Cite: Shenhav et al., Testing the Language–Power Assumption of Critical Discourse Analysis

Shenhav, Shaul R., Gideon Rahat and Tamir Sheafer. “Testing the Language–Power Assumption of Critical Discourse Analysis: The Case of Israel’s Legislative Discourse.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 45.1 (2012): 207-222.





The growing interest in the relation between language and politics brings new assumptions and theoretical frameworks to the study of politics. This study presents a simple empirical test of a major assumption of the critical discourse analysis school: that power is a major factor in political discourse. It examines whether the discourse of Israeli members of parliament (Knesset) represents a view of the world through the prism of power or whether parliament members refer to the experience of similar democracies. We demonstrate that power is a strong and significant factor in Israeli legislative discourse through time and across issues while relevance plays no role.

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