Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The Eurozone crisis and the remarkable convergence of national governments towards austeritypolicies draw scholars’ attention to the discursive strategies that they have used in order tolegitimate their economic decisions. This article studies the common features of austerity discoursebeyond national and partisan boundaries. It relies on an in-depth analysis combining lexicographyand the study of metaphors in speeches of the Italian and Spanish heads of government between2011 and 2013. While drawing on recent work addressing the legitimation of economic policies,this research takes a step back in order to shed light on the broader discourse on which austeritypolicies rely and in order to explain the common patterns in various political actors’ discourse.Rooted in a post-foundational approach, it identifies several discursive strategies for depoliticisingeconomic issues (e.g. the construction of an economic common sense, the appeal to externalconstraints and the metaphorical naturalisation of economics), thus unveiling their politicalnature. The ‘restructuring’ and ‘rescaling’ of social practices are identified as the main mechanismspertaining to the articulation of such a broader hegemonic discourse.