A case study on the COVID-19 discourse in politicians’ speeches: Investigations into the speeches of former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Authors

  • Hossein Kermani University of Vienna, Department of Communication https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6626-1364
  • Mona Khorshidi University of Tehran, Department of Planning for Social Welfare
  • Mohammad Ashtiani Araghi University of Tehran

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2023.03.2984

Keywords:

COVID-19, Iran, discourse analysis, coronavirus

Abstract

This paper aims to analyze former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s thirty speeches on COVID-19 delivered between February 2, 2020 and April 27, 2020. We apply Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of discourse analysis to investigate and analyze Rouhani’s rhetorical and discursive strategies in making meaning of COVID-19. Findings showed that COVID-19 discourse in Rouhani’s speeches has mainly revolved around three nodal points: “the country”, “the enemy”, and “the state of exception”. Thus, the structural articulation of COVID-19 discourse resembles the hegemonic discourse in Iran. Our results also explain how Rouhani used COVID-19 as an empty signifier to reinforce the hegemonic discourse in Iran while trying to redefine his relations with the state-leaning organizations. Furthermore, we analyzed the rhetorical practices that Rouhani employed to articulate the COVID-19 discourse. This paper contributes to a growing body of literature into discursive aspects and implications of a global pandemic by providing empirical evidence form an understudied context: Iran.

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Published

2023-12-09

How to Cite

Kermani, H., Khorshidi, M., & Ashtiani Araghi, M. A case study on the COVID-19 discourse in politicians’ speeches: Investigations into the speeches of former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Studies in Communication Sciences, 23(3), 279–295. https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2023.03.2984