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The role of metaphor in shaping the identity and agenda of the United Nations: the imagining of an international community and international threat

McEntee-Atalianis, Lisa (2011) The role of metaphor in shaping the identity and agenda of the United Nations: the imagining of an international community and international threat. Discourse and Communication 5 (4), pp. 393-412. ISSN 1750-4813.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750481311418099

Abstract

This article examines the representation of the United Nations in speeches delivered by its Secretary General. It focuses on the role of metaphor in constructing a common ‘imagining’ of international diplomacy and legitimising an international organisational identity. The SG legitimises the organisation, in part, through the delegitimisation of agents/actions/events constructed as threatening to the international community and to the well-being of mankind. It is a desire to combat the forces of menace or evil which are argued to motivate and determine the organisational agenda. This is predicated upon an international ideology of humanity in which difference is silenced and ‘working towards the common good’ is emphasised. This is exploited to rouse emotions and legitimise institutional power. Polarisation and antithesis are achieved through the employment of metaphors designed to enhance positive and negative evaluations. The article further points to the constitutive, persuasive and edifying power of topic and situationally-motivated metaphors in speech-making.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): critical metaphor theory, diplomacy, identity, international organizations, metaphor, organizational identity, workplace agendas
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Dr Lisa McEntee-Atalianis
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2012 13:45
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5120

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