Silence and Concealment in Political Discourse

| University of Reading
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027206398 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027272102 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
 
This book constitutes a significant contribution to political discourse analysis and to the study of silence, both from the point of view of discourse analysis as well as pragmatics, and it is also relevant for those interested in politics and media studies. It promotes the empirical study of silence by analysing metadiscourse about politicians’ silence and by systematically conceptualising the communicativeness of silence in the interplay between intention (to be silent), expectation (of speech) and relevance (of the unsaid). Three cases of sustained metadiscourse about silent politicians from Germany are analysed to exemplify this approach, based on media texts and protocols of parliamentary inquiries. Ideals of political transparency and communicative openness are identified as a basis for (disappointed) expectations of speech which trigger and determine metadiscourse about politicians’ silences. Finally, the book deals critically with the role of those who act as advocates of ‘the public’s’ demand to speak out.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of abbreviations
vii–viii
Acknowledgements
ix–x
Chapter 1. Introduction: Silence and concealment in (the study of) political discourse
1–12
Chapter 2. Intention, expectation and relevance: Determinants of meaningful silence
13–42
Chapter 3. Empirical study of silence: A methodological proposal
43–62
Chapter 4. Remaining silent and waiting until the dust settles: Helmut Kohl and the CDU party donation scandal
63–86
Chapter 5. Dangerous intelligence: The SPD’s silence in the Barschel and drawer scandals
87–112
Chapter 6. Hiding or highlighting: ‘Dr Merkel’s collected silences’
113–136
Chapter 7. What needs to be said: And who cares
137–156
References
157–172
Appendix. German originals of translated quotations 
from primary sources
173–196
Author index
197–198
Subject index
199–202
“Melani Schröter has provided us with a much needed and incisive investigation of discursive absences and the metadiscourse about such absences. The silence of politicians is something that should concern us as much as, if not more than, their noisy media messages. This is a timely book.”
“Based on detailed analyses of three cases of high-profile “silences” in German political discourse over the past decades, Schröter’s book provides innovative insights into the strategic function of communicative concealment and its treatment in the media and parliamentary enquiry as well as its effects on democracy. It thus makes an important contribution to the communicative ethics of political discourse.”
“In this book, Melani Schröter examines silence, or more specifically the metadiscourse of silence. Basing her approach on Bühler’s Organon model of communication, and on critical discourse analysis, the author investigates how the silence of leading German politicians was discussed in the media. She analyzes first the attitude of a Bundestag committee to the silence of Helmut Kohl in the CDU party donation scandal of 1999-2001, then the silence of the Barschel scandal of 1987-88, in which three leading members of the opposition in Schleswig-Holstein – who were the victims of the scandal – knew about the intrigues going on against them, but kept silent, and finally, bringing the silence of politicians up-to-date, she analyzes the silence of the present German chancellor Angela Merkel – her so-called "collected silences".
Schröter gives a thorough account of the events that provide the context for the silences, and presents an exhaustive discussion of the metadiscourse of silence. Politicians are expected to speak, to communicate with the electorate. Their silence in this context does not mean “not speaking” but “failure to talk about a given matter”, i.e. 'silence about'. She proposes a Gricean-inspired cooperative principle: ‘do not be silent when speech is expected’ and ‘do not talk when silence is expected’, whose violation leads to implicatures – interpretations of the silence derived from the context and from the assumption that the politician may have something to conceal.”
“Melani Schröter’s book Silence and Concealment in Political Discourse constitutes an insightful contribution to the fields of communication studies, discourse analysis, pragmatics, and in particular, it provides a better understanding of communicative and meaningful silences in political discourse.”
“In addition to the great theoretical insights it offers, readers can also expect to explore practical values in the attested research methods adopted in empirical studies. More significantly, it opens up possible avenues of research that encourage innovative application of combined and cross-disciplinary approaches in discourse studies.”
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Alcántara-Plá, Manuel & Ana Ruiz-Sánchez
2018.  In Exploring Silence and Absence in Discourse,  pp. 25 ff. Crossref logo
Brito Vieira, Mónica, Theo Jung, Sean W. D. Gray & Toby Rollo
2019. The Nature of Silence and Its Democratic Possibilities. Contemporary Political Theory 18:3  pp. 424 ff. Crossref logo
Derry, Caroline
2020.  In Lesbianism and the Criminal Law,  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Durrheim, Kevin & Amy Jo Murray
2019.  In Qualitative Studies of Silence,  pp. 270 ff. Crossref logo
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2018. How to do things with silence: Rethinking the centrality of speech to the securitization framework. Security Dialogue 49:6  pp. 476 ff. Crossref logo
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2015. Discursive strategies of blame avoidance in government: A framework for analysis. Discourse & Society 26:3  pp. 297 ff. Crossref logo
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2016. Blogging Zhanaozen: hegemonic discourse and authoritarian resilience in Kazakhstan. Central Asian Survey 35:3  pp. 421 ff. Crossref logo
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2020. The Silence of Fear, Silencing by Fear and the Fear of Silence. Narodna umjetnost 57:1  pp. 163 ff. Crossref logo
McLaren, Helen J. & Tejaswini Vishwanath Patil
2016. Manipulative silences and the politics of representation ofboat childrenin Australian print media. Continuum 30:6  pp. 602 ff. Crossref logo
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2021. Shifting Diversity Discourses and New Feeling Rules? The Case of Brexit. Human Arenas Crossref logo
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2018.  In Exploring Silence and Absence in Discourse,  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
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2015. The risks of remaining silent: international law formation and the EU silence on drone killings. Global Affairs 1:3  pp. 269 ff. Crossref logo
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2020. The right to speak and the request to remain silent: who owns politicians’ Facebook pages?. Israel Affairs 26:1  pp. 26 ff. Crossref logo
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 07 february 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects

Communication Studies

Communication Studies
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012050683 | Marc record