Risky readings

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In this chapter we take issue with the widespread view that overinterpretations and speculations are signs of weak research and tendentious treatment of data. This view is damaging to the study of political discourse as it encourages the reproduction of common sense and normalcy. In this chapter we therefore argue for the necessity of speculative readings and overinterpretations in studies of political discourse. Extreme and speculative readings of political language &#8211; readings that do <i>too</i> much to the data and that read <i>too</i> much into the texts &#8211; are crucial for the fine-grained analysis of the intricate ways in which soft power is exercised through discourse. Overinterpretations and speculations are, we suggest, essential for the <i>political</i> analysis of political discourse.


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