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Energy Discourses in Switzerland

Discourse about energy is a key factor in the successful implementation of the Swiss energy strategy. The large-scale interdisciplinary research project Energy Discourses in Switzerland focuses on the patterns of language related to changes in energy policy that serve as the basis for democratic dialogue and innovation.

Issues surrounding the production, supply, and use of energy will be of concern to Switzerland in the next few years and in the decades to come. In the project Energy Discourses in Switzerland, researchers at the ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics are investigating the communicative prerequisites for the anticipated changes. The objective of the project is to identify how patterns of language use about energy issues in the three official Swiss languages (German, French, and Italian) develop across institutions, media, and societal sectors. The findings will be actively conveyed to various actors involved in the transition to sustainable energy systems and in the democratic dialogue about energy.

Project information

The project, which lasts three years from 2016-2019, will receive substantial support from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) under the Energy - Economy - Society (EES) research programme. The research is based on a large multilingual corpus of texts relevant to Swiss discourses on energy since before 2011.




Contributions to academic conferences

"Wer Energie spart, schont die Umwelt und senkt die Kosten – Analyse von vager Lexik mit quantitativen Methoden im multilingualen Energiediskurs der Schweiz". Digitalität – Medialität – Diskursivität. Darmstadt, 14-16 February 2019.

"Vergleichende Diskurslinguistik mit Wordembeddings: Analyse semantischer Felder im multilingualen Energiediskurs der Schweiz". Methoden kontrastiver Medienlinguistik, Stockholm, 6-8 March 2019.


Project management

Team members