Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”


Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription to the ECPR Methods School offers and updates newsletter has been successful.

Discover ECPR's Latest Methods Course Offerings

We use Brevo as our email marketing platform. By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Brevo for processing in accordance with their terms of use.

Analysing Political Discourse II: Analyses and Applications

Member rate £492.50
Non-Member rate £985.00

Save £45 Loyalty discount applied automatically*
Save 5% on each additional course booked

*If you attended our Methods School in July/August 2023 or February 2024.

Course Dates and Times

Monday 6 August - Friday 10 August

09:00-10:30 / 11:00-12:30

Michal Krzyzanowski

Uppsala Universitet

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as both theoretical and empirical approach to research on dynamics of contemporary political change. The course aims to highlight key approaches in CDA and especially its so-called ‘Viennese’ or Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA), widely recognised for its systematic and empirically funded work on both national and supranational politics in Europe. The course presents CDA as both theory and practice and does so at the background of various linguistic and social-scientific approaches to text and discourse studies as well as at the background of developments in social and political theory. The course takes place in a 1+1 format so both weeks can be taken independently or as a one 2-week module (highly advisable). The first Week of the course is devoted to theoretical and analytical groundwork with students being introduced to history and development of text and discourse studies as well as to CDA and its relationship to other approaches in discourse analysis. Students are also made familiar with research design in CDA/DHA as example of qualitative research practice. During Week two, students become familiar with key steps and categories of CDA/DHA-inspired analysis. They also further their analytical skills while using various analytical categories and paths and different types of empirical material analysed in a series of in- and out-of-class individual and group assignments. They are also presented with a series of applications of CDA/DHA in various analyses of contemporary politics, policy and political institutions.

Tasks for ECTS Credits

  • Participants attending the course: 2 credits (pass/fail grade) The workload for the calculation of ECTS credits is based on the assumption that students attend classes and carry out the necessary reading and/or other work prior to, and after, classes.
  • Participants attending the course and completing one task (see below): 3 credits (to be graded)
  • Participants attending the course, and completing two tasks (see below): 4 credits (to be graded)

For 3 credits, participants are required to conduct research and analyses as well as contribute to presentation of out-of-class group assignment (scope, topics and format to be discussed with the instructor at the beginning of Week II). Presentations to be sent to the instructor at at the latest by 19:00 CET on Thursday 09/08/2018 (i.e. Day 9 of the Summer School), and to take place during the second session on 10/08/2018 (Day 10 of the Summer School).

For 4 credits, participants will need to complete the task as for 3 credits, and write a take-home paper of an academic journal format (6500 words max. all inclusive; scope and topics to be agreed with the instructor) presenting application of CDA/DHA in contemporary political research in the area of your choosing. Paper to be submitted to the instructor at at the latest by 17:00 CET on Friday 24/08/2018 (i.e. Day 6 of the Summer School).

Instructor Bio

Since 2020 Michał has held the Chair in Media and Communication Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Michał is a leading expert in critical discourse studies. His key areas of interest are political, policy and organisational communication as well as media and journalism. He is particularly known for his work on right-wing populism, anti-immigration rhetoric as well as for his research on neoliberal discourses and dynamics of democracy in the context of socio-political transformations.

Michał is also widely recognised for his work on methodological innovations in qualitative research, including discourse-ethnographic analysis of organisational and journalistic practices or discourse-conceptual analysis of dynamics of policy and political discourse.


Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is a way of carrying out social research with a focus on ‘discourse’ i.e. on text and other forms of semiosis analysed in their contexts of use, production and reception. While becoming very popular across the variety of social and political sciences, many features of what CDA is or does remain misinterpreted. For example, CDA is often approached from a limited perspective i.e. as a ‘method’ rather than a coherent approach with a distinct theory and methodology. Though resting on sound theoretical and methodological foundations, CDA is also often viewed as a homogeneous approach with criticism against CDA failing to notify that it is indeed a heterogeneous research tradition which consists of several schools which, while sharing general principles (on e.g. the relation between language and power, ideology), differ in their theoretical and methodological ontology as well as their analytical pathways and foci.

By offering comprehensive introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis as an approach to research on dynamics of contemporary political change, this course wishes to outline key theoretical foundations, methodological premises and analytical pathways in CDA. In doing so, and by clarifying several misconceptions and misinterpretations of CDA that are widespread in social- and political-scientific research, the course wishes to highlight those aspects of critical-analytic studies which make them particularly useful to interdisciplinary and context-related explorations of contemporary politics. By showing similarities and differences between CDA – and especially one of its major traditions known as the Discourse-Historical Approach (or DHA) – and other discourse-based approaches widely-used in social and political studies (e.g. the Discourse Theory initiated by Laclau and Mouffe or other approaches, see below), the course wishes to highlight such advantages of CDA/DHA research as, inter alia, systematic approach to analysis or its clear relation to the levels of pre-analytical theorising and post-analytical interpretation.

The major aim of the course is practical as it is geared towards making students familiar with the ways of analysing political and related discourses from a critical-analytic as well as discourse-historical perspective. For this reason, whether within lectures or the related discussion or hands-on analysis workshops, the course aims at showing the practical application of presented theories, methods and analyses. These will be related to studies of a wide array of genres incl. those from within the political field itself (e.g. parliamentary and other speeches, party programmes, etc.) as well as from within the related fields of policy-making and administration (regulations, policy documents, etc.) or of media and its representations of politics (reporting, interviews, debates, etc.). The analyses of those genres will be guided by such DHA principles as, inter alia, ‘interdiscursivity’ or ‘recontextualisation’ which allow for relating discourses produced synchronically and diachronically as well as across different contexts and within different texts and genres.

The course takes place in a 1+1 format so both weeks can be taken independently or as a one 2-week module (the latter option is, however, strongly advised if students wishing to acquire a thorough theoretical as well as practical knowledge as well as in-depth analytical skills in CDA).

The second part of the course – Week II – is mainly devoted to deepening students’ knowledge and skills of, and related, to Critical Discourse Studies and especially its Discourse-Historical approach as a method of political and policy analysis. Both workshops on Day 6 – which opens Week II of the course – look in detail at various categories of in-depth analysis in CDA/DHA. Here the focus is on such analytical categories as, inter alia, discursive strategies or strategies of representation of social actors. The analysis is practiced on a variety of genres from within politics and the public sphere and is performed from the point of view of key political debates. The workshops focus on the gradual step-by-step application of the analytical categories and aim to show the students the actual practice of conducting CDA/DHA examination as well as the necessity of multi-level analysis of different spaces and genres within and beyond the political field. The second workshop on Day 6 also serves discussing and assigning out-of-class group tasks that will be performed by the students throughout Week II.

The morning lecture on Day 7 closes the presentation of CDA/DHA analytical categories by looking into legitimation strategies deployed in political discourse of politics and the media. On the other hand, during Days 8-9, lectures serve showcasing different applications of CDA/DHA in various analyses of political and public discourse. They focus on various ‘integrative’ approaches that combine CDA/DHA and other types of analysis thus facilitating exploration of increasingly complex objects of critical-analytic investigation. The lecture on Day 8 looks, for instance, at political discourses on immigration and explore right-wing populist discourse (incl. in countries such as Austria and Poland) as well as compares populist patterns in right-wing populist, mainstream-political and uncivil society language. On Day 9, in turn, the lecture highlights contribution of CDA/DHA to analysis of policy and policy communication genres and showcases the so-called discourse-conceptual approach in CDA which, drawing on DHA and Historical Semantics/Conceptual History, allows investigating the change of salient social and political concepts and related discourses.    

While the lectures on Days 8-9 serve as an input, the core of Week II remains in hands-on workshops during noon sessions of Days 8-9 as well as during both morning and noon sessions on Day 10. All of these are devoted to sharing analyses and related questions between the participants. Thus, the unique benefit of the workshops is not only in getting acquainted with the highlighted pathways and categories of analysis but also in gaining practical advice on how to proceed with CDA/DHA analyses within specific research projects as well as in pilot-testing those analyses within the group of researchers.

During workshops on both day 8 and 9, in each case max. 2 students will present their research projects (max 6 slides about main hypotheses and research questions, key theoretical and methodological foundations, suggested path of analysis and the outline of the analysed empirical material) as well as provide sample material that will be subsequently analysed by the entire class from the point of view of CDA/DHA, under the guidance of the instructor and experienced TA. On Day 10, results of out-of-class group assignments – performed by students in groups throughout Week 2 – will be discussed along with sample analyses in both morning and noon session. The noon session, which closes the course, also serves a final Q&A exchange between students and instructors. 

NB: Altogether 4 slots of 30-45 min each will be distributed among the students during Day 8-9 workshops. Students willing to present, discuss and analyse their material during those workshops are kindly requested to send to the instructor: (a) their presentations, (b) a max. 1-page abstract of their MA/PhD or other current research with a short bio, and (c) max. 1-2 A4 samples of empirical material which they wish to be analysed by the group. Deadline for sending the material is Friday 07 July 2017, although it is advisable that, once accepted/registered for the course, presenting students get in touch with the instructor as soon as possible in order to facilitate the preparations and reserve their slot (see above for contact details).

Please note that the major aim of the course is to transfer and generate knowledge from discussions and interactions between the instructors and participants and among the students. All students are therefore expected to fully participate in the course (i.e. ask critical questions, complete in time all obligatory readings, actively participate in in-class tasks and discussions and out-of-class assignments, relate obtained knowledge to their current/future research, etc.).

In addition, an individual supervision session will take place on Day 7 (Tue of Week II) in order to allow students to individually discuss their research projects with the instructor or ask any questions related to lectures/workshops (for clarification etc.).  

Note from the Academic Convenors to prospective participants: by registering to this course, you certify that you possess the prerequisite knowledge that is requested to be able to follow this course. The instructor will not teach again these prerequisite items. If you doubt whether you possess that knowledge to a sufficient extent, we suggest you contact the instructor before you proceed to your registration.

Students attending the course should have good, proven knowledge of the existent discourse- and language oriented approaches to social and political analysis (especially those taught in Week I of the course, see outline). They should also be familiar with selected aspects of social theory, especially those relevant for the discourse-analytic approaches discussed during the course (see outline).

Students should also be open to new, interdisciplinary qualitative methods of research in social and political sciences and should be interested in both synchronic and/or diachronic analyses of contemporary national and supranational politics in Europe and beyond, also in relation to other fields such as media, institutions, policy-making, etc.

Day Topic Details
1 Session 1

Pathways of Analysis in CDA/DHA:

Pre-Analytical Procedures & Levels/Categories of Analysis  (Workshop)

Discussion of Out-of-Class Group Assignments for Week 2

2 Session 1

Discourse and Politics: Populist Discursive Practices (Lecture – Part I)

Session 2

Discourse and Politics: Populist Discursive Practices (Lecture – Part II)

3 Session 1

Discourse and Policy: Discourse-Conceptual Analysis (Lecture)

Session 2

Presentation and Group Discussion of Student Research Projects with CDA/DHA Analyses of Sample Student Materials (Max 2-3 projects)

4 Session 1

Discourse and Political Institutions: Political Ethnographies and Internal/External (Lecture)

Session 2

Individual Consultations to Discuss Student Research Projects (Max. 5 projects / 20 min each)

5 Session 1

Presentation and Group Discussion of Student Research Projects with CDA/DHA Analyses of Sample Student Materials (Max 2-3 projects)

Session 2

Presentation and Discussion of Findings and Results of Out-of-Class Group Assignments, Final Q&A, Discussion, Revision (Workshop)

Day Readings

Session 1 and 2

  • van Dijk, T.A. (1991) The Interdisciplinary Study of News as Discourse. In: K. Bruhn-Jensen and N. Jankowski (eds) Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Mass Communication Research. London: Routledge, pp. 108-120.
  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2010). The Discursive Construction of European Identities. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (esp. Chapter 2).
  • Reisigl, M. and R. Wodak. (2001). Discourse and Discrimination. London: Routledge. (esp. Chapter 2: The Discourse-Historical Analysis of the Rhetoric of Racism and Antisemitism, pp. 31-90).
  • van Leeuven, T. (2008). Discourse and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Chapter 2: Representing Social Actors, pp. 23-54).

Session 1:

  • Wodak, R. & M. Krzyżanowski, M. (2017). Right-Wing Populism in Europe & USA: Contesting Politics & Discourse beyond ‘Orbanism’ and ‘Trumpism’. Journal of Language & Politics 16(4): 471-484.
  • Krzyżanowski, M., A. Triandafyllidou & R. Wodak (2017). The Mediatisation and the Politicization of the “Refugee Crisis” in Europe. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16(1-2): 1-14.
  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2013). Policy, policy communication and discursive shifts: Analyzing EU policy discourses on climate change. In P. Cap & U. Okulska (Eds.), Analysing new genres in political communication (pp. 101–135). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins

Session 2:

  • Krzyżanowski, Michał. (2018a). Discursive Shifts in Ethno-Nationalist Politics: On Politicisation and Mediatisation of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Poland. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16(1-2), 76-96.
  • Krzyżanowski, Michał. 2018b. ‘We Are a Small Country that Has Done Enormously Lot’: The ‘Refugee Crisis’ & the Hybrid Discourse of Politicising Immigration in Sweden. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16(1-2), 97-117.
  • Krzyżanowski, Michał. and Per Ledin. 2017. Uncivility on the Web: Populism in/and the Borderline Discourses of Exclusion. Journal of Language and Politics 16 (4), 566-581.
  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2013). From Anti-Immigration and Nationalist Revisionism to Islamophobia: Continuities and Shifts in Recent Discourses and Patterns of Political Communication of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). In: R. Wodak et. al. (Eds.) Right-wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 135-148.

Session 1:

  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2016). Recontextualisations of Neoliberalism and the Increasingly Conceptual Nature of Discourse: Challenges for Critical Discourse Studies. Discourse & Society 27(3).
  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2013), Discourses and Concepts: Interfaces and Synergies between Begriffsgeschichte and the Discourse-Historical Approach in CDA. In: In: R. Wodak (Ed.) Critical Discourse Analysis (Vol. 4). London: Sage, pp. 201-214.
  • Krzyżanowski, M. and R. Wodak (2011). Political Strategies and Language Policies: The ‘Rise and Fall’ of the EU Lisbon Strategy and its Implications for the Union’s Multilingualism Policy. Language Policy 10(2), 115-136.

Session 1:

  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2010). The Discursive Construction of European Identities. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (esp. Chapter 3).
  • Krzyżanowski, M, (2011). Political Communication, Institutional Cultures, and Linearities of Organisational Practice: A Discourse-Ethnographic Approach to Institutional Change in the European Union. Critical Discourse Studies 8(4), 281-296.
  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2012). (Mis)Communicating Europe? On Deficiencies and Challenges in Political and Institutional Communication in the European Union. In: Intercultural (Mis)Communication Past and Present, ed. by B. Kryk-Kastovsky, 185–213. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
  • Krzyżanowski, M. (2018). Social media in/and the politics of the European Union: Politico-organizational communication, institutional cultures and self-inflicted elitism. Journal of Language & Politics 17(2).

Please note that it is the students’ sole responsibility to obtain access to readings, ideally prior to the course.

Software Requirements

No specialist software will be used except for Power Point, Acrobat Reader etc.

Hardware Requirements

Participants will need to bring their own laptop.


Key Sources:

Krzyżanowski, M. 2010. The Discursive Construction of European Identities. A Multilevel Approach

to Discourse and Identity in the Transforming European Union. (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Wodak, R. and M. Krzyżanowski (eds.)(2008). Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences.

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Other Sources:

Blommaert, J. Discourse: A Critical Introduction. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Discourse & Society. 19. pp. 783-828.

Fairclough, N. Discourse and Social Change. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992).

Galasińska, A. and M. Krzyżanowski (Eds.)(2008). Discourse and Transformation in Central and

Eastern Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Johnstone, B. Discourse Analysis. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007).

Krzyżanowski, M and F. Oberhuber. (Un)Doing Europe: Discourses and Practices of Negotiating the

EU Constitution. (Brussels: PIE – Peter Lang, 2007).

Reisigl, M. and R. Wodak. Discourse and Discrimination. (London: Routledge, 2001)

Schiffrin, D., Tannen, D., Hamilton, H. (eds.). The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. (Oxford:

Blackwell, 2001).

Triandafyllidou, A., R. Wodak and M. Krzyżanowski (Eds.)(2009). European Public Sphere and the

Media: Europe in Crisis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 

van Dijk, T.A. Prejudice in Discourse, (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1984).

van Dijk, T.A. Ideology. A Multidisciplinary Approach. (London: Sage, 1998).

Weiss, G. and Wodak, R. (eds.). Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinarity in

Critical Discourse Analysis. (London: Palgrave, 2007).

Wodak, R. and Chilton, P. (eds.). New Agenda in (Critical) Discourse Analysis. (Amsterdam:

Benjamins, 2007).

Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (eds.). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. 2nd Revised Edition.

(London: Sage, 2009).