If thought can influence language, then language can help determine thought, for better or for worse. The notion of language includes devices such as rhetoric and metaphor, but may also be understood to encompass the media (new and traditional). In Antiquity, Aristotle considered rhetoric and metaphor as important tools of power.
Studies of propaganda have further underscored the persuasive and emotive power of such linguistic devices. Moreover, historical developments in society demonstrate time and again the importance of constantly monitoring public opinion. New and traditional media play an increasingly prominent role in such processes.
This course discusses the impact of imagery, rhetoric, and perception politics through the media on the basis of theories and case studies. An import guide for the course is the book by James Martin on ""Politics & Rhetoric. A critical introduction" (Routledge, 2014). Attention is given to the following scopes 1. Rhetoric according to Aristotle and the debate about democracy 2. Rhetoric: stylistic devices for persuasion 3. Rhetorical political analysis including metaphor 4. Emotion and democracy: the analysis of affective strategies and propaganda research since Lasswell. 6. Media effects and rhetoric, including the trend of populism.
The perspective of the course is interdisciplinary, democratic and internationally comparative.
The course is of special interest for students in political communication, political sociology, international politics, contemporary history, and critical discourse analysis.