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Representing Power Shifts in BR-UK Political Discourse 1847-1984

Haji Mohamad Yusof, S. B. (2020) Representing Power Shifts in BR-UK Political Discourse 1847-1984. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Intrigued by the intricacy of power relations within Brunei and Britain within its Protectorprotected settings and how it internalizes into institutionalized discourses such as Treaties or Agreements, this dissertation is set out to map 1/ how shifts or dynamics of BR-UK power relations are represented in eight BR-UK agreements produced between 1847 to 1984; 2/ using discursive indicators such as verbs and nouns, particularly in maintaining, negotiating and resisting powers exercised by each other. It is also anticipated that the culmination of these representations will pave way for the 3/ formulation of a protectorate discourse in Southeast Asia. At its core, this dissertation is maximizing the merits of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to understand the intricacies and dynamics of BR-UK power relations within a selected timeframe. It is looking at eight agreements, signed between Brunei Darussalam (BR) and Great Britain (UK) during Brunei’s protectorate period, i.e. 1847-1984. Selection of these documents is based on each document’s significance in contributing to the major political shifts or political turns in BRUK political relations, Brunei’s internal and external governance, state defense and national security, as well as its sovereignty as an Islamic monarchical institution in Southeast Asia. As it is contextually woven into the tapestry of Brunei-British History and Southeast Asian Politics, this dissertation is framed within the domain of Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) which triangulates the context, discursive elements, and means of realizations to yield a better understanding on the dynamics of BR-UK power relations at the macro, meso, and micro level of analysis. Insights from the findings reinforces that power and its representations are not static entities, and that they are multidimensional. They are dialectically related and has a bearing force towards each other in and across discourses. As explored by DHA and SAA particularly at the meso and micro level, the interchangeable representations of social actions resulting from the interaction between agencies and semantic categories reflects political shifts or changes in BR-UK power relations during the selected period. This symbiotic interaction also manifests how BR-UK power balance is maintained and negotiated over time, reflecting the multidimensional nature of power relations from a linguistic perspective, as well as the role of agencies in shaping discourses and power balance that anchor these discourses. In addition, use of triangulation has also gives valuable insight on how analysis at the three different levels can be simultaneously conducted to yield holistic results. Such usage is not only beneficial in formulating BR-UK political discourse in Brunei’s protectorate era but is also providing an alternative interpretation to Brunei History and politics of Southeast Asia in the 1900s.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Schroeter, M. and Jaworska, S.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of English Language and Linguistics
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:95852

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