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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The topic of political rhetoric concerns the strategies used to construct persuasive arguments in political debate. The study of political rhetoric therefore spans a range of academic disciplines and touches upon the fundamental activities of democratic politics. This chapter starts out by briefly reviewing recent academic work on changing styles of political communication and on the rhetorical strategies used in debates on emergent political issues. It then turns to focus on two conceptual issues of particular significance to political psychology. First, the chapter considers how a study of argumentation may enhance our understanding of political attitudes and cognition. Second, it considers how a study of the processes by which identities are claimed, displayed, and attributed in the course of political debate may enhance our appreciation of the role of ambivalence and vagueness in democratic political life.

Keywords: argument, ideology, ideological dilemmas, identity, pronouns, ambiguity

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