Rhetorical Citizenship and Public Deliberation
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Penn State University Press
Table of Contents
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Introduction: Citizenship as a Rhetorical Practice
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Citizenship has long been a keyword among educators, philosophers, and political theorists. Using the phrase “rhetorical citizenship” as a unifying perspective, this book aims to develop an understanding of citizenship as a discursive phenomenon in the sense that important civic functions take place in deliberation among...
SECTION I: Tracing Rhetorical Citizenship as Concept and Practice
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The chapters in this section are united by attempts to trace the ancestry, the emergence, and the growth of ideas of rhetorical citizenship and deliberative democracy, in theory and in practice. Kasper Møller Hansen, a political scientist, views deliberative democracy as a model that values...
Chapter 1: Deliberative Democracy: Mapping Out the Deliberative Turn in Democratic Theory
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Deliberative democracy is the current buzzword in contemporary democratic thought, but the concept is deeply rooted in the republican democratic tradition. Researchers often forget these democratic roots in their hurry to “jump on the bandwagon.” This chapter shows how...
Chapter 2: The Making of Truth in Debate: The Case of (and a Case For) the Early Sophists
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When someone describes a debate as sophistic, there is little probability that he or she actually intends to praise it. Rather, the term indicates that the debate is regarded as employing unfair or at least questionable means, such as bluffs, captious or quibbling arguments, or even fallacies or spurious reasoning, also known as sophisms...
Chapter 3: The Search for “Real” Democracy: Rhetorical Citizenship and Public Deliberation in France and the United States, 1870–1940
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Rhetorical citizenship is that set of communicative and deliberative practices that in a particular culture and political system allow citizens to enact and embody their citizenship, in contrast to practices that are merely “talking about” politics. We argue that historically the turn to public deliberative techniques, such as forums, citizen...
SECTION II: Public Deliberation as Rhetorical Practice
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Robert Hariman’s observation that “democracy depends on crafting in speech and writing a distinctive form of consciousness that is simultaneously—and often awkwardly and even contradictorily—public and social” (2007, 222) might serve as a motto...
Part I: Considering Norms of Communicative Behavior
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Chapter 4: The Respect Fallacy: Limits of Respect in Public Dialogue
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Deliberative politics should start from an adequate and differentiated image of our dialogical practices and their normative structures; the ideals that we eventually propose for deliberative politics should be tested against this background. In this chapter I argue that equal respect, understood as respect a priori conferred on persons...
Chapter 5: Dialectical Citizenship? Some Thoughts on the Role of Pragmatics in the Analysis of Public Debate
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It is widely recognized that the life of the middle sibling is often pretty tough. You don’t get to be spoiled like the younger sibling, and you don’t get the attention and freedom of the older one. You get the worst of both worlds. Dialectic is the middle sibling between little sister Rhetoric and big sister Logic. Seen from the logical...
Chapter 6: Provocative Style: The Gaarder Debate Example
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Everyday debates rarely live up to the ideals of reason and soundness of argumentation. Thus criticism of actual political and cultural debates is often negative. My claim is that provocative style, mordant irony, and caustic sarcasm are not simply violations of deliberative ideals but vital elements of debate...
Chapter 7: Virtual Deliberations: Talking Politics Online in Hungary
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Deliberative theories of democracy recognize the importance of “ spontaneous, unsubverted circuits of communication in a public sphere that is not programmed to reach decisions and thus is not organised” (Habermas 1997, 57). This stands in marked contrast to traditional political and social thought, which generally fail...
Part II: Critiques of “Elite” Discourse
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Chapter 8: Dis-playing Democracy: The Rhetoric of Duplicity
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Toward the end of the nineteenth century, some European writers of literature saw themselves in a new political role. According to the influential Danish critic Georg Brandes, the vitality of a literary work from then on depended on its ability “to submit problems to debate.” It was a time when the specific pathos...
Chapter 9: Rhetoric of War, Rhetoric of Gender
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The protection-of-women-and-children scenario has always been common in war rhetoric. Viewing war and security through a gendered lens may reveal “how a certain logic of gendered meanings and images helps organize the way people interpret events and circumstances, along with their positions and possibilities for action...
Chapter 10: Speaking of Terror: Norms of Rhetorical Citizenship in Danish Public Discourse
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This chapter explores the notion of rhetorical citizenship and suggests its relevance to studies of rhetoric in society. My analysis suggests that an underdeveloped appreciation of rhetoric’s role in public deliberation can be witnessed in a case study where responses to two public statements work to exclude particular points...
Chapter 11: “This May Be the Law, But Should It Be?”: Tony Blair’s Rhetoric of Exception
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In their fight against terrorism, modern states seem to install a state of exception on a permanent basis. Special competencies are created that allow authorities to violate fundamental rights, such as habeas corpus and the freedom of speech, for an unspecified period of time. In the 1920s, state of exception became...
Part III: Rhetorical Citizenship Across Communicative Settings
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Chapter 12: I Agree, But . . .: Finding Alternatives to Controversial Projects Through Public Deliberation
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Whoever values free speech cannot avoid discussing the merits of public deliberation. Through public deliberation, citizens who have opposing views on issues can explain the foundations of their beliefs. In Asen’s discourse theory of citizenship, public deliberation...
Chapter 13: Deliberation as Behavior in Public
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The deliberative turn in democratic theory in the 1990s was an attempt to identify democratic processes relevant to a multicultural society (Dryzek 2000). Grappling with the increasing inability of citizens to bring their differences on moral issues into the realm of political decisions, political scientists turned to the power...
Chapter 14: Homing in on the Arguments: The Rhetorical Construction of Subject Positions in Debates on the Danish Real Estate Market
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The home is often perceived as the most private of places, a sanctuary, the place to withdraw to from the bustle of the world. However, there exists a historical link between real estate and citizenship. When democratization swept across Western societies, the right to vote was usually connected to owning property (as well as to being...
Chapter 15: Danish Revue: Satire as Rhetorical Citizenship
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This chapter discusses Danish revue as rhetorical discourse, exploring the rhetorical character of revue and the persuasive potential and social function of this satiric voice within public debate. I focus on a song called “Did We Learn Anything?” (Lærte vi noget?) from 2006, dealing with the so-called cartoon crisis...
SECTION III: Toward Better Deliberative Practices
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Chapter 16: Presidential Primary Debate as a Genre of Journalistic Discourse: How can We Put Debate into the Debates?
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During presidential primary election campaigns in the United States, news organizations televise what they call “debates.” These so-called debates follow various formats, but most frequently journalists direct questions to panels of candidates. As the primary campaigns wear on and the number of candidates drops, the...
Chapter 17: A Tool for Rhetorical Citizenship: Generalizing the Status System
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In this chapter I suggest how to generalize and integrate ancient status theories into one coherent scheme. I submit that an approach to public argument that integrates principles from status thinking could be an important element in what we may call “rhetorical citizenship.” I do not pretend to offer a new and more accurate interpretation of what certain ancient thinkers wrote or had in mind but aim to...
Chapter 18: Interpretive Debates Revisited
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In modern multicultural democracies, individuals and groups can share a set of norms, principles, and practices without necessarily agreeing on their meaning. These norms and principles are inscribed in our written or unwritten constitutions, our ways of life, our ethical practices, and our political assumptions. Principles...
About the Contributors
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Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Rhetoric and Democratic Deliberation