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Reading Debates Politically

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Debates, Rhetoric and Political Action

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

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the concept of debate, taking the concept of ‘political literacy’ as point of departure. The concept of political literacy means that it is crucial to be willing and competent to judge actions, situations, practices and institutions in terms of political struggle. What kinds of aims can we identify in various utterances, arguments or topoi, and how may we assess their consequences? Based on this idea of political literacy, our leading thesis in this chapter is that parliamentary debate, as it was formed and is practised in the British parliament at Westminster, forms an approximation to the ideal type of debate. The ideal type allows the classification of the structure and ultimately the analysis of debates by different criteria, such as topics, parliamentary speech acts or participants.

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Wiesner, C., Palonen, K., Haapala, T. (2017). Reading Debates Politically. In: Debates, Rhetoric and Political Action. Rhetoric, Politics and Society. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-57057-4_2

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