Presenting politics: persuasion and performance across genres of political communication

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The study of political persuasion has traditionally examined the components of communication in terms of the source, nature and recipients of messages. This approach is based on the assumption of communication as a psychological process involving a mental system that operates upon different political messages. However, another research tradition has examined performative aspects such as the use of metaphors, three-part lists, intonation of voice and so on. Bull (2007) argues that these two different approaches need not be incompatible and that they could be brought together to strengthen research across different genres of political communication. Whilst this would be a laudable attempt to build bridges between these two different approaches, it is argued that their underlying philosophical commitments cannot be glossed. These tensions are explored in terms of focusing on whether political communication should be considered as a matter of persuasion or as a matter of performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnalyzing genres in political communication
Subtitle of host publicationtheory and practice
EditorsPiotr Cap, Urszula Okulska
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Pub. Co.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789027271488
ISBN (Print)9789027206411
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameDiscourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture
PublisherJohn Benjamins Pub. Co.
ISSN (Print)1569-9463


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