Discourse in processes of
social change: Transition in
Central and Eastern Europe

Norman Fairclough


This paper is an initial contribution to an area of research I am currently embarking on: the role of discourse in processes of 'transition' (ie from socialism to capitalism and western forms of democratic government) in central and eastern Europe (henceforth 'CEE'). My particular focus here will be on attempts in CEE, and specifically Romania, to construct a 'knowledge-based economy' (KBE) and 'information society' (IS). I shall begin with a brief sketch of the version of Critical discourse Analysis (henceforth CDA) which I am currently working with. I shall then discuss discourse as an element in processes of 'transition', and the construction of ‘objects of research’ from research topics such as 'transition', KBE and IS. The final part of the paper will look in particular at the recontextualization of discourses of the KBE and IS, especially the later, in Romania. I shall analyse a specific Romanian government policy text, the 'National Strategy for the promotion of the New Economy and the implementation of the Information Society' (2002).

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