front cover of Asian American Connective Action in the Age of Social Media
Asian American Connective Action in the Age of Social Media
Civic Engagement, Contested Issues, and Emerging Identities
James S. Lai
Temple University Press, 2022

Social media provides ethno-racial immigrant groups—especially those who cannot vote due to factors such as lack of citizenship and limited English proficiency—the ability to mobilize and connect around collective issues. Online spaces and discussion forums have encouraged many Asian Americans to participate in public policy debates and take action on social justice issues. This form of digital group activism serves as an adaptive political empowerment strategy for the fastest-growing and largest foreign-born population in America. Asian American Connective Action in the Age of Social Media illuminates how associating online can facilitate and amplify traditional forms of political action.  

James Lai provides diverse case studies on contentious topics ranging from affirmative action debates to textbook controversies to emphasize the complexities, limitations, and challenges of connective action that is relevant to all racial groups. Using a detailed multi-methods approach that includes national survey data and Twitter hashtag analysis, he shows how traditional immigrants, older participants, and younger generations create online consensus and mobilize offline to foment political change. In doing so, Lai provides a nuanced glimpse into the multiple ways connective action takes shape within the Asian American community.


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The Big No
Kennan Ferguson
University of Minnesota Press, 2021

What it means to celebrate the potential and the power of no

What does it mean to refuse? To not participate, to not build a better world, to not come up with a plan? To just say “no”? Against the ubiquitous demands for positive solutions, action-oriented policies, and optimistic compromises, The Big No refuses to play. Here leading scholars traverse the wide range of political action when “no” is in the picture, analyzing topics such as collective action, antisocialism, empirical science, the negative and the affirmative in Deleuze and Derrida, the “real” and the “clone,” Native sovereignty, and Afropessimism.

In his introduction, Kennan Ferguson sums up the concept of the “Big No,” arguing for its political importance. Whatever its form—he identifies various strains—the Big No offers power against systems of oppression. Joshua Clover argues for the importance of Marx and Fanon in understanding how people are alienated and subjugated. Theodore Martin explores the attractions of antisociality in literature and life, citing such novelists as Patricia Highsmith and Richard Wright. François Laruelle differentiates nonphilosophy from other forms of French critical theory. Katerina Kolozova applies this insight to the nature of reality itself, arguing that the confusion of thought and reality leads to manipulation, automation, and alienation. Using poetry and autobiography, Frank Wilderson shows how Black people—their bodies and being—are displaced in politics, replaced and erased by the subjectivities of violence, suffering, and absence. Andrew Culp connects these themes of negativity, comparing and contrasting the refusals of antiphilosophy and Afropessimism. 

Thinking critically usually demands alternatives: how would you fix things? But, as The Big No shows, being absolutely critical—declining the demands of world-building—is one necessary response to wrong, to evil. It serves as a powerful reminder that the presumption of political action is always positive.

Contributors: Joshua Clover, U of California Davis and U of Copenhagen; Andrew Culp, California Institute of the Arts; Katerina Kolozova, Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities Skopje; Theodore Martin, U of California, Irvine; Anthony Paul Smith, La Salle U; Frank B. Wilderson III, U of California, Irvine. 


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Bill Clinton on Stump, State, and Stage
The Rhetorical Road to the White House
Stephen A. Smith
University of Arkansas Press, 1994
These lively and penetrating essays by outstanding scholars of political communication examine President Clinton’s rhetorical work before he took the oath of office, presenting a unique perspective on the words and texts that brought him to the presidency and the dynamics of political media throughout the campaign. In these original, valuable, and deeply insightful interpretations, the success of Clinton as a public persuader and compelling orator is analyzed, as is the whole process of political communication in America at the end of the twentieth century.

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Campaigning for Hearts and Minds
How Emotional Appeals in Political Ads Work
Ted Brader
University of Chicago Press, 2005
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.

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The Changing Face of Representation
The Gender of U.S. Senators and Constituent Communications
Kim L. Fridkin and Patrick J. Kenney
University of Michigan Press, 2015

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.


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Cheap Talk
Disability and the Politics of Communication
Joshua St. Pierre
University of Michigan Press, 2022
In Cheap Talk: Disability and the Politics of Communication, Joshua St. Pierre flips the script on communication disability, positioning the unruly, disabled speaker at the center of analysis to challenge the belief that more communication is unquestionably good. Working with Gilles Deleuze’s suggestion that “[w]e don’t suffer these days from any lack of communication, but rather from all the forces making us say things when we’ve nothing much to say,” St. Pierre brings together the unlikely trio of the dysfluent speaker, the talking head, and the troll to show how speech is made cheap—and produced and repaired within human bodies—to meet the inhuman needs of capital. The book explores how technologies, like social media and the field of speech-language pathology, create smooth sites of contact that are exclusionary for disabled speakers and looks to the political possibilities of disabled voices to “de-face” the power of speech now entwined with capital.

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Civic Talk
Peers, Politics, and the Future of Democracy
Authored by Casey A. Klofstad
Temple University Press, 2011

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.


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Collateral Damage
The Influence of Political Rhetoric on the Incorporation of Second-Generation Americans
Sean Richey
University of Michigan Press, 2023

Collateral Damage provides an overview of how political communication influences the process of incorporation with the broad society as well as its political parties. Sean Richey shows that how politicians talk about immigrants affects how their children perceive America and their feelings about the nation. These perceptions and feelings in turn greatly influence the children’s desire to incorporate into American political society. He also shows that regardless of a speaker’s intended outcome, what is said can still have a deleterious effect on incorporation desire, a communicative process that he terms “collateral damage.” Richey uses new experimental and survey evidence, as well as the rhetoric of Donald Trump as a test case, to examine how anti-immigration communication influences the incorporation of the children of immigrants.


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Confessions of a Presidential Speechwriter
Craig R. Smith
Michigan State University Press, 2014
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.

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Congressional Communication
Content and Consequences
Daniel Lipinski
University of Michigan Press, 2004
"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.

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Crossing Borders, Drawing Boundaries
The Rhetoric of Lines across America
Barbara Couture
Utah State University Press, 2016

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.


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Digital Demagogue
Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Trump and Twitter
Christian Fuchs
Pluto Press, 2018
We’re all familiar by now with the ways that Donald Trump uses digital media to communicate, from the ridiculous to the terrifying. This book digs deeper into the use of those tools in politics to show how they have facilitated the rise of authoritarianism, nationalism, and right-wing ideologies around the world. Christian Fuchs here applies an updated Marxist frame, along with insights drawn from the Frankfurt School, to show the pernicious role of social media in the hands of nationalist politicians, and the ways in which it has been used to spread right-wing ideology far and wide, and make it seem like an ordinary part of contemporary political discourse. Fuchs diagnoses this problem in stark terms, but he doesn’t stop there: he also lays out ways to fight it, and analyzes the prospects for pushing past capitalism and renewing the left.

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The Digital Party
Political Organisation and Online Democracy
Paolo Gerbaudo
Pluto Press, 2018
From the Pirate Parties in Northern Europe to Podemos in Spain and the 5-Star Movement in Italy, from the movements behind Bernie Sanders in the United States and Jeremy Corbyn in the United Kingdom, to Jean-Luc Melenchon's presidential bid in France, the last decade has witnessed the rise of a new blueprint for political organization: the digital party.

These new political formations tap into the potential of social media to gain consensus, and use online participatory platforms to include the rank-and-file. Paolo Gerbaudo looks at the restructuring of political parties and campaigns in the time of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and big data. Drawing on interviews with key political leaders and digital organizers, he argues that the digital party is very different from the class-based “mass party” of the industrial era, and offers promising new solutions to social polarization and the failures of liberal democracy today.

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Electoral Campaigns, Media, and the New World of Digital Politics
David Taras and Richard Davis, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2022

Today, political leaders and candidates for office must campaign in a multimedia world through traditional forums—newspapers, radio, and television—as well as new digital media, particularly social media. Electoral Campaigns, Media, and the New World of Digital Politics chronicles how Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, email, and memes are used successfully and unsuccessfully to influence elections. Each of these platforms have different affordances and reach various audiences in different ways. Campaigns often have to wage different campaigns on each of these mediums. In some instances, they are crucial in altering coverage in the mainstream media. In others, digital media remains underutilized and undeveloped. As has always been the case in politics, outcomes that depend on economic and social conditions often dictate people’s readiness for certain messages. However, the method and content of those messages has changed with great consequences for the health and future of democracy. 

This book answers several questions: How do candidates/parties reach audiences that are preoccupied, inattentive, amorphous, and bombarded with so many other messages? How do they cope with the speed of media reporting in a continuous news cycle that demands instantaneous responses? How has media fragmentation altered the campaign styles and content of campaign communication, and general campaign discourse? Finally and most critically, what does this mean for how democracies function?


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Forging the World
Strategic Narratives and International Relations
Alister Miskimmon, Ben O'Loughlin, and Laura Roselle, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2017
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.”


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Framing American Politics
Karen Callaghan
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005

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.


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Free to Hate
How Media Liberalization Enabled Right-Wing Populism in Post-1989 Bulgaria
Martin Marinos
University of Illinois Press, 2023
Linking neoliberalism with the Right’s global rise

Bulgaria’s media-driven pivot to right-wing populism parallels political developments taking place around the world. Martin Marinos applies a critical political economy approach to place Bulgarian right-wing populism within the structural transformation of the country’s media institutions. As Marinos shows, media concentration under Western giants like Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung and News Corporation have led to a neoliberal turn of commercialization, concentration, and tabloidization across media. The Right have used the anticommunism and racism bred by this environment to not only undermine traditional media but position their own outlets to boost new political entities like the nationalist party Ataka. Marinos’s ethnographic observations and interviews with local journalists, politicians, and media experts add on-the-ground detail to his account. He also examines several related issues, including the performative appeal of populist media and the money behind it.

A timely and innovative analysis, Free to Hate reveals where structural changes in media intersect with right-wing populism.


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From Quills to Tweets
How America Communicates about War and Revolution
Adrea J. Dew, Marc A. Genest, and S. C. M. Paine, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 2020

While today's presidential tweets may seem a light-year apart from the scratch of quill pens during the era of the American Revolution, the importance of political communication is eternal. This book explores the roles that political narratives, media coverage, and evolving communication technologies have played in precipitating, shaping, and concluding or prolonging wars and revolutions over the course of US history. The case studies begin with the Sons of Liberty in the era of the American Revolution, cover American wars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and conclude with a look at the conflict against ISIS in the Trump era. Special chapters also examine how propagandists shaped American perceptions of two revolutions of international significance: the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Revolution. Each chapter analyzes its subject through the lens of the messengers, messages, and communications-technology-media to reveal the effects on public opinion and the trajectory and conduct of the conflict. The chapters collectively provide an overview of the history of American strategic communications on wars and revolutions that will interest scholars, students, and communications strategists.


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Governing Narratives
Symbolic Politics and Policy Change
Hugh T. Miller
University of Alabama Press, 2012
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.

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Hillary Clinton's Career in Speeches
The Promises and Perils of Women's Rhetorical Adaptivity
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
Michigan State University Press, 2023
Women candidates are under more pressure to communicate competence and likability than men. And when women balance these rhetorical pressures, charges of inauthenticity creep in, suggesting the structural and strategic anti-woman backlash at play in presidential politics. Hillary Clinton demonstrated considerable ability to adapt her rhetoric across roles, contexts, genres, and audiences. Comparisons between Clinton’s campaign speeches and those of her presidential opponents (Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump) show that her rhetorical range exceeded theirs. And comparisons with Democratic women candidates of 2020 suggest they too exhibited a rhetorical range and faced a backlash similar to Clinton. Hillary Clinton’s Career in Speeches combines statistical text-mining methods with close reading to analyze the rhetorical highs and lows of one of the most successful political women in U.S. history. Drawing on Clinton’s oratory across governing and campaigning, the authors debunk the stereotype that she was a wooden and insufferably wonkish speaker. They marshal evidence for the argument that the sexist tactics in American politics function to turn women’s rhetorical strengths into political liabilities. 

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Information and Elections
R. Michael Alvarez
University of Michigan Press, 1998
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.

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Intimate Enemies
Demonizing the Bolshevik Opposition, 1918-1928
Igal Halfin
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007
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.

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Making the Case
Advocacy and Judgment in Public Argument
Kathryn M. Olson
Michigan State University Press, 2012

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.


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Metaphorical World Politics
Francis A. Beer
Michigan State University Press, 2004

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.


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Navigating Gendered Terrain
Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns
Kelly Dittmar
Temple University Press, 2014
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.

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Strategic Communications and American Security in World War I
Jonathan Reed Winkler
Harvard University Press, 2008

In an illuminating study that blends diplomatic, military, technology, and business history, Jonathan Reed Winkler shows how U.S. officials during World War I discovered the enormous value of global communications.

At the outbreak of war in 1914, British control of the cable network affected the Americans’ ability to communicate internationally, and the development of radio worried the Navy about hemispheric security. The benefits of a U.S. network became evident during the war, especially in the gathering of intelligence. This led to the creation of a peacetime intelligence operation, later termed the “Black Chamber,” that was the forerunner of the National Security Agency.

After the war, U.S. companies worked to expand network service around the world but faced industrial limitations. Focused on security concerns, the Wilson administration objected to any collaboration with British companies that might alleviate this problem. Indeed, they went so far as to create a radio monopoly and use warships to block the landing of a cable at Miami.

These efforts set important precedents for later developments in telephony, shortwave radio, satellites—even the internet. 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.


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Persuasion and Power
The Art of Strategic Communication
James P. Farwell. Foreword by John J. Hamre
Georgetown University Press, 2012

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.


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Poetry and the Police
Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris
Robert Darnton
Harvard University Press, 2012

In spring 1749, François Bonis, a medical student in Paris, found himself unexpectedly hauled off to the Bastille for distributing an “abominable poem about the king.” So began the Affair of the Fourteen, a police crackdown on ordinary citizens for unauthorized poetry recitals. Why was the official response to these poems so intense?

In this captivating book, Robert Darnton follows the poems as they passed through several media: copied on scraps of paper, dictated from one person to another, memorized and declaimed to an audience. But the most effective dispersal occurred through music, when poems were sung to familiar tunes. Lyrics often referred to current events or revealed popular attitudes toward the royal court. The songs provided a running commentary on public affairs, and Darnton brilliantly traces how the lyrics fit into song cycles that carried messages through the streets of Paris during a period of rising discontent. He uncovers a complex communication network, illuminating the way information circulated in a semi-literate society.

This lucid and entertaining book reminds us of both the importance of oral exchanges in the history of communication and the power of “viral” networks long before our internet age.


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Post-Truth Rhetoric and Composition
Bruce Mccomiskey
Utah State University Press, 2017

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.


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The Prettier Doll
Rhetoric, Discourse, and Ordinary Democracy
Edited by Karen Tracy, James P. McDaniel and Bruce E. Gronbeck
University of Alabama Press, 2007
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.”


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Processing Politics
Learning from Television in the Internet Age
Doris A. Graber
University of Chicago Press, 2001
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.

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Protocols of Liberty
Communication Innovation and the American Revolution
William B. Warner
University of Chicago Press, 2013
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.

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The Race to 270
The Electoral College and the Campaign Strategies of 2000 and 2004
Daron R. Shaw
University of Chicago Press, 2006

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.


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Reagan and Public Discourse in America
Michael Weiler
University of Alabama Press, 1992
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.

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Reframing Rhetorical History
Cases, Theories, and Methodologies
Edited by Kathleen J. Turner and Jason Edward Black
University of Alabama Press, 2022
A collection of essays providing insights into new directions in rhetorical history
Kathleen J. Turner’s 1998 multicontributor volume Doing Rhetorical History: Concepts and Cases quickly became a foundational text in the field, and the studies in the book have served as an important roadmap for scholars undertaking such scholarship. In the decades since its publication, developments in rhetorical-historical research, engaged scholarship, and academic interventionism have changed the practice of rhetorical history tremendously.

To address this shift, Turner and Jason Edward Black have edited a much-anticipated follow-up volume: Reframing Rhetorical History: Cases, Theories, and Methodologies, which reassesses both history as rhetoric and rhetorical history as practice. This new book attends to a number of topics that have become not just hot-button issues in rhetorical scholarship but have entrenched themselves as anchors within the field. These include digital rhetoric, public memory, race and ethnicity, gender dynamics and sexualities, health and well-being, transnationalism and globalization, social justice, archival methods and politics, and colonialism and decoloniality.

The sixteen essays are divided into four major parts: “Digital Humanities and Culture” introduces methods and cases using twenty-first century technologies; “Identities, Cultures, and Archives” addresses race and gender within the contexts of critical race theory, gendered health rhetoric, race-based public memory, and class/sectionalism; “Approaches to Nationalism and Transnationalism” explores ideologies related to US and international cultures; and “Metahistories and Pedagogies” explores creative ways to approach the frame of metarhetorical history given what the field has learned since the publication of Doing Rhetorical History.

Andrew D. Barnes / Jason Edward Black / Bryan Crable / Adrienne E. Hacker Daniels / Matthew deTar / Margaret Franz / Joe Edward Hatfield / J. Michael Hogan / Andre E. Johnson / Madison A. Krall / Melody Lehn / Lisbeth A. Lipari / Chandra A. Maldonado / Roseann M. Mandziuk / Christina L. Moss / Christopher J. Oldenburg / Sean Patrick O’Rourke / Daniel P. Overton / Shawn J. Parry-Giles / Philip Perdue / Kathleen J. Turner


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Refugee Talk
Propositions on Ethics and Aesthetics
Pluto Press, 2022

An innovative approach to the refugee crisis through a focus on language use, discourse and representation

'A wide-ranging, erudite and multi-faceted analyses of the fundamental problem of who gets to be counted as human' - Kate Evans

What does it mean to be a refugee? What political questions do they raise? Through what political rhetoric is their experiences parsed? The ongoing refugee crisis has sparked all these questions and more.

Refugee Talk uses conversation as a research method and ethical practice to approach the representation of and the discourse about and by the refugee. Though refugees who cross borders are routinely registered, filed, and detained, the individual stories they carry are just as routinely overlooked or ignored. When language itself becomes another border that excludes refugees, the need for a new vocabulary that decriminalizes and re-humanizes the refugee experience asserts itself.

The authors engage theoretically with thinkers from Hannah Arendt to Paolo Freire and Kwame A. Appiah and structure the book around conversations with academics, activists, journalists, and refugee artists and writers. The result is a comprehensive humanities approach that places ethics and aesthetics at its core.


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Resowing the Seeds of War
Presidential Peace Rhetoric since 1945
Stephen J. Heidt
Michigan State University Press, 2021
Ending a war, as Fred Charles Iklé wrote, poses a much greater challenge than beginning one. In addition to issues related to battle tactics, prisoners of war, diplomatic relations, and cease-fire negotiations, ending war involves domestic political calculations. Balancing the tides of public opinion versus policy needs poses a deep and enduring problem for presidents. In a first-of-its-kind study, Resowing the Seeds of War explains how Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Obama managed the political, policy, and bureaucratic challenges that arise at the end of war via a series of rhetorical choices that reframe, modify, or unravel depictions of national enemies, the cause of the conflict, and the stakes for the nation and world. This end-of-war rhetoric justifies ending hostilities, rationalizes postwar national policy, argues for the construction of postwar security arrangements, and often sustains public support for massive financial investment in reconstruction. By tracking presidential manipulations of savage imagery from World War II to the War on Terror, this book concludes that even as  metaphoric reframing facilitates exit from conflict, it incurs unexpected consequences that make national involvement in the next conflict more likely.

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Rhetoric and Demagoguery
Patricia Roberts-Miller
Southern Illinois University Press, 2019
One of Library Journal's Top 20 Best-Selling Language Titles of 2019

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).

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Saving Persuasion
A Defense of Rhetoric and Judgment
Bryan Garsten
Harvard University Press, 2009
In today's increasingly polarized political landscape it seems that fewer and fewer citizens hold out hope of persuading one another. Even among those who have not given up on persuasion, few will admit to practicing the art of persuasion known as rhetoric. To describe political speech as "rhetoric" today is to accuse it of being superficial or manipulative. In Saving Persuasion, Bryan Garsten uncovers the early modern origins of this suspicious attitude toward rhetoric and seeks to loosen its grip on contemporary political theory. Revealing how deeply concerns about rhetorical speech shaped both ancient and modern political thought, he argues that the artful practice of persuasion ought to be viewed as a crucial part of democratic politics. He provocatively suggests that the aspects of rhetoric that seem most dangerous--the appeals to emotion, religious values, and the concrete commitments and identities of particular communities--are also those which can draw out citizens' capacity for good judgment. 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.

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Selling Outer Space
Kennedy, the Media, and Funding for Project Apollo, 1961-1963
James Kauffman
University of Alabama Press, 2009
Examines how the Kennedy administration and the media constructed the space program in ways designed to win congressional and public approval

Examines the Kennedy administration’s rhetorical campaign to persuade Congress and the public to adopt a manned flight to the moon. In so doing, the study addresses three key themes.

First, it illuminates the contrasting nature of technical and narrative arguments and explores how those arguments play different roles in public discussion of social policy. Second, the book examines how both the executive branch and the news media function to help set the agenda in American politics. Offering a case study of the increasingly complex relationship between the government and the media.

Finally, Selling Outer Space explores the power of technology to shape and direct human action.

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Social Media, Social Justice and the Political Economy of Online Networks
Jeffrey Layne Blevins and James Jaehoon Lee
University of Cincinnati Press, 2021

Next Generation e-book nonfiction 2023 Indie Book Award Prize.

While social network analyses often demonstrate the usefulness of social media networks to affective publics and otherwise marginalized social justice groups, this book explores the domination and manipulation of social networks by more powerful political groups. Jeffrey Layne Blevins and James Lee look at the ways in which social media conversations about race turn politically charged, and in many cases, ugly. Studies show that social media is an important venue for news and political information, while focusing national attention on racially involved issues. Perhaps less understood, however, is the effective quality of this discourse, and its connection to popular politics, especially when Twitter trolls and social media mobs go on the attack.

Taking on prominent case studies from the past few years, including the Ferguson protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2016 presidential election, and the rise of fake news, this volume presents data visualization sets alongside careful scholarly analysis. The resulting volume provides new insight into social media, legacy news, and social justice.


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Speaking to the People
The Rhetorical Presidency in Historical Perspective
Richard Ellis
University of Massachusetts Press, 1998
Americans today expect their president to speak directly to them on the issues of the day—to address their concerns, to ask for their support, even to feel their pain. Yet, as the essays in this volume make clear, this was not always the case. During the early years of the republic, such behavior would have been deemed beneath the president's office, undignified at best, demagogic at worst. How, then, did the practice of "speaking to the people" evolve from the icy reserve of George Washington to the effusive empathy of Bill Clinton? This book explores how the "rhetorical presidency" became a central feature of American politics. Beginning with a fresh look at the framing of the Constitution, the essays examine the role of rhetoric in a variety of nineteenth-century presidencies, as well as in the crucial turn-of-the-century presidencies of William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. Viewed against this historical backdrop, the "modern" presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and his successors appear less a break with the past than a culmination of developments in popular leadership and rhetorical practice that began more than a century before.

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An Insider's Take on Political Rhetoric
William F. Gavin
Michigan State University Press, 2011

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.


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Talking about Politics
Informal Groups and Social Identity in American Life
Katherine Cramer Walsh
University of Chicago Press, 2003
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.

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Talking Back to the West
How Turkey Uses Counter-Hegemony to Reshape the Global Communication Order
Bilge Yesil
University of Illinois Press, 2024
In the 2010s, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) began to mobilize an international media system to project Turkey as a rising player and counter foreign criticism of its authoritarian practices. Bilge Yesil examines the AKP’s English-language communication apparatus, focusing on its objectives and outcomes, the idea-generating framework that undergirds it, and the implications of its activities. She also analyzes the decolonial and pan-Islamist messages AKP-sponsored outlets deploy to position Turkey as a burgeoning great power opposed to imperialism and claiming to be the voice of oppressed Muslims around the world. As the AKP wields this rhetoric to further its geopolitical and economic goals, media outlets pursue their own objectives by obfuscating facts with identity politics, demonizing the West to aggrandize the East and rallying Muslims under Turkey’s purportedly benevolent leadership.

Insightfully exploring the crossroads of communications and authoritarianism, Talking Back to the West illuminates how the Erdogan government and its media allies use history, religion, and identity to pursue complementary agendas and tighten the AKP’s grip on power.


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Theater of State
A Dramaturgy of the United Nations
James R. Ball III
Northwestern University Press, 2019
In this innovative study of performance in international relations, James R. Ball III asks why states and their representatives come to the United Nations to perform for a global audience and how those audiences may intervene in the spectacle of global politics. Theater of State looks at key spaces in which global politics play out: in debating forums of the UN, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and in peacekeeping operations in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in a variety of related media productions. Ball argues that culture and politics form a unified field organized by the theatricality of its actors and the engaged spectatorship of its audiences. He 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.
This study of the lived experience of spectacular politics on the world stage 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 so that each might offer lessons to the other.

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The Truth of Authority
Ideology and Communication in the Soviet Union
Thomas F. Remington
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988
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.

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Who Deliberates?
Mass Media in Modern Democracy
Benjamin I. Page
University of Chicago Press, 1996
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.

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Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding
Patrick “PC” Sweeney
American Library Association, 2017

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Writing Political History Today
Edited by Willibald Steinmetz, Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey, and Heinz-Gerhard Haupt
Campus Verlag, 2013
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.  

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