Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article brings together trends in Critical Discourse Analysis dating from the 1980s – which examine how language use and ideologies (re)produce social inequality – with current research in the social sciences on neoliberalism and other emerging politico-economic formations. The article addresses such a problematic with an empirical case: the language strategies, dubbed , that people affiliated with Luxembourg’s offshore financial center employ to justify their practices. The contribution herein surveys the political rationality of the country’s financial center by analyzing the that its representatives and boosters use. These language strategies, furthermore, enable Luxembourg’s finance elites to socialize the domestic public’s understanding of their activities.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Birchall, Claire
    2011 “The Politics of Opacity and Openness: Introduction to ‘Transparency.’” Theory, Culture & Society14 (1): 77–88.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Blommaert, Jan, and Chris Bulcaen
    2000 “Critical Discourse Analysis.” Annual Review of Anthropology29: 447–466. 10.1146/annurev.anthro.29.1.447
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.29.1.447 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bouvier, Yves
    2016 “Un milliard d’euros de dommages [A Billion Euros in Damages].” Luxemburger Wort, November22.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Caregari, Luc
    2016 “Le contradicteurs [The Detractors].” Woxx, January15.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Chouliaraki, Lilie, and Norman Fairclough
    1999Discourse in Late Modernity: Rethinking Critical Discourse Analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Fabri, David, and Godfrey Baldacchino
    1999 “The Malta Financial Services Centre: A Study in Micro-State Dependency Management?” InOffshore Finance Centres and Tax Havens: The Rise of Global Capital, ed. byJason P. Abbott and Mark P. Hampton, 140–165. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan. 10.1007/978‑1‑349‑14752‑6_6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-14752-6_6 [Google Scholar]
  7. Fairclough, Norman
    2003Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203697078
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203697078 [Google Scholar]
  8. Fairclough, Norman, and Ruth Wodak
    1997 “Critical Discourse Analysis.” InDiscourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary Introduction, ed. byTeun A. Van Dijk, 258–284. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Fassone, Marc
    2015a “Certificat de conformité : la note du Luxembourg relevée à « largement conforme » par le Forum mondial [Certificate of Conformity: Luxembourg’s Grade Is Revealed to ‘Largely Conform’ by the World Forum].” Le Jeudi, November5–11.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. 2015b “Transparence fiscale : un long chemin encore tortueux [Fiscal Transparency: A Long and Still-Tortuous Path].” Le Jeudi, December24–30.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. 2016a “Du bon usage des sociétés offshore : le point sur l’utilisation de ces sociétés sur la Place [Proper Usage of Offshore Companies: The Point of Using These Companies in the Financial Center].” Le Jeudi, April7–13.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. 2016b “Entre la harmonisation et renoncement : comment la fiscalité luxembourgeoise s’est adaptée aux nouveaux règlements [Between Harmonization and Renunciation: How Luxembourgish Tax Policy Adapted to New Regulations].” Le Jeudi, April14–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2016c “La légalité ne suffit pas : le scandale vu par la CSSF [Legality Is Not Enough: The Scandal Viewed by the CSSF].” Le Jeudi, April14–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Foucault, Michel
    1969L’Archéologie du savoir. Paris: Gallimard.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Gal, Susan
    1989 “Language and Political Economy.” Annual Review of Anthropology18: 345–367. 10.1146/annurev.an.18.100189.002021
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.18.100189.002021 [Google Scholar]
  16. Graham, Philip W.
    2002 “Hypercapitalism: Language, New Media and Social Perceptions of Value. Discourse & Society13 (2): 227–249. 10.1177/0957926502013002408
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926502013002408 [Google Scholar]
  17. Haag, Emile
    2015The Rise of Luxembourg: From Independence to Success. Luxembourg: Editions Saint-Paul.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Harrington, Brooke
    2016Capital Without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 10.4159/9780674973619
    https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674973619 [Google Scholar]
  19. Harvey, David
    2005A Brief History of Neoliberalism. New York: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oso/9780199283262.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780199283262.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  20. Krzyżanowski, Michał
    2013 “Discourses and Concepts: Interfaces and Synergies between Begriffsgeschichte and the Discourse-Historical Approach in CDA.” InCritical Discourse Analysis, ed. byRuth Wodak, 201–214. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. 2014 “Values, Imaginaries and Templates of Journalistic Practice: A Critical Discourse Analysis.” Social Semiotics24 (3): 345–365. 10.1080/10350330.2014.930607
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2014.930607 [Google Scholar]
  22. 2016 “Recontextualisation of Neoliberalism and the Increasingly Conceptual Nature of Discourse: Challenges for Critical Discourse Studies.” Discourse & Society27 (3): 308–321. 10.1177/0957926516630901
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926516630901 [Google Scholar]
  23. 2018 “‘We Are a Small Country That Has Done Enormously Lot’: The ‘Refugee Crisis’ and the Hybrid Discourse of Politicizing Immigration in Sweden.” Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies16 (1/2): 97–117. 10.1080/15562948.2017.1317895
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2017.1317895 [Google Scholar]
  24. Laclau, Ernesto
    (ed) 1990New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time. London: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Mautner, Gerlinde
    2008 “Analyzing Newspapers, Magazines and Other Print Media.” InQualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences, ed. byRuth Wodak and Michał Krzyżanowski, 30–53. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1007/978‑1‑137‑04798‑4_2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-137-04798-4_2 [Google Scholar]
  26. Moyse, Laurent, Claude Meiers, and Michel Maquil
    2014The Architects of Luxembourg’s Financial Industry: Testimonies on the Origin and Development of the Financial Centre in Luxembourg. Luxembourg: Editions Saint-Paul.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Muntigl, Peter, Gilbert Weiss, and Ruth Wodak
    2000European Union Discourses on Un/Employment: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Employment Policy-Making and Organizational Change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/dowi.12
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dowi.12 [Google Scholar]
  28. Obermayer, Bastian, and Frederik Obermaier
    2016The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money. London: Oneworld.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Ötsch, Silke
    2016 “The Offshore Coalition, Its Tactics and Strategies.” American Behavioral Scientist60 (3): 321–339. 10.1177/0002764215613408
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764215613408 [Google Scholar]
  30. Palan, Ronen
    2006The Offshore World: Sovereign Markets, Virtual Places, and Nomad Millionaires. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Palan, Ronen, Richard Murphy, and Christian Chavagneux
    2009Tax Havens: How Globalization Really Works. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Phelan, Sean
    2007 “The Discursive Dynamics of Neo-Liberal Consensus: Irish Broadsheet Editorials and the Privatization of Eircom.” Journal of Language and Politics6 (1): 7–28. 10.1075/jlp.6.1.03phe
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.6.1.03phe [Google Scholar]
  33. 2014Neoliberalism, Media and the Political. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9781137308368
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137308368 [Google Scholar]
  34. Pinçon, Michel, and Monique Pinçon-Charlot
    2015Tentative d’évasion (fiscale). Paris: Editions La Découverte.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Shaxson, Nicholas
    2012Les paradis fiscaux : Enquête sur les ravages de la finance néolibérale. Brussels: André Versaille.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Thomas, Bernard
    2016a “Les mousquetaires du Freeport [The Musketeers of the Freeport].” D’Lëtzebuerger Land, April29.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. 2016b “Strange Fruit.” D’Lëtzebuerger Land, April8.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. 2016c “Unique Selling Position.” D’Lëtzebuerger Land, March4.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. 2017 “Level Playing Field.” D’Lëtzebuerger Land, November13.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Van Dijk, Teun A.
    1993 “Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis.” Discourse & Society4 (2): 249–283. 10.1177/0957926593004002006
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926593004002006 [Google Scholar]
  41. 1998Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Van Leeuwen, Theo
    2007 “Legitimation in Discourse and Communication.” Discourse & Communication1 (1): 91–112. 10.1177/1750481307071986
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481307071986 [Google Scholar]
  43. Walker, Owen
    2017 “Luxembourg Expects More Companies to Leave Over Tax Scrutiny.” Financial Times, February5.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Weeks, Samuel
    2018 “Secrecy and Consensus: The Governmentality of an Offshore Financial Center in Europe.” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California-Los Angeles.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. 2020a “A Freeport Comes to Luxembourg, or, Why Those Wishing to Hide Assets Purchase Fine Art.” Arts9 (3): 1–15. 10.3390/arts9030087
    https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9030087 [Google Scholar]
  46. 2020b “Offshore Ontologies: Global Capital as Substance, Simulation, and the Supernatural.” Dialectical Anthropology44 (4): 355–371. 10.1007/s10624‑020‑09593‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10624-020-09593-3 [Google Scholar]
  47. 2021 “Collective Effort, Private Accumulation: Constructing the Luxembourg Investment Fund, 1956–2019,” inAccumulating Capital Today: Contemporary Strategies of Profit and Dispossessive Policies, ed. byMarlène Benquet and Théo Bourgeron, 89–103. Oxford: Routledge. 10.4324/9781003089513‑9
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003089513-9 [Google Scholar]
  48. Wodak, Ruth
    (ed) 1989Power and Ideology: Studies in Political Discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/ct.7
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ct.7 [Google Scholar]
  49. 2006 “Mediation Between Discourse and Society: Assessing Cognitive Approaches in CDA.” Discourse Studies8 (1): 179–190. 10.1177/1461445606059566
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445606059566 [Google Scholar]
  50. 2013 “‘Anything Goes!’ – The Haiderization of Europe.” InRight-Wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse, ed. byRuth Wodak, Majid KhosraviNik, and Britgitte Mral, 23–38. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Wodak, Ruth, and Michael Meyer
    2015Methods of Critical Discourse Studies. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Ziegler, Jean
    1979Switzerland: The Awful Truth. New York: Harper and Row.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Critical Discourse Analysis; elites; Luxembourg; offshore finance; political economy
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error