Governmentality in North American and Post-Soviet Political Discourses: An Analysis of Presidential Speeches and Their Analogues in the United States, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan Delivered From 1993 to 2021

Anton Oleinik


This article discusses political discourses in five North American and post-Soviet countries through the lens of Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality. Three types of governmentalities (sovereignty, discipline, and security) are differentiated and used in critical discourse analysis. It is shown with the help of quantitative procedures that the governmentality based on security prevailed in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan at the discursive level until the start of the 2010s. The concept of security does not seem to capture all aspects of the system of governance that existed in North America during the same period. State of the Union speeches and their analogues, Google Books corpus, Web of Science, and eLibrary databases of scholarly publications informed the analysis. In total, 119 speeches were content analyzed using a custom-built dictionary.


governmentality, presidential speeches, critical discourse analysis, content analysis

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