A contemporary re-examination of the role of rhetoric in a democracy.
Author: Todd F. McDorman
A contemporary re-examination of the role of rhetoric in a democracy.
In Democracy and Rhetoric, Nathan Crick articulates from John Dewey's body of work a philosophy of rhetoric that reveals the necessity for bringing forth a democratic life infused with the spirit of ethics, a method of inquiry, and a sense ...
Author: Nathan Crick
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
In Democracy and Rhetoric, Nathan Crick articulates from John Dewey's body of work a philosophy of rhetoric that reveals the necessity for bringing forth a democratic life infused with the spirit of ethics, a method of inquiry, and a sense of beauty. Crick relies on rhetorical theory as well interdisciplinary insights from philosophy, history, sociology, aesthetics, and political science as he demonstrates that significant engagement with issues of rhetoric and communication are central to Dewey's political philosophy. In his rhetorical reading of Dewey, Crick examines the sophistical underpinnings of Dewey's philosophy and finds it much informed by notions of radical individuality, aesthetic experience, creative intelligence, and persuasive advocacy as essential to the formation of communities of judgment. Crick illustrates that for Dewey rhetoric is an art situated within a complex and challenging social and natural environment, wielding influence and authority for those well versed in its methods and capable of experimenting with its practice. From this standpoint the unique and necessary function of rhetoric in a democracy is to advance minority views in such a way that they might have the opportunity to transform overarching public opinion through persuasion in an egalitarian public arena. The truest power of rhetoric in a democracy then is the liberty for one to influence the many through free, full, and fluid communication. Ultimately Crick argues that Dewey's sophistical rhetorical values and techniques form a naturalistic "ontology of becoming" in which discourse is valued for its capacity to guide a self, a public, and a world in flux toward some improved incarnation. Appreciation of this ontology of becoming—of democracy as a communication-driven work in progress—gives greater social breadth and historical scope to Dewey's philosophy while solidifying his lasting contributions to rhetoric in an active and democratic public sphere.
Harvey Yunis looks at how these three—historian, philosopher, politician respectively—explored the instructive potential of political rhetoric as a means of "taming democracy," Plato's metaphor for controlling the fractious demos ...
Author: Harvey Yunis
Publisher: Cornell University Press
How does one speak to a large, diverse mass of ordinary, sovereign citizens and persuade them to render wise decisions? For Thucydides, Plato, and Demosthenes, who observed classical Athenian democracy in action, this was an urgent question. Harvey Yunis looks at how these three—historian, philosopher, politician respectively—explored the instructive potential of political rhetoric as a means of "taming democracy," Plato's metaphor for controlling the fractious demos through language. Yunis offers new insights into the ideas of the three thinkers: Thucydides' bipolar model of Periclean versus demagogic rhetoric; Plato's engagement with political rhetoric in the Gorgias, the Phaedrus, and the Laws; and Demosthenes' attempt both to instruct and to persuade his political audience. Yunis illuminates both the concrete historical problem of political deliberation in Athens and the intellectual and literary responses that the problem evoked. Few, if any, other books on classical Athens afford such a combination of perspectives from history, drama, philosophy, and politics. Writing with unusual clarity and cogency, Yunis translates all texts and explains the relevant issues. His book can profitably be read by anyone concerned with the issues at the heart of classical and contemporary democracy.
"Amid neoliberal and technocratic threats to equality and human flourishing, Rhetoric and Composition needs to broaden what we recognize as democratic rhetorical action.
Author: Michelle Iten
"Amid neoliberal and technocratic threats to equality and human flourishing, Rhetoric and Composition needs to broaden what we recognize as democratic rhetorical action. We often invoke democratic ideals to authorize our work, but too frequently, we assume stable meanings for such concepts as "democracy" and "civic discourse," neglecting to interrogate the particular definitions we rely upon and as a result restricting what we research, criticize, and teach as the rhetorical actions that support democracy. I argue we need to reconceive democracy itself by replacing theories centered on deliberation and public sphere studies with specifically rhetorical theories grounded in our discipline's approaches to human relations, ethics, and political life. This dissertation empowers such work by providing a framework of heuristics we can use to theorize multiple understandings of democracy from the standpoint of Rhetoric and Composition. I develop the framework by using a method called transformational/practical theory-building and drawing on concepts from Athenian demokratia; from political philosophers Sheldon Wolin, Josiah Ober, Chantal Mouffe, and John Dewey; and from rhetoricians Aristotle, Cicero (De officiis), Chaim Perelman, and Kenneth Burke. The framework of heuristics guides theorists and teachers to engage the three key issues around which rhetorical understandings of democracy should be built: how best to translate demos and kratos, to define democracy's nature, and to conceive political virtues. From this framework, I develop a theory of democracy as a dynamic social energy, manifested when we citizens, individually as well as collectively, grip power in order to enact equality, and when we embody the political virtues of relational equality and substantial efficiency (using all available means to enact democratic power) in our everyday rhetorical actions. I then build on my findings to trace the democratic and rhetorical contours of the practice of reflection, illustrating how my new theory of democracy, developed from the standpoint of Rhetoric and Composition, can enlarge our notions of what counts as rhetorical action for democracy. I conclude by calling for a recognized subfield of democracy studies in Rhetoric and Composition and describing how my framework and theory provide several concrete directions for enriching rhetorical theory, history, and pedagogy."--Abstract.
This book offers the first comprehensive analysis of international efforts to promote democracy during the post-World War II period, with an emphasis on developments since 1989.
Author: Peter J. Schraeder
Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers
In recent years, debates within academic and policymaking circles have gradually shifted - from a Cold War focus on whether democracy constitutes the best form of governance, to the question of whether (and to what degree) international actors should be actively involved in democracy promotion. This book offers the first comprehensive analysis of international efforts to promote democracy during the post-World War II period, with an emphasis on developments since 1989. The authors assess the efforts of major industrialized democracies, multilateral actors, and NGOs. They find that the success of these endeavors is constrained by several realities, ranging from the often significant gap between the rhetoric and the reality of actual policies, to the dilemma that occurs when the goal of democracy clashes with other foreign policy interests. The first comprehensive analysis of international efforts to promote democracy during the post-World War II period, with an emphasis on developments since 1989.
For the authors of these essays, the exchanges that arose from “Barbiegate” illustrate vividly the role of rhetoric at the grassroots level, fundamental to civic judgment in a democratic state and at the core of “ordinary democracy ...
Author: Karen Tracy
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Essays in the The Prettier Doll focus on the same local controversy: in 2001,a third-grade girl in Colorado submitted an experiment to the school science fair. She asked 30 adults and 30 fifth-graders which of two Barbie dolls was prettier. One doll was black, the other white, and each wore a different colored dress. All of the adults picked the Barbie in the purple dress, while nearly all of the fifth graders picked the white Barbie. When the student’s experiment was banned an uproar resulted that spread to the national media. School board meetings and other public exchanges highlighted the potent intersection of local and national social concerns: education, censorship, science, racism, and tensions in foundation values such as liberty, democracy, and free speech. For the authors of these essays, the exchanges that arose from “Barbiegate” illustrate vividly the role of rhetoric at the grassroots level, fundamental to civic judgment in a democratic state and at the core of “ordinary democracy.”
This volume presents a full-scale rhetorical analysis of a democratic transformation in post-Cold War era, and provides a study of the demise of apartheid and post-apartheid from the standpoint of political and public rhetoric and ...
Author: Philippe-Joseph Salazar
An African Athens offers an analysis of a new ecology of rhetoric--the reshaping of a nation into a democracy through rhetorical means. Author Philippe-Joseph Salazar provides a general view of issues as they have taken shape in the apartheid and post-apartheid South African experience, presenting the country as a remarkable stage for playing out the great themes of public deliberation and the rise of postmodern rhetorical democracy. Salazar's intimate vantage point focuses on the striking case of a democracy won at the negotiating table and also won every day in public deliberation. This volume presents a full-scale rhetorical analysis of a democratic transformation in post-Cold War era, and provides a study of the demise of apartheid and post-apartheid from the standpoint of political and public rhetoric and communication. In doing so, it serves as a template for similar enquiries in the rhetorical study of emerging democracies. Intended for readers engaged in the study of political and public rhetoric with an interest in how democracy takes shape, An African Athens highlights South Africa as a test case for global democracy, for rhetoric, and for the relevance of rhetoric studies in a postmodern democracy.
While the rhetorical pursuit of political advantage is susceptible to anti-democratic excesses, particularly of the sort that jeopardize peaceful association and truthful politics, theorists and citizens should not imagine an end to such ...
Author: Scott Michael Welsh
This dissertation explores the relationship between rhetoric and democracy. More specifically, it examines the theoretical demeaning of the rhetorical pursuit of political advantage that pervades normative theories of public deliberation in democracy, including both liberal and discourse theories. The main argument of the dissertation is that such theories wrongly oppose the idea of authentically democratic speech to strategic, tactical, or rhetorical modes of address. In contrast with the aversion to rhetoric found in normative theories of public deliberation, particularly those variously inspired by John Rawls and Jurgen Habermas, I advance an argument for an essential and productive relationship between rhetoric and democracy as suggested by Kenneth Burke and Michel de Certeau. Since currently marginalized citizens must, by necessity, deploy hegemonic discourses strategically in pursuit of a measure of political power or representation, theories of public deliberation in democracy that deny the general democratic legitimacy of the rhetorical pursuit of political advantage ideologically undermine democratic challengers. Instead of encouraging citizens to seriously attend to, and value, the essential democratic struggle for political advantage, prominent theories of public deliberation in democracy denigrate it. While the rhetorical pursuit of political advantage is susceptible to anti-democratic excesses, particularly of the sort that jeopardize peaceful association and truthful politics, theorists and citizens should not imagine an end to such excesses in visions of understanding or justification-oriented communication, but should look instead to effective counter-rhetorics. Peaceful association and epistemically accountable political speech should be regarded as situated, rhetorical-political achievements against the aims of the militant and the deceptive. Hence, this dissertation recommends that, rather than opposing democracy to rhetorical politics, citizens and theorists alike should recognize democracy in the broad proliferation of an effective ability, among diversely motivated people and groups, to win a share of political power rhetorically.
Author: Benedetto Fontana
Publisher: Penn State Press
While emphasising discursive and historical dimensions of democracy, the resources available in the history of rhetorical theory and practice tend to be ignored. This book aims to resurrect this history and show how attention to rhetoric can help lead to a better understanding of the strengths and limitations of theories of deliberative democracy.
Tracing the history of political rhetoric in nineteenth-century America and Britain, Andrew W. Robertson shows how modern election campaigning was born.
Author: Andrew Whitmore Robertson
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Tracing the history of political rhetoric in nineteenth-century America and Britain, Andrew W. Robertson shows how modern election campaigning was born. Robertson discusses early political cartoons and electioneering speeches as he examines the role of each nation’s press in assimilating masses of new voters into the political system. Even a decade after the American Revolution, the authors shows, British and American political culture had much in common. On both sides of the Atlantic, electioneering in the 1790s was confined mostly to male elites, and published speeches shared a characteristically Neoclassical rhetoric. As voting rights were expanded, however, politicians sought a more effective medium and style for communicating with less-educated audiences. Comparing changes in the modes of in the two countries, Robertson reconstructs the transformation of campaign rhetoric into forms that incorporated the oral culture of the stump speech as well as elite print culture. By the end of the nineteenth century, the press had become the primary medium for initiating, persuading, and sustaining loyal partisan audiences. In Britain and America, millions of men participated in a democratic political culture that spoke their language, played to their prejudices, and courted their approval. Today’s readers concerned with broadening political discourse to reach a more diverse audience will find rich and intriguing parallels in Robertson’s account.
This highly original work considers the rhetoric of political actors and commentators who identify digital media as the means to a new era of politics and democracy.
Author: Mark Rolfe
This highly original work considers the rhetoric of political actors and commentators who identify digital media as the means to a new era of politics and democracy. Placing this rhetoric in a historical and intellectual context, it provides a compelling explanation of the reinvention and thematic recurrence of democratic discourse. The author investigates the populist sources of rhetoric used by digital politics enthusiasts as outsiders inaugurating new eras of democracy with digital media, such as Barack Obama and Julian Assange, and explores the generations of rhetorical and political history behind them. The book places their rhetoric in the context of the permanent tensions between insiders and outsiders, between the political class and the populace, which are inherent to representative democracy. Through a theoretical and conceptual research that is historically grounded and comparative, it offers rhetorical analysis of candidates for the 2016 presidential election and discusses digital democracy, particularly discussing their origins in American populism and their influence on other countries through Americanization. Uniquely, it offers a sceptical assessment of epochal claims and a historical-rhetorical account of two of the defining figures of twentieth-century politics to date, and reveals how modern rhetoric is grounded in an older form of anti-politics and mobilises tropes that are as old as representative democracy itself.
"Offers new perspectives on the history of propaganda, explores how it has evolved during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and advances a nuanced understanding of what it means to call discourse propaganda"--
Author: Gae Lyn Henderson
Publisher: SIU Press
The study of propaganda's uses in modern democracy highlights important theoretical questions about normative rhetorical practices. Edited by Gae Lyn Henderson and M. J. Braun, Propaganda and Rhetoric in Democracy: History, Theory, Analysis advances our understanding of propaganda and rhetoric. Essays focus on historical figures, examining the development of the theory of propaganda during the rise of industrialism and the later changes of a mass-mediated society. Propaganda and Rhetoric in Democracy offers new perspectives on the history of propaganda, explores how it has evolved during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and advances a much more nuanced understanding of what it means to call discourse propaganda.
This dissertation studies historical and contemporary conservative rhetoric to argue that the political right's variant of American populism defines the rhetorical figure of "the people" as ontologically opposed to the state.
Author: Paul E. Johnson
This dissertation studies historical and contemporary conservative rhetoric to argue that the political right's variant of American populism defines the rhetorical figure of "the people" as ontologically opposed to the state. This state-phobic rhetoric poses a threat to democratic deliberation, I argue, because it presumptively cancels the very appeals to shared space that tend to make democracy thrive. By turns examining the new right, the 2008 financial crisis, the 2008 presidential campaign, and the rise of the Tea Party, this dissertation suggests American democracy is trapped in a populist feedback loop that creates tragic modes of melancholic democratic politics. This democratic melancholia contributes directly to contemporary political trends of hyper-partisanship.
In this book, James L. Kastely recasts Plato in just these lights, offering a vivid new reading of one of Plato’s most important works: the Republic.
Author: James L. Kastely
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Plato isn’t exactly thought of as a champion of democracy, and perhaps even less as an important rhetorical theorist. In this book, James L. Kastely recasts Plato in just these lights, offering a vivid new reading of one of Plato’s most important works: the Republic. At heart, Kastely demonstrates, the Republic is a democratic epic poem and pioneering work in rhetorical theory. Examining issues of justice, communication, persuasion, and audience, he uncovers a seedbed of theoretical ideas that resonate all the way up to our contemporary democratic practices. As Kastely shows, the Republic begins with two interrelated crises: one rhetorical, one philosophical. In the first, democracy is defended by a discourse of justice, but no one can take this discourse seriously because no one can see—in a world where the powerful dominate the weak—how justice is a value in itself. That value must be found philosophically, but philosophy, as Plato and Socrates understand it, can reach only the very few. In order to reach its larger political audience, it must become rhetoric; it must become a persuasive part of the larger culture—which, at that time, meant epic poetry. Tracing how Plato and Socrates formulate this transformation in the Republic, Kastely isolates a crucial theory of persuasion that is central to how we talk together about justice and organize ourselves according to democratic principles.
This book asks an important question often ignored by ancient historians and political scientists alike: Why did Athenian democracy work as well and for as long as it did?
Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher: Princeton University Press
This book asks an important question often ignored by ancient historians and political scientists alike: Why did Athenian democracy work as well and for as long as it did? Josiah Ober seeks the answer by analyzing the sociology of Athenian politics and the nature of communication between elite and nonelite citizens. After a preliminary survey of the development of the Athenian "constitution," he focuses on the role of political and legal rhetoric. As jurymen and Assemblymen, the citizen masses of Athens retained important powers, and elite Athenian politicians and litigants needed to address these large bodies of ordinary citizens in terms understandable and acceptable to the audience. This book probes the social strategies behind the rhetorical tactics employed by elite speakers. A close reading of the speeches exposes both egalitarian and elitist elements in Athenian popular ideology. Ober demonstrates that the vocabulary of public speech constituted a democratic discourse that allowed the Athenians to resolve contradictions between the ideal of political equality and the reality of social inequality. His radical reevaluation of leadership and political power in classical Athens restores key elements of the social and ideological context of the first western democracy.
The Rhetorical Surface of Democracy: How Deliberative Ideals Undermine Democratic Politics, by Scott Welsh, argues instead that it is our easy rejection of political motives, individual interests, and the rhetorical pursuit of power that ...
Author: Scott Welsh
Publisher: Lexington Books
Citizens, political theorists, and politicians alike insist that political or partisan motives get in the way of real democracy. Real democracy, we are convinced, is embodied by an ability to form collective judgments in the interest of the whole. The Rhetorical Surface of Democracy: How Deliberative Ideals Undermine Democratic Politics, by Scott Welsh, argues instead that it is our easy rejection of political motives, individual interests, and the rhetorical pursuit of power that poses the greatest danger to democracy. Our rejection of politics understood as a rhetorical contest for power is dangerous because democracy ultimately rests upon the perceived public legitimacy of public, political challenges to authority and the subsequent reconstitution of authority amid the impossibility of collective judgment. Hence, rather than searching for allegedly more authentic democracy, rooted in the pursuit of ever-illusive collective judgments, we must find ways to come to terms with the persistence of rhetorical, political contests for power as the essence of democracy itself. Welsh argues that the impossibility of any kind of public judgment is the fact that democracy must face. Given the impossibility of public judgment, rhetorical competitions for political power are not merely poor substitutes for an allegedly more authentic democratic practice, but constitute the essence of democracy itself. The Rhetorical Surface of Democracy is an iconoclastic investigation of the democratic process and public discourse.
By approaching human rights not as norms or laws, but as deliberative acts, Lyon conceives rights as relationships among people and as ongoing political and historical projects developing communal norms through global and cross-cultural ...
Author: Arabella Lyon
Publisher: Penn State Press
The twenty-first century is characterized by the global circulation of cultures, norms, representations, discourses, and human rights claims; the arising conflicts require innovative understandings of decision making. Deliberative Acts develops a new, cogent theory of performative deliberation. Rather than conceiving deliberation within the familiar frameworks of persuasion, identification, or procedural democracy, it privileges speech acts and bodily enactments that constitute deliberation itself, reorienting deliberative theory toward the initiating moment of recognition, a moment in which interlocutors are positioned in relationship to each other and so may begin to construct a new lifeworld. By approaching human rights not as norms or laws, but as deliberative acts, Lyon conceives rights as relationships among people and as ongoing political and historical projects developing communal norms through global and cross-cultural interactions.
In Saving Persuasion, Bryan Garsten uncovers the early modern origins of today's suspicious attitude toward rhetoric and seeks to loosen its grip on contemporary political theory.
Author: Bryan Garsten
Publisher: Harvard University Press
In Saving Persuasion, Bryan Garsten uncovers the early modern origins of today's suspicious attitude toward rhetoric and seeks to loosen its grip on contemporary political theory. He argues that the artful practice of persuasion ought to be viewed as a crucial part of democratic politics. Against theorists who advocate a rationalized ideal of deliberation aimed at consensus, Garsten argues that a controversial politics of partiality and passion can produce a more engaged and more deliberative kind of democratic discourse.
This book constitutes a serious effort to assess the veracity of these claims in the Asian context.
Author: Indrajit Banerjee
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Academic
Everywhere in the world, the advent of the Internet has been seen as a new catalyst for political freedom and democracy. Scholars and pundits have acclaimed the birth of the Internet as a new dawn of global democracy and have hailed the Internet as an insurmountable threat to authoritarian regimes. This book constitutes a serious effort to assess the veracity of these claims in the Asian context. It analyses the political impact of the Internet in its political environment on two levels: the expansion of the public sphere for a more vibrant political environment; facilitating political viewpoints and public debate on political issues. The book assesses the implications of socio-political structures on political discourses, specifically initiatives of NGOs and state governments in utilising the Internet to facilitate or hinder political participation.