Den politiske venstredrejning og nationale identitet i Sydamerika: En diskursanalyse af otte sydamerikanske indsættelsestaler

Stine Arildsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The thesis’ point of departure is the political left turn and also the creation of a national identity in South America. The thesis focuses specifically on eight countries in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. Jorge Castañeda, former Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, considers the South American political left turn to consist of two tendencies - a radical and a moderate type of leftism. The most radical countries include Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela while the moderate leftist countries are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The left turn has become even more evident within the past ten years, and the region has been inspired by the socialist principles. This has resulted in the governments being able to overcome the neoliberal ideology, and replace it with more leftist and collective values. The hypothesis is that in the inauguration speeches there exists a rhetoric and narrative strategic difference in how the two political lefts present their political discourse and visions towards national identity. Through a discourse analysis the thesis outlines how both the national and regional identity together with the leftist and populist strategies are presented in the different speeches. Both the leftist tendencies present the narration through the speeches with a point of departure in a ‘bad before’ and a ‘better now’. There is a resurfacing of the story ‘South America - a victim of foreign control’, due to which the focus is on the colonial time as the main obstacle for South America to be able to develop and maintain both a national and regional identity. Therefore the region’s history becomes a storyline in the speeches together with the imagined national and regional communities. The conclusion is that the political rhetoric and narrative strategies are different in the leftist countries, although there is a difference in how it is presented and whether it is presented at all; therefore not all of the speeches have a continuous leftist touch. The political left turn is presented through the political project in all the countries emphasizing on the socialistic ideology, and an important political change in society, where ‘the people’ are the center of attention in the political agenda. The idea of the creation of an identity and a changed society should uphold the old popular values, which is why the presidents ensure that the original visions and collectivistic thoughts are appreciated and honored. The main difference between the two tendencies lies within their political focal point, and the way they present the national and regional values. In Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela there seem to be a more inward-looking political perspective, and they seem to have a very aggressive rhetoric towards globalization and neoliberal ideology. This could be the motivation for an even stronger national identity and a common regional political direction, and social community. The more outward-looking leftist countries Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay use rhetoric strategies to focus on future perspectives including a multilateral and open approach towards the globalized world. Consequently there do seem to be a slight division in the political left turn in South America, but it appears to be mainly based up on rhetorical and narrative strategies.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages185