Justifications of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism: Towards a Comparative Analysis of Media Representations in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Flanders, the UK and the US”. Even with an application limited to the Dutch case, we have been impressed by the theoretical groundings of associative framing, the calculation of imbalances and contradictions of discursive networks, and the extraction of core sentences from syntax trees. Put together, this approach enables a path-breaking analysis of explanations and justifications of terrorism and counter-terrorism, and a stimulating reexamination of the opposition between Bentham and Kant’s conceptions of freedom and law. This work pursues and goes more in depth into the author’s previous methodological works and provides a strong framework for content analytical research, beyond decades-old ready-made recipes.

– Thomas Colley (King’s College, London) in the PhD category for his paper: “Strategic Narratives ‘From the Ground Up’? Investigating British Public Attitudes to the Use of Military Force”. The author delivers a useful clarification of the concept of narrative, often both overused and undertheorised in discourse analysis. He proposes a focus on emplotment and mechanisms of selection within story-telling. This is then applied it to the very topical issue of war in citizens’ stories, thus reconnecting the analysis of ordinary people’s words with frame analysis.

Our warm congratulations to Ian and Thomas.

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