This article pursues 2 objectives: First, we show how a national park project in the Swiss Alps, Parc Adula, was addressed in contemporary neoliberal discourses on conservation and how these discourses influenced the rejection of the park. Second, we use triangulation to bridge the gap between 2 data analysis approaches, combining qualitative methods with the quantitative analytical tools of corpus linguistics. This allows an in-depth analysis of discourses surrounding and influencing national park planning. Furthermore, we outline challenges faced by conservation incentives based on discursive gaps and different uses of language in the arguments of government officials and residents affected by park negotiations. In the case of Parc Adula, these discursive gaps and language differences created distrust and made park planning difficult. This further reinforced a discursive disruption within and between neoliberal understandings of conservation and local discourses, eventually leading to the rejection of the national park project. This paper presents a novel analytical perspective on current conservation issues in Alpine areas and opens up ground for further research on communication practices, their local embeddedness, and their impacts on protected area establishment.
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