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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an intellectual portrait of rhetorical analysis and related performance themes in political leadership. The focus is on the intellectual integrity of the study of leadership rhetoric. The contribution of Aristotle’s Rhetoric is emphasized as a primary influence in theories and practices of leadership rhetoric. Uhr argues that classical themes of deliberative rhetoric have provided foundations for contemporary theories of deliberative leadership. Foundations for measuring developments in leadership rhetoric include not only Aristotle’s account but also nineteenth-century renovations by the British statesman Gladstone, US political thinker and leader Woodrow Wilson, and German theorist Max Weber. Later practices include US debates over ‘the rhetorical presidency’, global debates over deliberative democracy, and European debates over reflexive dramaturgy. The chapter ends with emerging themes in the scholarly literature of leadership rhetoric.

Keywords: rhetoric, persuasion, deliberation, populism, democracy, Aristotle

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