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Palgrave Macmillan

Rhetoric and Bricolage in European Politics and Beyond

The Political Mind in Action

  • Book
  • © 2022


  • Focuses on normal, informal political language in the discourse on European and EU politics
  • Examines the indeterminacy and flexibility of what is termed ‘rhetorical action’ in the realm of high politics
  • Contains both theoretical insight and illustrative, self-standing case studies

Part of the book series: Rhetoric, Politics and Society (RPS)

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About this book

This book seeks to develop Rhetoric as a field of knowledge in an important new direction, European Union politics. The authors analyse what could be called a “European style of politics”: textual strategies and rhetorical styles evolving within and around the EU’s supranational and national institutions. By fusing rhetorical and sociological approaches, political thought and culture, the book contributes to the analysis of the ‘political’ as a way of thinking and judging the political aspect of any phenomena. 

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Table of contents (8 chapters)


“By extrapolating Lévi-Strauss’s multi-layered concept of bricolage, the contributors to this volume shed new light on practices of political and historical thinking across time and space in the EU and beyond. Highly recommended to all those who have grappled with how to make sense of the interface of merging and diverging political values, actions and discourses enacted in a range of networked institutions and environments.”  (Cornelia Ilie, Strömstad Academy, Sweden)

“The volume offers an innovative and much needed new lens through which to assess and appreciate the nature and evolution of the European Union (and beyond). By welding the innovative use of concepts to the analysis of political action—what is called ‘conceptual politics’—the volume shows how political actors engage in conceptual and institutional bricolage that opens up new spaces and worlds of possibilities beyond what mainstream EU theories would allow us to see and imagine.” (Simona Piattoni, University of Trento, Italy)

“This collection of distinguished contributions shows how political concepts tend to be ‘bricolé’ (cobbled together), especially in the context of deepening European integration. The volume makes a crucial contribution to the analysis of the circulation of concepts between academic and political spheres.” (Olivier Rozenberg, Sciences Po, Paris)

Editors and Affiliations

  • SAGE/University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France

    Niilo Kauppi

  • University of Jyväskylä, Helsinki, Finland

    Kari Palonen

About the editors

Niilo Kauppi is Research Director at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Strasbourg, France.
Kari Palonen is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

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