Paradoxically, the term ‘rhetoric’ functions nowadays both as a name of an antique, even obsolete framework of research and as a fashionable buzzword that entails virtually any form of persuasive communication. Reflecting a growing scholarly interest in political discourses, this volume offers systematic, theoretically grounded insights into the flow of persuasion that constitutes politics today. Authors combine the interest in rhetoric within politics with different disciplinary orientations, such as linguistics, discourse analysis, argumentation research, political science, sociology, and history. Dealing with an extensive variety of topics, the case studies presented in the single chapters provide an empirically rich account of politics as an interactional and persuasive achievement. The volume provides a repertoire of research methodologies within the broadly defined discipline of rhetoric, as well as in-depth analyses of political discourses sensible to cultural differences. The reflexive stance adopted by the authors underlies the complexities and tensions inherent in the enactment of rhetoric within the political discourse rooted in various cultures. The book is thus a valuable resource for anyone interested in constructing a coherent research agenda to explore the rhetoric of political discourse. To scholars of rhetoric, discourse analysis, political science and social sciences the book may serve as a point of reference for their own academic activities, both scholarly and didactic. Due to the pervasiveness of the political persuasion in the citizens’ life, the topics covered in the volume are of social relevance, therefore they may also be of interest to critical readers at large.
Maria Załęska (University of Warsaw) is a linguist and a rhetorician, and the president of the Polish Rhetorical Society. She serves at the Editorial Board of the Forum Artis Rhetoricae. Her research focuses on rhetoric and argumentation theory as applied to the specialized and professional communication. Her publications concern the rhetoric as involved in the transmission of knowledge, the persuasive features of the expert discourse, the conflictual discourse as well as the relations between rhetoric and linguistics. Apart from articles, chapters in monographs and in anthologies, she has also co-edited an academic coursebook on rhetoric, entitled Ćwiczenia z retoryki (2010) and edited the volumes La rhétorique de la critique dans le discours universitaire. Conflits, polémiques, controverses (forthcoming), as well as Retorica del discorso accademico italiano: argomentare, convincere, valutare (forthcoming).
“The volume constitutes an important step in the analysis of political rhetoric. The fascinating yet scarcely known Eastern political discourse is explored here not from an external perspective, but from the internal one, by scholars who experienced directly its peculiarities. Yet, the scope of the research embraces also other rhetorical traditions of political discourse. The rich array of applied methods, from rhetoric through pragmadialectics to discourse analysis, combined with a choice of scarcely known sources, offer the reader the insight into cultural differences, modeled by histories and goals. The volume is a welcome contribution to a better understanding of local patterns within globalizing politics.”
—Prof. Christian Plantin, CNRS – University of Lyon (France)
“I am pleased to recommend the publication of Rhetoric and Politics: Central/Eastern Europe Perspectives, edited by Maria Zaleska. In a context in which rhetoric is enjoying a renaissance among many scholars, the book makes a significant contribution to the theoretical discussion of key rhetorical notions at the same time that it broadens the scope of this discussion, incorporating mainly central and eastern European perspectives and examples. The discussion the book promotes will nourish the development of a more encompassing rhetorical theory which will be a key component of ‘argumentation theory’ – a new cross disciplinary field which is emerging as a study of formal and informal argument which incorporates insights from philosophy, logic (formal and informal), rhetoric, dialectics, discourse analysis and related subjects. The selection of essays is timely, sophisticated and illuminating.”
—Leo Groarke, University of Windsor (Canada)
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