The <i>heart of Europe</i>

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The chapter analyses the development of the <i>heart-of-Europe</i> metaphor in British political discourse during the past two decades and in the wider context of conceptual history. On the basis of a corpus of media texts from 1990 to 2010, we chart the discursive career of programmatic statements by successive governments &#8220;to put Britain at the heart of Europe&#8221; and the metaphor&#8217;s changing cognitive import and pragmatic function. We compare this micro-history of the <i>heart of Europe</i>-phrase with the macro-perspective of long-term developments of political metaphors based on <i>heart</i> concepts, which form an important strand of the <i>body politic</i> tradition in European political thought. The combination of discourse history and conceptual history complements and to some extend corrects, an ahistoric cognitive analysis of <i>body</i>-related metaphors which views them as being grounded mainly or exclusively in &#8220;primary&#8221; (physiological) experiences.


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