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The Rhetoric of Terrorism and Counterterrorism
     

The Rhetoric of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

by Richard W. Leeman
 

Richard Leeman analyzes the possible discursive responses to terrorism, prescribing democratic rhetoric as the most strategic counterterrorist response available. He examines counterterrorism as a response to terrorism, considering each side as one-half of a dialogue. Given the inherently anti-democratic nature of terroristic discourse, he hypothesizes that the

Overview

Richard Leeman analyzes the possible discursive responses to terrorism, prescribing democratic rhetoric as the most strategic counterterrorist response available. He examines counterterrorism as a response to terrorism, considering each side as one-half of a dialogue. Given the inherently anti-democratic nature of terroristic discourse, he hypothesizes that the best discursive strategy is to shift the dialogue to different grounds, i.e., to use democratic rhetoric.

As a test of his hypothesis, the author considers the responses of the Reagan and Nixon administrations to acts of terrorism. The Reagan administration's response to international terrorism provides an example of wholly non-democratic counterterrorist discourse. Leeman's case study suggests that this was a failed rhetoric. The Nixon administration, on the other hand, used a mixed democratic and non-democratic terrorist rhetoric in response to terrorism. Leeman argues that the non-democratic elements of the discourse subverted the democratic elements, thus leading to an ineffective use of discourse for the purpose of counterterrorism. Leeman thus concludes that a wholly democratic rhetoric is the best discourse available for the counterterrorist speaker or writer. This is the first book to specifically address the rhetoric of terrorism and counterterrorism, and prescriptively suggests how America can address the problem of terrorism through discourse. This unique book will be provocative reading to those in the fields of speech communication, political science, history, sociology, and the mass media.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313275876
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/30/1991
Series:
Contributions to the Study of Mass Media and Communications Series , #29
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile:
1430L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

RICHARD W. LEEMAN is an Assistant Professor of English and a member of the Communication Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the editor of Carolinas Speech Communication Annual and a contributing editor to Morality and Conviction in American Politics. He has contributed essays to American Orators of the Twentieth Century (Greenwood Press, 1987) and Multidimensional Terrorism.

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