Tracing (In)Security: a corpus assisted discourse analysis of Australian defence white papers, 1976-2016

Stream: Panel 75 - Australian Politics / Media & Politics: Australian Foreign Policy and the Rise of China
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 11.00 am – 12.30 pm


Australian Defence White Papers have received considerable scholarly attention, but this has not included detailed and systematic linguistic analysis. This paper aims to address this gap by applying corpus assisted discourse analysis (CADA) to Defence White Papers from 1976-2016, in order to explore the textual representation of security threats. CADA is a mixed method approach to discourse analysis that employs both quantitative and qualitative research. Using the theory of securitzation, the paper will present preliminary findings on successful policy discourses of securitization in Defence White Papers (Wæver 1995; Buzan, Wæver, and de Wilde 1998). The paper will consider the following: the securitising actors; the construction of existential threats; the manner in which sought objectives and ideals were framed; and how audience approval was sought textually in the documents. Following Buzan, Wæver, and de Wilde we will explore the military, economic, environmental, societal and political sectors that appear in the reports. CADA will be employed to conduct quantitative frequency analysis, identify collocation patterns, and qualitative analysis of the textual representation of securitization catalysts.


Nicholas Bromfield (Presenter), The University of Sydney
Nicholas Bromfield recently completed his doctoral studies with Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His thesis was called 'The Turn to Anzac: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Prime Ministerial Anzac Entrepreneurship, 1972-2007.' He takes a broad interest in issues pertaining to nationalism, political language, discourse analysis, and Australian politics.

Shazia Lateef, The University of Sydney
Shazia Lateef currently teaches politics and international relations in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She is also the Assistant Editor for the International Academic Forum Journal of Politics, Economics and Law. She completed a PhD at the University of Sydney.