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Richard D. Anderson, Jr.: Discourse, Dictators and Democrats: Russia’s Place in a Global Process

Ashgate: Surrey, UK, 2014, Hardcover 238 pp, $109.95, ISBN: 978-1-4094-6708-3
  • Michael S. GorhamEmail author
Book Review

Although Richard Anderson’s Discourse, Dictators and Democratscame out prior to Russian incursions into Ukraine, it offers an outstanding interpretive tool for understanding recent trends and, more particularly, the role of political language in giving shape and voice to democratic and dictatorial regimes. Anderson’s underlying premise is that language plays an instrumental role in shaping political order, and that shifts in the latter must be proceeded by shifts in the former. Through a series of case studies and data-driven analyses he demonstrates how the language of political dictatorship is marked by a discursive distancing between the codified language of power that is designed as cue to minority ruling elite, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, all other forms of political language, which lie outside the realm of political and discursive legitimacy. Closing this discursive gap is a hallmark of democratization, a process that involves the “enfranchisement” of previously...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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