Discourses on Unemployment in the EU:

the conflict and consensus between diverging ideologies

Ruth Wodak

In this lecture I will elaborate on the impact of globalisation and the deep changes in our Western societies, specifically in the EU, on the politics to fight unemployment. The changes are marked by a debate between Keynesianism and Neo-Liberalism, and the positions are held by different professions, different social partners, and different political parties in the member states as well as the parties in the European Union.

This is a case study which should illustrate the manner of developing new politics in the EU, focusing on the relevant topic of unemployment. The study also illustrates the intertextuality and interdiscursivity of new and old discourses on this topic. The data are taken from a large interdisciplinary project on Decisionmaking in the EU which is undertaken in Vienna, at the research center ÑDiscourse, Politics and Identity". The life of arguments throughout the genesis of a policy paper will be analyzed as well as the debate in meetings about this policy paper. The main protagonists of the meeting were also interviewed. This methodology corresponds to many other studies on organizational and political discourse which I have done, together with co-researchers, in the recent years, and is centered around the programme of Critical Discourse Analysis (Wodak 1996, Iedema and Wodak 1999, Wodak et al. 1998, 1999).