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This article is the author's final version prior to publication in the Journal of Language and Politics, Volume 20, Issue 2, 2021, Pages 325-344.

The published version is available at Copyright © John Benjamins Publishing Company

The publisher should be contacted for permission to re-use or reprint this material in any form.


This article brings together trends in Critical Discourse Analysis dating from the 1980s – which examine how language use and ideologies (re)produce social inequality – with current research in the social sciences on neoliberalism and other emerging politico-economic formations. The article addresses such a problematic with an empirical case: the language strategies, dubbed langue de bois, that people affiliated with Luxembourg’s offshore financial center employ to justify their practices. The contribution herein surveys the political rationality of the country’s financial center by analyzing the langue de bois that its representatives and boosters use. These language strategies, furthermore, enable Luxembourg’s finance elites to socialize the domestic public’s understanding of their activities.