U.S. administration’s press communications on Tunisia after the July 25, 2021 ‘state of exception’: The shaping of urgency discourse

Keywords: U.S. press communications, Tunisia, July 25, crisis, urgency, CADS, framing, keyness, collocation network


July 25, 2021 was an exceptional day in Tunisia, ushering in a new chapter in its contemporary political history and triggering a wave of global responses to the declared ‘state of exception’. This research examines the U.S. administration’s press communications on Tunisia following this event. Specifically, it explores (i) the dominant crisis frames permeating these communications and their underlying political agenda and (ii) the extent to which the discourse they imparted signals a change in U.S. foreign policy towards Tunisia in crisis situations. To meet these research objectives, a corpus-based investigation was undertaken using an integrative framework combining qualitative (frames) and quantitative (keyness and collocations) approaches. Results revealed changing discourses around the theme of crisis, moving from a sense of togetherness to urgency. This may echo the cautious attitude of the American government and its heightened concern about Kais Saied’s transitional measures. In broad terms, the exploration offered a glimpse of how the dynamics of global politics unfold discursively. Importantly, the Biden administration’s construction of Tunisia’s political-democratic crisis in terms of urgency can have real-life consequences for international perceptions of the country’s future. Theoretically, the study’s implications touch primarily upon Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS, henceforth), particularly the evolving corpus linguistics concepts of keyness and collocation networks.


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How to Cite
Ben Ghozlen, B. (2023). U.S. administration’s press communications on Tunisia after the July 25, 2021 ‘state of exception’: The shaping of urgency discourse. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (27), 9-33. https://doi.org/10.26565/2218-2926-2023-27-01