It is common knowledge that televised political ads are meant to appeal to voters' emotions, yet little is known about how or if these tactics actually work. Ted Brader's innovative book is the first scientific study to examine the effects that these emotional appeals in political advertising have on voter decision-making.
At the heart of this book are ingenious experiments, conducted by Brader during an election, with truly eye-opening results that upset conventional wisdom. They show, for example, that simply changing the music or imagery of ads while retaining the same text provokes completely different responses. He reveals that politically informed citizens are more easily manipulated by emotional appeals than less-involved citizens and that positive "enthusiasm ads" are in fact more polarizing than negative "fear ads." Black-and-white video images are ten times more likely to signal an appeal to fear or anger than one of enthusiasm or pride, and the emotional appeal triumphs over the logical appeal in nearly three-quarters of all political ads.
Brader backs up these surprising findings with an unprecedented survey of emotional appeals in contemporary political campaigns. Politicians do set out to campaign for the hearts and minds of voters, and, for better or for worse, it is primarily through hearts that minds are won. Campaigning for Hearts and Minds will be indispensable for anyone wishing to understand how American politics is influenced by advertising today.
As the number of women in the U.S. Senate grows, so does the number of citizens represented by women senators. At the same time, gender remains a key factor in senators’ communications to constituents as well as in news media portrayals of senators. Focusing on 32 male and female senators during the 2006 congressional election year, Kim L. Fridkin and Patrick J. Kenney examine in detail senators’ official websites, several thousand press releases and local news stories, and surveys of 18,000 citizens to discern constituents’ attitudes about their senators.
The authors conclude that gender role expectations and stereotypes do indeed constrain representational and campaign messages and influence news coverage of both candidates and elected senators. Further, while citizens appear to be less influenced by entrenched stereotypes, they pay more attention to female senators’ messages and become more knowledgeable about them, in comparison to male senators.
Does talking about civic issues encourage civic participation? In his innovative book, Civic Talk, Casey Klofstad shows that our discussions about politics and current events with our friends, colleagues, and relatives—"civic talk"—has the ability to turn thought into action—from voting to volunteering in civic organizations.
Klofstad’s path breaking research is the first to find evidence of a causal relationship between the casual chatting and civic participation. He employs survey information and focus groups consisting of randomly assigned college freshman roommates to show this behavior in action. Klofstad also illustrates how civic talk varies under different circumstances and how the effects can last years into the future. Based on these findings, Klofstad contends that social context plays a central role in maintaining the strength of democracy. This conclusion cuts against the grain of previous research, which primarily focuses on individual-level determinants of civic participation, and negates social-level explanations.
An avid high school debater and enthusiastic student body president, Craig Smith seemed destined for a life in public service from an early age. As a sought-after speechwriter, Smith had a front-row seat at some of the most important events of the twentieth century, meeting with Robert Kennedy and Richard Nixon, advising Governor Ronald Reagan, writing for President Ford, serving as a campaign manager for a major U.S. senator’s reelection campaign, and writing speeches for a contender for the Republican nomination for president. Life in the volatile world of politics wasn’t always easy, however, and as a closeted gay man, Smith struggled to reconcile his private and professional lives. In this revealing memoir, Smith sheds light on what it takes to make it as a speechwriter in a field where the only constant is change. While bouncing in and out of the academic world, Smith transitions from consultantships with George H. W. Bush and the Republican caucus of the U.S. Senate to a position with Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca. When Smith returns to Washington, D.C., as president and founder of the Freedom of Expression Foundation, he becomes a leading player on First Amendment issues in the nation’s capital. Returning at long last to academia, Smith finds happiness coming out of the closet and reaping the benefits of a dedicated and highly successful career.
"Lipinski's impressive analysis of members' communications with constituents yields major insights about partisanship, effects on reelection prospects, and constituent evaluations."
--Bruce Oppenheimer, Vanderbilt University
"The communication between representatives and their constituents is where election strategy and policy explanations are merged and, until now, we have had only anecdotal evidence. Lipinski's book sheds light on this important part of American political life."
--David Brady, Stanford University
Congressional Communication challenges the notion that legislators "run against Congress" by routinely denigrating the institution. Using a unique, systematic analysis of the communication from members of Congress to their constituents over a five-year period, Daniel Lipinski challenges this notion, demonstrating key partisan differences in representatives' portrayals of congressional activities. While members of the majority party tend to report that the institution-and, hence, their party-is performing well, members of the minority party are more likely to accuse Congress of doing a poor job.
The findings in Congressional Communication offer the first strong empirical evidence from the electoral arena in support of controversial party government theories. Moving beyond previous studies that look only at legislators' messages, Lipinski's research also reveals the effects of these politically strategic claims on voters, whose interpretations don't necessarily bear out the legislators' intended effects.
Daniel Lipinski is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee.
With growing anxiety about American identity fueling debates about the nation’s borders, ethnicities, and languages, Crossing Borders, Drawing Boundaries provides a timely and important rhetorical exploration of divisionary bounds that divide an Us from a Them. The concept of “border” calls for attention, and the authors in this collection respond by describing it, challenging it, confounding it, and, at times, erasing it.
Motivating us to see anew the many lines that unite, divide, and define us, the essays in this volume highlight how discourse at borders and boundaries can create or thwart conditions for establishing identity and admitting difference. Each chapter analyzes how public discourse at the site of physical or metaphorical borders presents or confounds these conditions and, consequently, effective participation—a key criterion for a modern democracy. The settings are various, encompassing vast public spaces such as cities and areas within them; the rhetorical spaces of history books, museum displays, activist events, and media outlets; and the intimate settings of community and classroom conversations.
Crossing Borders, Drawing Boundaries shows how rich communication can be when diverse cultures intersect and create new opportunities for human connection, even while different populations, cultures, age groups, and political parties adopt irreconcilable positions. It will be of interest to scholars in rhetoric and literacy studies and students in rhetorical analysis and public discourse.
Contributors include Andrea Alden, Cori Brewster, Robert Brooke, Randolph Cauthen, Jennifer Clifton, Barbara Couture, Vanessa Cozza, Anita C. Hernández, Roberta J. Herter, Judy Holiday, Elenore Long, José A. Montelongo, Karen P. Peirce, Jonathan P. Rossing, Susan A. Schiller, Christopher Schroeder, Tricia C. Serviss, Mónica Torres, Kathryn Valentine, Victor Villanueva, and Patti Wojahn.
Forging the World brings together leading scholars in International Relations (IR) and Communication Studies to investigate how, when, and why strategic narratives shape the structure, politics, and policies of the global system. Put simply, strategic narratives are tools that political actors employ to promote their interests, values, and aspirations for the international order by managing expectations and altering the discursive environment. These narratives define “who we are” and “what kind of world order we want.”
Framing American Politics
Karen Callaghan University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005 Library of Congress JA85.2.U6F73 2005 | Dewey Decimal 320.973014
Most issues in American political life are complex and multifaceted, subject to multiple interpretations and points of view. How issues are framed matters enormously for the way they are understood and debated. For example, is affirmative action a just means toward a diverse society, or is it reverse discrimination? Is the war on terror a defense of freedom and liberty, or is it an attack on privacy and other cherished constitutional rights? Bringing together some of the leading researchers in American politics, Framing American Politics explores the roles that interest groups, political elites, and the media play in framing political issues for the mass public.
The contributors address some of the most hotly debated foreign and domestic policies in contemporary American life, focusing on both the origins and process of framing and its effects on citizens. In so doing, these scholars clearly demonstrate how frames can both enhance and hinder political participation and understanding.
By highlighting the degree to which meaning making in public policy is more a cultural struggle than a rational and analytical project, Governing Narratives brings public administration back into a political context.
In Governing Narratives, Hugh T. Miller takes a narrative approach in conceptualizing the politics of public policy. In this approach, signs and ideographs—that is, constellations of images, feelings, values, and conceptualization—are woven into policy narratives through the use of story lines. For example, the ideograph “acid rain” is part of an environmental narrative that links dead trees to industrial air pollution. The struggle for meaning capture is a political struggle, most in evidence during times of change or when status quo practices are questioned.
Public policy is often considered to be the end result of empirical studies, quantitative analyses, and objective evaluation. But the empirical norms of science and rationality that have informed public policy research have also hidden from view those vexing aspects of public policy discourse outside of methodological rigor.
Phrases such as “three strikes and you’re out” or “flood of immigrants” or “don’t ask, don’t tell” or “crack baby” or “the death tax” have come to play crucial roles in public policy, not because of the reality they are purported to reflect, but because the meanings, emotions, and imagery connoted by these symbolizations resonate in our culture.
Social practices, the very material of social order and cultural stability, are inextricably linked to the policy discourse that accompanies social change. Eventually a winning narrative dominates and becomes institutionalized into practice and implemented via public administration. Policy is symbiotically associated with these winning narratives. Practices might change again, but this inevitably entails renewed political contestation. The competition among symbolizations does not imply that the best narrative wins, only that a narrative has won for the time being. However, unsettling the established narrative is a difficult political task, particularly when the narrative has evolved into habitual institutionalized practice.
Governing Narratives convincingly links public policy to the discourse and rhetoric of deliberative politics.
Information and Elections
R. Michael Alvarez University of Michigan Press, 1998 Library of Congress JK528.A64 1998 | Dewey Decimal 324.973092
R. Michael Alvarez examines how voters make their decisions in presidential elections. He begins with the assumption that voters have neither the incentive nor the inclination to be well-informed about politics and presidential candidates. Candidates themselves have incentives to provide ambiguous information about themselves, their records and their issue positions. Yet the author shows that a tremendous amount of information is made available about presidential candidates. And he uncovers clear and striking evidence that people are not likely to vote for candidates about whom they know very little. Alvarez explores how voters learn about candidates through the course of a campaign. He provides a detailed analysis of the media coverage of presidential campaigns and shows that there is a tremendous amount of media coverage of these campaigns, that much of this coverage is about issues and is informative, and that voters learn from this coverage.
The paperback edition of this work has been updated to include information on the 1996 Presidential election.
Information and Elections is a book that will be read by all who are interested in campaigns and electoral behavior in presidential and other elections.
"Thoughtfully conceptualized, painstakingly analyzed, with empirically significant conclusions on presidential election voting behavior, this book is recommended for both upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections." --Choice
R. Michael Alvarez is Associate Professor of Political Science, California Institute of Technology.
Intimate Enemies is a brilliant study of the transformation of Bolshevik Party ideology, language, and power relations during the crucial period leading up to Stalin's seizure of power. Combining extensive research in recently opened Soviet archives with an insightful rereading of intra-Party struggles, Igal Halfin uncovers this evolution in the language of Bolshevism. This language defined the methods for judging true party loyalty-in what Halfin describes as an examination of the 'hermeneutics of the soul,' and became the basis for prosecuting the Party's enemies, particularly the “intimate enemies” within the Party itself. Halfin argues that Bolshevism-which claimed sole access to truth and morality-ultimately demonized its enemies, and became in effect a theology that facilitated a monumental power shift.
In an era when the value of the humanities and qualitative inquiry has been questioned in academia and beyond, Making the Case is an engaging and timely collection that brings together a veritable who’s who of public address scholars to illustrate the power of case-based scholarly argument and to demonstrate how critical inquiry into a specific moment speaks to general contexts and theories. Providing both a theoretical framework and a wealth of historically situated texts, Making the Case spans from Homeric Greece to twenty-first-century America. The authors examine the dynamic interplay of texts and their concomitant rhetorical situations by drawing on a number of case studies, including controversial constitutional arguments put forward by activists and presidents in the nineteenth century, inventive economic pivots by Franklin Roosevelt and Alan Greenspan, and the rhetorical trajectory and method of Barack Obama.
Metaphorical World Politics
Francis A. Beer Michigan State University Press, 2004 Library of Congress JA85.M45 2004 | Dewey Decimal 320.014
Metaphorical World Politics argues that language and metaphor are important parts of international political reality. Metaphors and world politics have appeared together many times in recent history. The blended space that results is metaphorical world politics, a real- world game for political and scientific actors. This collection picks up the challenge to unravel the game, to examine its rules, to clarify the mixture of images and facts that is so real in politics but so exceptional in science. Scholars have studied metaphor mostly from a linguistic or a literary point of view. This work forces those primarily interested in metaphors to think about applications and implications beyond the text. Others concerned mainly with world politics may consider how metaphors may help to energize and structure international political thought and action.
Scholars have most often studied world politics embedded in so-called "facts." Metaphorical World Politics shows that facts are misleading in their compactness, that facts are often meaningless, that metaphors in contrast are energetic processors of meaning, and that facts in world politics are nothing more than weak emulsions of metaphor. This work outlines the general place of metaphor on the map of politics and highlights the location of specific metaphors on the political terrain.
From the presidential level down, men and women who run for political office confront different electoral realities. In her probing study, Navigating Gendered Terrain, Kelly Dittmar investigates how gender influences the campaign strategy and behavior of candidates today. Concurrently, she shows how candidates' strategic and tactical decisions can influence the gendered nature of campaign institutions.
Navigating Gendered Terrain addresses how gender is used to shape how campaigns are waged by influencing insider perceptions of and decisions about effective campaign messages, images, and tactics within party and political contexts. Dittmar uses survey information and interviews with candidates, political consultants, and other campaign professionals to reveal how gender-informed advertising, websites, and overall presentation to voters respond to stereotypes and perceptions of female and male candidates.
She closes her book by offering a feminist interpretation of women as candidates and explaining how the unintended outcomes of political campaigns reinforce prevailing ideas about gender and candidacy.
Jonathan Reed Winkler Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress D619.W697 2008 | Dewey Decimal 940.32273
In an illuminating study that blends diplomatic, military, technology, and business history, Winkler shows how U.S. officials during World War I discovered the enormous value of global communications. In this absorbing history, Winkler sheds light on the early stages of the global infrastructure that helped launch the United States as the predominant power of the century.
Now more than ever, in the arenas of national security, diplomacy, and military operations, effective communication strategy is of paramount importance. A 24/7 television, radio, and Internet news cycle paired with an explosion in social media demands it.
According to James P. Farwell, an expert in communication strategy and cyber war who has advised the U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND and the Department of Defense, and worked nationally and internationally as a media and political consultant, this book examines how colorful figures in history from Julius Caesar to Winston Churchill, Napoleon to Hugo Chavez, Martin Luther to Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, have forged communication strategies to influence audiences.
Mark Twain said that history doesn't repeat itself, but rhymes. In showing how major leaders have moved audiences, Farwell bears out Twain's thesis. Obama and Luther each wanted to reach a mass audience. Obama used social media and the Internet. Luther used the printing press. But the strategic mindset was similar. Hugo Chavez identifies with Simon Bolivar, but his attitude towards the media more closely echoes Napoleon. Caesar used coins to build his image in ways that echo the modern use of campaign buttons. His "triumphs," enormous parades to celebrate military victories, celebrated his achievements and aimed to impress the populace with his power and greatness. Adolph Hitler employed a similar tactic with his torchlight parades.
The book shows how the US government's approach to strategic communication has been misguided. It offers a colorful, incisive critical evaluation of the concepts, doctrines, and activities that the US Department of Defense and Department of State employ for psychological operations, military information support operations, propaganda, and public diplomacy.
Persuasion and Power is a book about the art of communication strategy, how it is used, where, and why. Farwell's adroit use of vivid examples produce a well-researched, entertaining story that illustrates how its principles have made a critical difference throughout history in the outcomes of crises, conflicts, politics, and diplomacy across different cultures and societies.
Poetry and the Police
Robert Darnton Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress DC729.D37 2010 | Dewey Decimal 944.361034
Darnton has ably mined the available evidence surrounding the 1749 investigation and string of arrests for sedition known as the "Affair of the Fourteen" and produced a remarkable analysis of a subversive Parisian public discourse that openly attacked the king, his mistress, new taxes, and an unpopular peace treaty. Darnton lucidly reconstructs a world where information traveled through poems and songs set to familiar melodies; he reminds us that our world of instant communication, tweets, and 24-hour news cycles is not as distinctive as we may believe. With rich end matter that includes the lyrics of poems and songs as well as a link to a superb recording of some of the songs by cabaret artist Helene Delavault, this interdisciplinary piece is highly recommended for serious students across the humanities as well as readers with an interest in 18th-century French culture and politics.
Post-Truth Rhetoric and Composition is a timely exploration of the increasingly widespread and disturbing effect of “post-truth” on public discourse in the United States. Bruce McComiskey analyzes the instances of bullshit, fake news, feigned ethos, hyperbole, and other forms of post-truth rhetoric employed in recent political discourse.
The book frames “post-truth” within rhetorical theory, referring to the classic triad of logos, ethos, and pathos. McComiskey shows that it is the loss of grounding in logos that exposes us to the dangers of post-truth. As logos is the realm of fact, logic, truth, and valid reasoning, Western society faces increased risks—including violence, unchecked libel, and tainted elections—when the value of reason is diminished and audiences allow themselves to be swayed by pathos and ethos. Evaluations of truth are deferred or avoided, and mendacity convincingly masquerades as a valid form of argument.
In a post-truth world, where neither truth nor falsehood has reliable meaning, language becomes purely strategic, without reference to anything other than itself. This scenario has serious consequences not only for our public discourse but also for the study of composition.
Essays in the The Prettier Doll focus on the same local controversy: in 2001,a third-grade girl in Colorado submitted an experiment to the school science fair. She asked 30 adults and 30 fifth-graders which of two Barbie dolls was prettier. One doll was black, the other white, and each wore a different colored dress. All of the adults picked the Barbie in the purple dress, while nearly all of the fifth graders picked the white Barbie. When the student’s experiment was banned an uproar resulted that spread to the national media. School board meetings and other public exchanges highlighted the potent intersection of local and national social concerns: education, censorship, science, racism, and tensions in foundation values such as liberty, democracy, and free speech.
For the authors of these essays, the exchanges that arose from “Barbiegate” illustrate vividly the role of rhetoric at the grassroots level, fundamental to civic judgment in a democratic state and at the core of “ordinary democracy.”
How often do we hear that Americans are so ignorant about politics that their civic competence is impaired, and that the media are to blame because they do a dismal job of informing the public? Processing Politics shows that average Americans are far smarter than the critics believe. Integrating a broad range of current research on how people learn (from political science, social psychology, communication, physiology, and artificial intelligence), Doris Graber shows that televised presentations—at their best—actually excel at transmitting information and facilitating learning. She critiques current political offerings in terms of their compatibility with our learning capacities and interests, and she considers the obstacles, both economic and political, that affect the content we receive on the air, on cable, or on the Internet.
More and more people rely on information from television and the Internet to make important decisions. Processing Politics offers a sound, well-researched defense of these remarkably versatile media, and challenges us to make them work for us in our democracy.
The fledgling United States fought a war to achieve independence from Britain, but as John Adams said, the real revolution occurred “in the minds and hearts of the people” before the armed conflict ever began. Putting the practices of communication at the center of this intellectual revolution, Protocols of Liberty shows how American patriots—the Whigs—used new forms of communication to challenge British authority before any shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.
To understand the triumph of the Whigs over the Brit-friendly Tories, William B. Warner argues that it is essential to understand the communication systems that shaped pre-Revolution events in the background. He explains the shift in power by tracing the invention of a new political agency, the Committee of Correspondence; the development of a new genre for political expression, the popular declaration; and the emergence of networks for collective political action, with the Continental Congress at its center. From the establishment of town meetings to the creation of a new postal system and, finally, the Declaration of Independence, Protocols of Liberty reveals that communication innovations contributed decisively to nation-building and continued to be key tools in later American political movements, like abolition and women’s suffrage, to oppose local custom and state law.
The Electoral College has played an important role in presidential politics since our nation’s founding, but surprisingly little information exists about precisely how it affects campaign strategy. Daron R. Shaw, a scholar who also worked as a strategist in both Bush-Cheney campaigns, has written the first book to go inside the past two presidential elections and reveal how the race to 270 was won—and lost.
Shaw’s nonpartisan study lays out how both the Democrats and the Republicans developed strategies to win decisive electoral votes by targeting specific states and media markets. Drawing on his own experience with Republican battle plans, candidate schedules, and advertising purchases—plus key contacts in the Gore and Kerry camps—Shaw goes on to show that both sides used information on weekly shifts in candidate support to reallocate media buys and schedule appearances. Most importantly, he uses strikingly original research to prove that these carefully constructed plans significantly affected voters’ preferences and opinions—not in huge numbers, but enough to shift critical votes in key battlegrounds.
Bridging the gap between those who study campaigns and those who conduct them, The Race to 270 will provide political scientists and practitioners alike with fresh insights about the new strategies that stem from one of our oldest institutions.
Reagan and Public Discourse in America is a critical assessment of the impact of the administration of President Ronald Reagan on public discourse in the United States. The authors show that more than any president since John F. Kennedy, Reagan’s influence flowed from his rhetorical practices. And he is remembered as having reversed certain trends and cast the U.S. on a new course. The contributors to this insightful collection of essays show that Reagan’s rhetorical tactics were matters of primary concern to his administration’s chief political strategists.
Rhetoric and Demagoguery
Patricia Roberts-Miller Southern Illinois University Press, 2019 Library of Congress P301.5.P67R65 2019 | Dewey Decimal 808.0427
In a culture of profit-driven media, demagoguery is a savvy short-term rhetorical strategy. Once it becomes the norm, individuals are more likely to employ it and, in that way, increase its power by making it seem the only way of disagreeing with or about others. When that happens, arguments about policy are replaced by arguments about identity—and criticism is met with accusations that the critic has the wrong identity (weak, treacherous, membership in an out-group) or the wrong feelings (uncaring, heartless).
Patricia Roberts-Miller proposes a definition of demagoguery based on her study of groups and cultures that have talked themselves into disastrously bad decisions. She argues for seeing demagoguery as a way for people to participate in public discourse, and not necessarily as populist or heavily emotional. Demagoguery, she contends, depoliticizes political argument by making all issues into questions of identity. She broaches complicated questions about its effectiveness at persuasion, proposes a new set of criteria, and shows how demagoguery plays out in regard to individuals not conventionally seen as demagogues.
Roberts-Miller looks at the discursive similarities among the Holocaust in early twentieth-century Germany, the justification of slavery in the antebellum South, the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II, and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, among others. She examines demagoguery among powerful politicians and jurists (Earl Warren, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court) as well as more conventional populists (Theodore Bilbo, two-time governor of Mississippi; E. S. Cox, cofounder of the Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America). She also looks at notorious demagogues (Athenian rhetor Cleon, Ann Coulter) and lesser-known public figures (William Hak-Shing Tam, Gene Simmons).
Bryan Garsten Harvard University Press, 2006 Library of Congress JA85.G38 2006 | Dewey Decimal 320.014
In Saving Persuasion, Bryan Garsten uncovers the early modern origins of today's suspicious attitude toward rhetoric and seeks to loosen its grip on contemporary political theory. He argues that the artful practice of persuasion ought to be viewed as a crucial part of democratic politics. Against theorists who advocate a rationalized ideal of deliberation aimed at consensus, Garsten argues that a controversial politics of partiality and passion can produce a more engaged and more deliberative kind of democratic discourse.
For almost thirty years, William F. Gavin wrote speeches at the highest levels of government. Speechwright is his insider’s view of politics, a shrewd critique of presidential and congressional rhetoric, and a personal look at the political leaders for whom he wrote speeches. While serving President Richard Nixon and candidate Ronald Reagan, Gavin advocated for “working rhetoric”—well-crafted, clear, hard-hitting arguments that did not off er visions of the unattainable, but instead limited political discourse to achievable ends reached through practical means. Filled with hard-earned wisdom about politics and its discontents, Speechwright describes Gavin’s successes, his failures, and his call for political rhetoric built on strong argument rather than the mere search for eloquence.
Whether at parties, around the dinner table, or at the office, people talk about politics all the time. Yet while such conversations are a common part of everyday life, political scientists know very little about how they actually work. In Talking about Politics, Katherine Cramer Walsh provides an innovative, intimate study of how ordinary people use informal group discussions to make sense of politics.
Walsh examines how people rely on social identities—their ideas of who "we" are—to come to terms with current events. In Talking about Politics, she shows how political conversation, friendship, and identity evolve together, creating stronger communities and stronger social ties. Political scientists, sociologists, and anyone interested in how politics really works need to read this book.
Theater of State is an innovative study of performance in international relations. It asks why states and their representatives come to the United Nations to perform for a global audience, and how those audiences in turn may intervene in the spectacle of global politics.
A study of the lived experience of spectacular politics on the world stage, Theater of State looks at key spaces in which global politics play out in debating forums of the UN, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and peacekeeping operations in Africa and the Middle East, as well as at a variety of related media productions (plays, concerts, television programs, and so on). It argues for recognizing that culture and politics form a unified field organized by the theatricality of its actors and the engaged spectatorship of its audiences. It provides a theory of global political spectatorship: of how the world watches itself in institutions and beyond, and of what citizens and diplomats do by watching.
The author draws on theories of theater, performance, and politics to offer new ways of approaching issues of war, cosmopolitanism, international justice, governance, and activism. Situated at the nexus of two disciplines, performance studies and political science, this volume encourages conversations between the two that each might offer lessons to the other.
Thomas Remington discusses the methods used by the Communist Party to manage communications in Soviet society. Covering literature produced by Soviet scholars from the 1970s and 1980s, that studies the organization, content, usage, and impact of propaganda, Remington views how Party officials intrinsically manage the structure of the Soviet communications system, through rhetoric of both conservatism and reform.
Public deliberation is essential to democracy, but the public can be fooled as well as enlightened. In three case studies of media coverage in the 1990s, Benjamin Page explores the role of the press in structuring political discussion.
Page shows how the New York Times presented a restricted set of opinions on whether to go to war with Iraq, shutting out discussion of compromises favored by many Americans. He then examines the media's negative reaction to the Bush administration's claim that riots in Los Angeles were caused by welfare programs. Finally, he shows how talk shows overcame the elite media's indifference to widespread concern about Zoe Baird's hiring of illegal aliens. Page's provocative conclusion identifies the conditions under which media outlets become political actors and actively shape and limit the ideas and information available to the public.
Arguing persuasively that a diversity of viewpoints is essential to true public deliberation, this book will interest students of American politics, communications, and media studies.
Writing Political History Today
Edited by Willibald Steinmetz, Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey, and Heinz-Gerhard Haupt Campus Verlag, 2013 Library of Congress D443.W725 2013 | Dewey Decimal 909.82
In recent years political history has been rediscovered by historians. In this volume the contributors approach the new political history in a constructivist way, conceiving the political as a communicative space whose boundaries are constantly reconfigured through acts of verbal, visual, and sometimes violent communication. Writing Political History Today is organized into four sections, focusing on politics and the political as contested concepts; boundary disputes between the political and other spheres; the question whether violence is a means, an object, or the end of political communication; and on a future agenda for writing political history.