Uniform TitleThe necessity of inspiration and the crisis of modern political communication
NameHoerl, Alexandra Elizabeth (author), Schochet, Gordon J. (chair), Bathory, Peter Dennis (internal member), Bronner, Stephen Eric (internal member), Takacs, Sarolta A. (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Communication in politics,
DescriptionMy dissertation seeks to fully recover one of the most important elements of republicanism--and yet an element of republicanism that is overlooked in most of the literature--persuasive political rhetoric ("rhetoric-as-movere") in order to improve political communication and participation in the United States. Through rhetoric-as-movere is not without its problems, I argue that it has two major advantages over the type of political communication necessitated by strict deliberative democracy, a type of political communication that I suggest is rooted in "rhetoric-as-docere," a tradition that developed alongside the rise of scientific empiricism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: it is better at drawing out action from novice citizens because it does a better job than deliberative democracy of dealing with the barriers to political entry, and it is more inclusive. Rhetoric-as-movere allows an orator to explicitly make use of all the persuasive tools at his or her disposal. While it is true that these tools are at times contrary to "rationality," throughout history they have always been the first recourse of leaders and movements truly concerned with popular participation. I demonstrate this affinity between rhetoric-as-movere and popular participation through an historical survey of movements ranging from 14th century English peasant revolts to 20th century American civil rights movements. I also analyze the development of the rhetoric-as-docere tradition in thinkers like Hobbes, Smith and Hume. I conclude that the rhetoric-as-docere tradition, which includes contemporary deliberative democracy, is predicated upon a suspicion of popular action that renders it insufficient as a model of political communication.
Finally, I create a multi-level model of political communication that incorporates rhetoric-as-movere and the republican ethos of civic education as well as certain aspects of deliberative democratic theory and rhetoric-as-docere. Most importantly, I contribute a curriculum of rhetorical education that rehabilitates persuasion and teaches students about the three classical proofs of logos, pathos and ethos as well as modern empirical proofs. Both of the model of political communication and the educational curriculum are crucial for the necessary and proper recovery of rhetoric-as-movere and the improvement of political participation in the United States.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 242-262).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.