The ACP’s Canberra assembly is the first large-scale, face-to-face deliberative project to be completely audio-recorded and transcribed, enabling an unprecedented level of qualitative and quantitative assessment of participants’ actual spoken discourse. Each chapter reports on different research questions for different purposes to benefit different audiences. Combined, they exhibit how diverse modes of research focused on a single event can enhance both theoretical and practical knowledge about deliberative democracy.
For the most part, discussions of citizenship have focused on aspects that are central to the “liberal” tradition of social thought—that is, questions of the freedoms and rights of citizens and groups. This collection gives voice to a “republican” conception of citizenship. Seeing participation and debate as central to being a citizen, this tradition looks back to the Greek city-states and republican Rome. Citizenship, in this sense of the word, is rhetorical citizenship. Rhetoric is thus at the core of being a citizen.
Aside from the editors, the contributors are John Adams, Paula Cossart, Jonas Gabrielsen, Jette Barnholdt Hansen, Kasper Møller Hansen, Sine Nørholm Just, Ildikó Kaposi, William Keith, Bart van Klink, Marie Lund Klujeff, Manfred Kraus, Oliver W. Lembcke, Berit von der Lippe, James McDonald, Niels Møller Nielsen, Tatiana Tatarchevskiy, Italo Testa, Georgia Warnke, Kristian Wedberg, and Stephen West.
Authority Figures draws together political theory and philosophy, the history of science and of rhetoric, and philosophy of language and literary theory to offer an interpretation of Locke’s political thought that shows the ongoing importance of rhetoric for new modes of critique in the seventeenth century. Locke’s thought offers up insights for rethinking the relationship of rhetoric and experience to political critique, as well as the intersections of language and materialism.
The Politics of Resentment traces the rise of especially violent rhetoric in American public discourse by investigating key events in American history. Engels analyzes how resentful rhetoric has long been used by public figures in order to achieve political ends. He goes on to show how a more devastating form of resentment started in the 1960s, dividing Americans on issues of structural inequalities and foreign policy. He discusses, for example, the rhetorical and political contexts that have made the mobilization of groups such as Nixon’s “silent majority” and the present Tea Party possible. Now, in an age of recession and sequestration, many Americans believe that they have been given a raw deal and experience feelings of injustice in reaction to events beyond individual control. With The Politics of Resentment, Engels wants to make these feelings of victimhood politically productive by challenging the toxic rhetoric that takes us there, by defusing it, and by enabling citizens to have the kinds of conversations we need to have in order to fight for life, liberty, and equality.
The Evolving Citizen challenges this decline thesis and argues instead that democratic engagement has not gotten worse—it has simply changed. Through an analysis of seven high school newspapers from 1965 to 2010, this book shows that young people today, according to what they have to say for themselves, are just as enmeshed in civic and political life as the adolescents who came before them. American youth remain good citizens concerned about their communities and hopeful that they can help make a difference. But as The Evolving Citizen demonstrates, today’s youth understand and perform their roles as citizens differently because the world they live in has changed remarkably over the last half century.