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Palgrave Macmillan

Rhetoric in British Politics and Society

ISBN 9781137325525
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Rhetoric, Politics and Society

The art of rhetoric is central to the practice of politics. It also, however, plays an important role in civic and private life, where it is employed to persuade, negotiate and resolve disputes on a daily basis. Using the Aristotelian categories of ethos (appeals based on the character of the speaker), pathos (appeals to the emotions of an audience) and logos (appeals to reason), the contributors to this collection explore topics ranging from Prime Minister's Questions and Welsh devolution to political satire and the rhetoric of cultural racism. 

This collection provides a highly accessible and engaging discussion of a variety of issues, while casting new light on the place and function of rhetoric in contemporary Britain. As such, it will appeal to a wide audience, including scholars and students of rhetoric, political communication, British politics, cultural studies and sociology.

Judi Atkins is Research Fellow in British Politics at the University of Leeds, UK. She is author of Justifying New Labour Policy (2011), as well as several articles on rhetoric, ideology and policy in British politics. Her current project explores the rhetoric of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.
Alan Finlayson is Professor of Political and Social Theory at the University of East Anglia, UK. He has written extensively about the ideology of New Labour and has made the case for a 'Rhetorical Political Analysis' in articles published in journals such as Economy and Society, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations and Political Studies.
James Martin is Professor of Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. His interests lie in political theory, rhetoric and political analysis. He is author and editor of numerous publications, including: Politics and Rhetoric, Piero Gobeti and the Politics of Liberal Revolution, Third Way Discourse (with Steve Bastow) and Gramsci's Political Analysis. 
Nick Turnbull is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester, where he teaches a postgraduate course on political rhetoric. He is the author of Michel Meyer's Problematology: Questioning and Society (2014) and has published articles on rhetoric in the journals Philosophy and Rhetoric and the Revue Internationale de Philosophie.

Introduction: Rhetoric and the British Way of Politics; Alan Finlayson and James Martin


1. The Rhetoric of Rhetoric; Nicholas O'Shaughnessy
2. Rhetorical Technique – Aphorisms and Political Persuasion; Robin Burrow and Kevin Morrell
3. Rhetoric and Parliamentary Leadership - Prime Minister's Questions; Christopher Reid
4. Rhetoric and Political Intervention - Churchill's World War Two Speeches in Context; Richard Toye


5. Rhetoric and Party Politics - Looking Beyond the Leader; Katharine Dommett
6. Rhetoric and the Regions - Time and Space in Welsh Labour Rhetoric on Devolution; David S. Moon
7. Rhetoric and Morality - How the Coalition Justifies Welfare Policy; Richard Hayton and Libby McEnhill


8. Rhetoric and Multiculturalism - David Cameron's 'King James' Speech and the Crisis of Multiculturalism; Bridget Byrne
9. Rhetoric and Race - David Starkey and the 2011 English Riots; Neil Foxlee
10. Rhetoric and Satire - Spitting Image and Political Comedy; Andrew S. Crines
11. Rhetoric and the Everyday - Fairness as Rhetorical Force and the Micro-Politics of Intentionality in a North Manchester Town; Katherine Smith

Conclusion: Rhetoric, British Identity and Interdisciplinarity; Judi Atkins and Nick Turnbull

Bridget Byrne University of Manchester, UK
Robin Burrow, University of Buckingham, UK
Andrew Scott Crines, University of Leeds, UK
Katherine Dommett, University of Sheffield, UK
Neil Foxlee, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Richard Hayton, University of Leeds, UK
Libby McEnhill, University of Huddersfield, UK
Kevin Morrell, University of Warwick, UK
Nicholas O'Shaughnessy, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
Christopher Reid, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
Katherine L. SmithUniversity of Manchester, UK
Richard Toye, University of Exeter, UK


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