Strategic Maneuvering in Political Argumentation

David Zarefsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although political argumentation is not institutionalized in a formal sense, it does have recurrent patterns and characteristics. Its constraints include the absence of time limits, the lack of a clear terminus, heterogeneous audiences, and the assumption that access is open to all. These constraints make creative strategic maneuvering both possible and necessary. Among the common types of strategic maneuvering are changing the subject, modifying the relevant audience, appealing to liberal and conservative presumptions, reframing the argument, using condensation symbols, employing the locus of the irreparable, and argumentative use of figures and tropes. It is difficult to evaluate strategic maneuvering in political argumentation, however, because the activity types dictate wide latitude for the arguers, so there are few cases of unquestionable derailment. This essay originally was published in the journal Argumentation, 22 (2008), 317–330, published by Springer. It is based on a presentation for a conference on strategic maneuvering in specific fields and contexts, held at the University of Amsterdam in the fall of 2007.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArgumentation Library
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages87-101
Number of pages15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameArgumentation Library
Volume24
ISSN (Print)1566-7650
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1907

Keywords

  • Campaigns
  • Framing
  • Political argumentation
  • Presidential debates
  • Strategic maneuvering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics

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