The Role of Public Argument in Emerging Democracies: A Case Study of the 12 December 1993 Elections in the Russian Federation [Book Review]

Argumentation 11 (2):179-194 (1997)


The authors argue that in the 1993 Duma elections it was the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, led by Gennady Zyuganov, that incorporated rhetorical values and audience adaptation into its campaign strategy. Finding its discursive ground limited by history, the CPRF gradually shifted its rhetorical posture and argumentative strategies, redefining itself in the process. This evolution allowed the CPRF to employ the ideographs of ’democracy‘, ‘will of the people‘, ’citizen‘, and other key terms of Western-style democracy, while retaining, albeit in transformed meaning, traditional communist ideographs such as ’justice‘ and ’spirituality‘. In addition, the CPRF was able to borrow selectively from the history of the USSR between 1917 and 1989, thereby imbuing their political appeals with historical force and cultural memory

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