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At the intersection between power and knowledge

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The aim of this article is to analyse a policy document in which the Swedish Liberal Party attempts to substantiate the proposal to introduce a Swedish language test for naturalisation by referring to academic production. Taking this specific text as a case in point, the article draws upon Critical Discourse Analysis and Foucault’s notion of governmentality to show how the rationalisation and legitimation of a particular political proposal is inextricably related to processes of knowledge production. Governmentality will also allow us to understand that language requirements for citizenship are a tangible manifestation of an advanced liberal political rationality in late modernity.
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Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis; Foucault; citizenship; governmentality; language politics; language testing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 9, 2009

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