The Importance Of Political Discourse In Politics

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Political discourse (PD) doesn’t enjoy a good reputation and inspires mistrust due to its misleading and manipulative nature. Its origin can’t be traced back in History as it has always appeared as a necessary tool to seek legitimacy and to maintain power. Nevertheless, political discourse has flourished with the establishment of a democratic system, in which it is exploited to manage the public sphere. Therefore, it took its first steps in Ancient Greece, when speech became reasoning and discussion exercised within a public sphere, and appealed to open debate. Under the Roman Empire, political discourse was staged. It then increasingly took on a dramatic character, strengthening its persuasive role as a significant instrument of power. In democratic systems, political discourse has quickly appeared as an alternative to violence by convincing instead of forcing, which allows a politician to gain legitimacy and support from citizens (Corcoran, 1990 in Le Bart, 1998: 17). Political discourse appears as a communication of persuasion, rather than of conviction, in which a speaker aims to gain legitimacy. In fact, a politician has the responsibility to serve the common good of a society. Politics therefore appears as a social practice run by symbolic relations of power, and has the objective to conquer power and maintain it. And as Teun Van Dijk suggests, “who controls public discourse, at least partly controls the public mind […] (1997: 44). Each political discourse is built at
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