In the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, governments around the developed world coordinated policy moves to stimulate economic activity and avert a depression. In subsequent years, however, cuts to public expenditure, or austerity, have become the dominant narrative in public debate on economic policy.

This unique collaboration between economists and linguists examines manifestations of the discourses of austerity as these have played out in media, policy and academic settings across Europe and the Americas. Adopting a critical perspective, it seeks to elucidate the discursive and argumentation strategies used to consolidate austerity as the dominant economic policy narrative of the twenty-first century.

chapter |14 pages


Interdisciplinary* approaches to austerity discourses: A case study in why and how economists and discourse analysts should work together

part I|2 pages

Approaching austerity through discourse

chapter 2|16 pages

Austerity and the eclipse of economic alternatives

The theoretical terrain of neoliberal economic crisis narratives

part II|2 pages

Historical perspective

chapter 3|27 pages

Austerity in the Commons

A corpus critical analysis of austerity and its surrounding grammatical context in Hansard (1803–2015)

chapter 4|28 pages

‘Less State’ in austerity

A concept masking the central agent of neoliberal policies

part III|2 pages

The notion of ‘crisis’

chapter 6|24 pages

The recent economic crisis in Brazil and beyond

Some discussions on the weight of empirical issues, methodology and rhetoric