Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Economics, Business and Management., Sociology, Political science, public administration, Media and socio-cultural communication, Social sciences


Annual budgets are key to constituting and governing imagined futures. This paper examines how the signifier ‘future’ is constructed within the Irish budget speeches delivered by finance ministers to parliament between 1970 and 2015. To investigate the discourses of these budget speeches, we employ post-structural discourse theory operationalised through two methods: close reading and corpus-linguistic analysis. Close reading is used to identify the discourses employed and how meanings of signifiers were partially fixed at different moments. This was further examined using corpus-linguistics, specifically a collocate analysis of the word ‘future’, allowing further close examination of such collocates in context. Thus, the paper offers a unique insight into the discursive structuring of ‘future’ in Irish budget speeches over 45 years, highlights the changing structure of the budgetary discourse, periodising these changes, and shows how economic imaginaries of the ‘future’ are produced and reproduced.



Government of Ireland

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