image of Discourse and transformation
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This paper sets out to investigate the representation of energy in China’s diplomatic discourse in a context where power structures within and among nation-states are shifting and energy is becoming more politicized. To do this, this research adopts corpus-assisted discourse-historical analysis to examine discursive strategies and investigates the way energy is constructed in China’s diplomacy. Results show a dichotomy of an active ingroup and an indifferent outgroup, revealing a reversal of power in the fierce competition of discourse in the international energy sector, which serves as a catalyst for the creation of demand for new energy sources and the development of new energy industries. The analysis of grounded linguistic evidences also signifies that discourse is the site where power is not only enacted and performed, but also negotiated and contested.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Asdal, Kristin, and Noortje Marres
    2014 “Performing Environmental Change: The Politics of Social Science Methods.” Environment and Planning A (): –. 10.1068/a140292e
    https://doi.org/10.1068/a140292e [Google Scholar]
  2. Boukala, Salomi, and Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou
    2017 “The Politics of Fear vs. the Politics of Hope: Analysing the 2015 Greek Election and Referendum Campaigns.” Critical Discourse Studies (): –. 10.1080/17405904.2016.1182933
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2016.1182933 [Google Scholar]
  3. Boyd, Amanda D.
    2017 “Examining Community Perceptions of Energy Systems Development: The Role of Communication and Sense of Place.” Environmental Communication (): –. 10.1080/17524032.2015.1047886
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2015.1047886 [Google Scholar]
  4. Boyer, Dominic
    2014 “Energopower: An Introduction.” Anthropological Quarterly (): –. 10.1353/anq.2014.0020
    https://doi.org/10.1353/anq.2014.0020 [Google Scholar]
  5. Can, Küçükali
    2014 “Discursive Strategies of Instrumentalizing History in Mainstream Turkish Political Discourse.” Journal of Language and Politics (): –. 10.1075/jlp.13.1.05kuc
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.13.1.05kuc [Google Scholar]
  6. Casier, Tom
    2011 “The Rise of Energy to the Top of the EU-Russia Agenda: From Interdependence to Dependence?.” Geopolitics (): –. 10.1080/14650045.2011.520862
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2011.520862 [Google Scholar]
  7. Chaiyapa, Warathida, Miguel Esteban, and Yasuko Kameyama
    2018 “Why Go Green? Discourse Analysis of Motivations for Thailand’s Oil and Gas Companies to Invest in Renewable Energy.” Energy Policy: –. 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.05.064
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.05.064 [Google Scholar]
  8. Cox, J. Robert
    2010 “Beyond Frames: Recovering the Strategic in Climate Communication.” Environmental Communication (): –. 10.1080/17524030903516555
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17524030903516555 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cozen, Brian, Danielle Endres, Tarla Rai Peterson, Cristi Horton, and Joshua Trey Barnett
    2018 “Energy Communication: Theory and Praxis towards a Sustainable Energy Future.” Environmental Communication (): –. 10.1080/17524032.2017.1398176
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2017.1398176 [Google Scholar]
  10. Djerf-Pierre, Monika, John Cokley, and Louise J. Kuchel
    2016 “Framing Renewable Energy: A Comparative Study of Newspapers in Australia and Sweden.” Environmental Communication (): –. 10.1080/17524032.2015.1056542
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2015.1056542 [Google Scholar]
  11. Fairclough, Norman
    1989Language and Power. New York: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. 2005 “Critical Discourse Analysis in Transdisciplinary Research.” InA New Agenda in (Critical) Discourse Analysis, edited byRuth Wodak and Paul Chilton, –. Amsterdam: Benjamin. 10.1075/dapsac.13.06fai
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.13.06fai [Google Scholar]
  13. Goldthau, Andreas
    2010 “Energy Diplomacy in Trade and Investment of Oil and Gas.” InGlobal Energy Governance: The New Rules of the Game, edited byAndreas Goldthau and Jan Martin Witte, –. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Griffiths, Steven
    2019 “Energy Diplomacy in a Time of Energy Transition.” Energy Strategy Reviews: 100386. 10.1016/j.esr.2019.100386
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esr.2019.100386 [Google Scholar]
  15. Gwet, Kilem
    2001Handbook of Inter-rater Reliability: How to Estimate the Level of Agreement between Two or Multiple Raters. Gaithersburg MD: STATAXIS Publishing Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Herranz-Surrallés, Anna
    2016 “An Emerging EU Energy Diplomacy? Discursive Shifts, Enduring Practices.” Journal of European Public Policy (): –. 10.1080/13501763.2015.1083044
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2015.1083044 [Google Scholar]
  17. Huan, Changpeng, and Menghan Deng
    2021 “Partners or Predators? A Corpus-based Study of China’s Image in South African Media.” African Journalism Studies (): –. 10.1080/23743670.2021.1913428
    https://doi.org/10.1080/23743670.2021.1913428 [Google Scholar]
  18. Jäger, Siegfried, and Florentine Maier
    2009 “Theoretical and Methodological Aspects of Foucauldian Critical Discourse Analysis and Dispositive Analysis.” InMethods of Critical Discourse Analysis, edited byRuth Wodak and Michael Meyer, –. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Kuteleva, Anna
    2020 “Discursive Politics of Energy in EU-Russia Relations: Russia as an “Energy Superpower” and a “Raw-material Appendage”.” Problems of Post-Communism (): –. 10.1080/10758216.2018.1520601
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10758216.2018.1520601 [Google Scholar]
  20. Ladislaw, Sarah, and Nikos Tsafos
    2019Energy Spheres of Influence. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Leech, Geoffrey N.
    1983Principles of Pragmatics. New York: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Leschzyk, Dinah K.
    2021 “Infodemic in Germany and Brazil: How the AfD and Jair Bolsonaro are Sowing Distrust during the Corona Pandemic.” Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik (): –. 10.1007/s41244‑021‑00210‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s41244-021-00210-6 [Google Scholar]
  23. Li, Tao, and Yifan Zhu
    2020 “How does China Appraise Self and Others? A Corpus-based Analysis of Chinese Political Discourse.” Discourse & Society (): –. 10.1177/0957926519880036
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926519880036 [Google Scholar]
  24. Liao, Janet Xuanli
    2021 “China’s Energy Diplomacy towards Central Asia and the Implications on its “Belt and Road Initiative”.” The Pacific Review (): –. 10.1080/09512748.2019.1705882
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09512748.2019.1705882 [Google Scholar]
  25. Mahmood, Arfan, Mehran Idris Khan, Shahid Ali, Zaheer Abbas, and Nouman Khan
    2022 “The Role of Chinese Regimes of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative in the Transformation of Its Energy Diplomacy: Quest for Economic Sustainability.” Sustainability (): . 10.3390/su142416997
    https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416997 [Google Scholar]
  26. Marchi, Anna, and Charlotte Taylor
    2009 “If on a Winter’s Night Two Researchers…: A Challenge to Assumptions of Soundness of Interpretation.” Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines (): –.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Pelling, Mark, Karen O’Brien, and David Matyas
    2015 “Adaptation and Transformation.” Climatic Change: –. 10.1007/s10584‑014‑1303‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1303-0 [Google Scholar]
  28. Reisigl, Martin, and Ruth Wodak
    2001Discourse and Discrimination: Rhetorics of Racism and Antisemitism. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Stephenson, Janet
    2017 “What does Energy Mean? An Interdisciplinary Conversation.” Energy Research & Social Science: –. 10.1016/j.erss.2017.01.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.01.014 [Google Scholar]
  30. Tarasova, Ekaterina
    2018 “(Non-) Alternative Energy Transitions: Examining Neoliberal Rationality in Official Nuclear Energy Discourses of Russia and Poland.” Energy research & social science: –. 10.1016/j.erss.2018.04.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2018.04.008 [Google Scholar]
  31. Tichý, Lukáš
    2020 “EU Political Discourse on the Energy Security Relations with Russia.” European Political Science (): –. 10.1057/s41304‑019‑00229‑x
    https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-019-00229-x [Google Scholar]
  32. Turnbull, Thomas
    2021 “Energy, History, and the Humanities: Against a New Determinism.” History and Technology (): –. 10.1080/07341512.2021.1891394
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2021.1891394 [Google Scholar]
  33. van Dijk, Teun A.
    1998Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 2011 “Discourse and Ideology.” InDiscourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary Introduction, edited byTeun A. Van Dijk, –. London: Sage. 10.4135/9781446289068.n18
    https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446289068.n18 [Google Scholar]
  35. Watts, Michael
    2017 “Imperial Oil: The Anatomy of a Nigerian Oil Insurgency.” InEnergy Humanities: An Anthology, edited byImre Szeman and Dominic Boyer, –. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Wodak, Ruth
    1996 “The Genesis of Racist Discourse in Austria since 1989. InTexts and Practices, edited byCarmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard, Malcom Coulthard, –. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Wodak, Ruth, and Michael Meyer
    2009Methods of Critical Discourse Studies. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Zhou, Zhongbing, and Quande Qin
    2020 “Decoding China’s Natural Gas Development: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Five-year Plans.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change: 119798. 10.1016/j.techfore.2019.119798
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2019.119798 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: energy ; China ; corpus-assisted ; diplomatic discourse ; Discourse-Historical Approach
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