Discursive Control Using Emotion and Economics During a Financial Crisis

David L. Schwarzkopf, Throstur Olaf Sigurjonsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Disasters bring about communities of focussed discourse. We show how a segment of one such community controlled the early stages of discourse during a financial crisis as a variety of professionals (bankers, analysts, editorial writers and academics) made multiple types of arguments (emotional and technical) to allay citizens’ concerns about an impending banking collapse. We examine the rapid rise of this segment by mapping and analysing the responses printed in Icelandic newspapers to a Danish bank’s warning of Icelandic banking instability. Using social network analysis, we illustrate the networks of public actors and their immediate public responses, showing how close-knit both networks became after just one week of commentary in the Icelandic press. We demonstrate the power that professionals of various kinds have over an uninformed citizenry through their rapid responses and closely connected networks and underscore the obstacles awaiting those who want to alter discourse during crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Return of Trust? Institutions and the Public after the Icelandic Financial Crisis
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781787433472
ISBN (Print)9781787433489
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited.

Other keywords

  • Iceland
  • media coverage
  • network stability
  • professional power
  • social networks
  • Type 2 Discourse


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