The linguistic premises of European policy-making often remain hidden from public debate and the scrutiny of social scientists, despite the fact that ‘rhetorical framing’ is a widely recognised strategy and frame theory has dominated the way social scientists talk about ideas in social movements. Our concern is how the European Commission uses the ‘master frame’ of neo-liberalism to establish a mandate for sector-specific policies that can be pursued via autonomous action by the Commission and/or collective action by adherents of Commission policies. Using critical discourse analysis (CDA) to decode the speeches of Siim Kallas, former Commissioner for Transport and advocate of an open market for port services, we demonstrate how rhetorical framing supports a strategy designed to ‘divide-and-conquer’ opponents of freedom of establishment and the right to provide services in the single European market.
- Critical discourse analysis
- European Commission strategies
- EU policy-making
- liberalization of port transport
- rhetorical framing