Volume 22, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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In this conceptual paper, we differentiate between political decisions and the conversations where these decisions are discussed and facilitated. We complement existing work on argumentation in political communication by applying Aristotle’s to the study of climate change debate. We show how Aristotle’s principles for ethical and rational political speech work toward audience trust and encourage deliberative debate and decision-making. Our deliberative perspective is supported by a case study analysis of Australia’s parliamentary climate change debate. We resurrect Aristotle’s both as an analytical tool for critical analysis and a potential framework for constructive climate change debate. Following the conceptualisation of parliamentary debate as a conversational space where decision-making processes are facilitated, we introduce Aristotle’s and the concept of ‘rhetorical responsibility’, which is further explored and exemplified in the case study. We conclude with future research questions for discourse and political communication studies.


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