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Title: Defining 'intervention' : a comparative study of UK parliamentary responses to the Syrian crisis
Author: Altameemi, Yaser
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 822X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2019
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This research investigates the strategic use and negotiation of keywords, such as intervention, at the time of the first and second UK parliamentary votes to take action in response to the Syrian crisis. The first vote, to authorise UK military action in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, was defeated on 29 August 2013; and the second vote, to authorise UK airstrikes in response to the role of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, was passed on 2 December 2015. More specifically, I investigate how the terms of the two parliamentary debates changed as a response to changes in the material situation in Syria and in the media coverage of these events. The main data comprises the Prime Minister's and Leaders of the Opposition's speeches during the two parliamentary debates. I first analyse each of these according to Fairclough and Fairclough's (2012) practical reasoning approach to see how the speakers construct and legitimise different understandings of the key terms at risk through the argumentation strategies they employ. However, rather than adopting a normative perspective such as looking at the validity of an argument, I consider the speeches as performances that draw on themes that are salient in popular discourse at the time of their production. Therefore, I apply a corpus linguistics analysis of press coverage around each vote to look at the central themes that the newspapers use as shared understandings in society. Then, I look at how speakers in Parliament use the ideas shown in the media to see how concepts are construed and reconstrued at different scales of interaction (Blommaert 2015). This research has three central contributions: (i) empirical: a case study of intervention as a floating signifier in debates over the Syrian crisis; (ii) methodological: combining corpus linguistics with a practical reasoning approach; and (iii) conceptual: relation of 'scale' between public discourse and real time debate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available