Zuzana Měřičková

Emotions and Discourse: The Analysis of British Prime Ministers´ Speeches on Terrorism

(Emócie a diskurz: Analýza prejavov britských premiérov zameraných na terorizmus)

Politické vedy, Volume 24, Number 2/2021, pages 174-193



Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:

Měřičková. Z. 2021.Emotions and Discourse: The Analysis of British Prime Ministers´ Speeches on Terrorism. In Politické Vedy. [online]. Vol. 24, No. 2, 2021. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 174-193. Available at: DOI:


Emotions are inseparable part of speeches of political leaders, however, they often continue to be omitted from discourse analysis, even though they can influence the political behaviour of citizens. The literature analysing emotions in discourse in speeches made by British leaders is still limited and this article attempts to fill this gap. It analyses the presence and evocation of emotions in 50 speeches in total delivered by the Prime Ministers of  the United Kingdom, using the NVivo software for qualitative analysis. The article analyses speeches delivered between 9/11 and 2019 by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May. It finds that all of the analysed Prime Ministers use emotions in their speeches, both positive and negative. Even though each Prime Minister uses these emotions to a different extent, they all attempt to influence public opinion and gain support for counterterrorism policies. This demonstrates that Prime Ministers may be contributing to the problem by manipulating emotions and creating fear and hate in society.

 Key WordsDiscourse, Emotions, United Kingdom, Terrorism

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