EU Science Hub

Arendt, metaphors and the EU: Why words matter!

Nov 16 2017

Metaphors matter - their usage bears consequences.

This conversation among linguists and scholars will discuss the extent to which embracing Arendt' inspired concepts and metaphors opens a path for a subtle but potentially radical and far-reaching shift in EU policy orientations.

"Metaphors [are] the daily bread of all conceptual thought" (Hannah Arendt)

Language and Politics - watch the recorded workshop 

PDF icon Full programme and context

Two follow-up workshops

  • A workshop on "Europe's Political and Economic Crisis : Still Thinking with Arendt" is to take place at the University of Sussex, on May 25, 2018. It is organized by Prof. Patricia Owens. Invited participants only. Full programme (PDF)
  • A workshop on "Reframing European Identity and Legitimacy in an Age of Populism: Arendtian Politics, Conceptual Metaphors, and the Future of the European Union" is to take place at the University of Groningen on May 31, 2018. It is organized by Prof. Lars Rensmann.

Time: Thursday, May 31, 14:00-19:30, Place: Van Swinderen Huys, University of Groningen.

Full programme (PDF)

Poster (PDF)


To strengthen EU's ability to make the proper choices, there is a need for an increased critical consciousness of the implicit conceptual frameworks underlying EU policy-making. Indeed, all men and women, including policy-makers, think and act according to conceptualisations. And these conceptualisations are revealed in language through metaphorical expressions.

This is why metaphors matter - their usage bears consequences. This is why metaphors, linguistics and philosophy connect deeply with policy-making. This project entails the exploration of two linkages: (i) that of Language and Politics and (ii) that of Arendt and the EU.