Arabic Political Discourse in Transition

El Mustapha Lahlali

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Explores the role of language in the ongoing social, cultural and political changes of the Arab world
  • Provides a detailed micro- and macro-analysis of Arabic political discourse
  • Presents an innovative framework for the analysis of Arabic discourse in the context of conflict
  • Analyses the strategic shifts in discourse throughout the course of the uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia
  • Explores how some Arab officials and the Arab public use discourse to position themselves in relation to each other
  • Examines the power of image in conveying discourses at times of conflict

10 years after the eruption of the Arab revolutions, El Mustapha Lahlali explores the dialectical relationship between discourse and social change during and after the conflict. In particular, he examines how Arabic public and political discourse shapes, and is shaped by, the wider social, cultural and political environment.

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1. Discourse and Social Change: A Theoretical FrameworkWhat is Discourse?Approaches to Discourse

2. Discourse, Framing and Representational StrategiesRepresentational Strategies in DiscourseDiscourse RepresentationDiscourse of RevolutionsThe Arab Spring: Transnational Arab Media vs Social MediaSocial Media and the Arab Spring

3. Framing, Representation and Conflict in Arabic DiscourseTheoretical BackgroundArab Public DiscoursePositive-self and Negative-otherPositive Self and Negative Other in Arabic Political DiscourseDiscussion

4. Doing Arabic Discourse: Micro-analysis of Arabic Political DiscourseMicro-analysis of Arabic Political Discourse

5. Macro-analysis of Arabic Political Discourse: The Discourse of Enforcement and PersuasionArgumentation and Persuasion: Who is to Blame for the Uprising?Cognition in Arabic Political Discourse

6. Arabic Political Discourse and Politeness StrategiesPoliteness and Arabic DiscoursePoliteness in Multilingual SlogansPoliteness in Leaders’ SpeechesPoliteness and the TribeAntonyms and Politeness in Leaders’ Speeches

7. Arabic Islamic Political DiscourseThe Arab Spring and Islamic PartiesThe Arab Spring: Al-Nahda Discursive PracticesHizb Al-Hurriyya wa al-‘Adala, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), EgyptA New Approach to Studying Shifts in Islamic Parties Discourse

Conclusion and Findings


Professor El Mustapha Lahlali is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Media at the University of Leeds. He is the author of several books, including: Arabic Media Coverage of Pandemics: Discourse, Strategy and Impact, Routledge, 2023; Arabic Political Discourse in Transition, Edinburgh University Press, 2022; How to Write in Arabic: Developing Your Academic Style, (2nd edition), Edinburgh University Press, 2021; Arabic Media Dictionary, Routledge, 2019; Essential Skills in Arabic: from the Intermediate to the Advanced Level, Edinburgh University Press (co-authored), 2020; Advanced Media Arabic, Edinburgh University Press, 2nd edition, 2017; Advanced English-Arabic Translation: A Practical Guide, Edinburgh University Press, 2014 (co-authored); Contemporary Arab Broadcast Media, Edinburgh University Press, 2011; Ibn al-Tayyib: the Forgotten Journey of an 18 Century Arab Traveller, I.B. Tauris, 2010 (co-authored); How to Write in Arabic, Edinburgh University Press, 2009 (1st edition); Advanced Media Arabic, Edinburgh University Press, 2008 (1st edition); Critical Discourse Analysis and Classroom Discursive Practices, Lincom Europa, 2007.

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