Reading Debates Politically

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


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.


Parliamentary Debate Original Motion Political Literacy Minimal Agenda Classical Rhetoric 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Jyväskylä and Technical, University DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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