"It ain't what you say...": British political studies and the analysis of speech and rhetoric

Alan Finlayson, James Martin

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121 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the utility and fecundity promised for British political studies by the study of speech and rhetoric. It is argued that the systematic investigation of speech in British politics can shed light on political institutions, ideologies and strategies. After exploring these areas in some detail the article goes on to discuss the last party conference speech Tony Blair delivered as Prime Minister. This discussion is demonstrative and synoptic in nature, surveying a broad territory and showing the kinds of questions that a rhetorical political analysis can ask and what, in response, might be done to answer these questions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-464
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Politics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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