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The language of politics in Albania

Updated on January 14, 2016

The language of politics

The language has a lot of influence on different human affairs: political, educational, socioeconomic, cultural, etc. The history of political communication begins when Greek philosophy begins to reflect on the power, the authority, on democracy, political relations between the members of a community. Plato and Aristotle study the effect of persuasive speech on public citizens, namely the power of rhetoric. As Wolton says: political communication is the space where we have the exchange of contradictory discourses of the three actors who have the legitimacy to speak publicly about politics and who are politicians, journalists and public opinion through polls.

According to Harold Lasswell the language of politics is the language of power, the language of the decision. Make policy in this regard "is an exercise in persuasion, is a verbal negotiation, interaction of a contractual nature where it can be determined cooperation or competition '(Lasswell 1979).

Edelman points out that the language is defined as "political" not because used by politicians, but because it is the language through which one expresses a relationship of power. "The policy gives to the language specific characteristics that qualify it as a politician" (Edelman 1976).

George Orwell "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

Politics is a field of social activity, where words and language used by politicians to communicate among themselves or to the people, is an important element in cultivating their public image. Various scholars have noted the phenomenon of impoverishment of politics language today, through the impoverishment of vocabulary, the presence of vulgar and obscene words and phrases. Polical language is a key tool, which aims to gain public support.

Chilton (2004:201-5) lists 12 propositions which serve as a possible framework for the field of the language and politics.

Five of them:

  • Political discourse operates indexically, which implies that one's choice of language will always-implicitly or explicity- signal some political distinction. This might be the choice of certain lexical items, the choice of a specific accent etc.
  • Political discourse oparates as interaction. Interections of many kind serve to find common representations of the world and to mark agreements and disagreements
  • Modal properties of language subserve political interaction.Many claims put forward by politicians remain vague, others are claims for truth, confidence, trust, credibility or even legitimization.
  • Binary conceptualization are frequent in political discourse. Most politicians attempt to present themselves in positive ways and to portray their political opponents negatively.
  • Political discourse involves metaphorical reasoning.


The langage of politics in Albania

In Albanian politics , there are presence of verbal games, jokes, ironies, qualities which belong to a ridiculous political language. In the Albanian political system, language is increasingly turning into an instrument of ruthless fighting, which amounts to humiliation and discreditation of political opponents. The communication model of mainly political actors relies in the scheme of confrontation, severe criticism and hostility. This model is based on the principle of opposition, of conflict and disagreement, instead of trying to reach consensus in the context of common positions. In everyday political debates dominate most concepts with negative connotations, such as: war, aggression, scandal, corruption, thieves, thugs, mafia, instead of words with positive sense as understanding, unity, common purpose, cooperation and consensus.

In Albanian parliament, we hear severe vulgar words. MPs instead providing a cultured communication example, they manage to be so aggressive and vulgar at the same time, featuring a low level of culture. In interviews or in various meetings between politicians in the media, rarely can see debates, conversations or discussions without interruption or without the use of vulgar words or jokes . Aggression in Albanian politics is a fact and has become a concern. Aggressive behavior prevents normal development of every discussion, divide the society, presents a negative atmosphere for Albanian politics, discouraging citizens to be active participants in governance.This language is the language of brutal fighting, this language does not belong to the democratic and political rivalry, this language is inappropriate for a representative of a nation's elite. Democracy as government of the people by the people for the people, means alternative competition, cooperation, understanding, consensus, tolerance, constructive debate.In a democracy, government is carried out by the majority, but under the supervision and control of the minority. In democratic governance role of the minority it is as important as the majority. Controversy and debate should not be understood as gladiator showdown, in which wins who has stronger "muscles" .


A civilized citizen should be able to control negative emotions and much more if he or she is a public person who necessarily must have features of self control, prudence, integrity, the ability to give opinions without negative emotion and ability to listen to others, which is extremely important in everyday interpersonal relations. The behavior of representatives of political forces , especially the gestures and words used in the Parliament or in the media are unsuitable for persons representing a nation. Politicians, in any case should not speak with harsh tone and language, as any improper behavior promotes verbal and physical aggression among people.

Unfortunately, we do not have yet the right civil and political culture. It is true that compared to other countries of Western Europe Albania is a new "democratic" nation and we have to move forward and learn more from the other democratic culture.

Albanian Parliament
Albanian Parliament | Source


Ruth Wodak, Language, Power and Ideology, 1989.


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