Political Provocations in the Electoral Debates of U.S. Presidential Candidates

Political Provocations in the Electoral Debates of U.S. Presidential Candidates


Tumskiy S.V.,

MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia, statum@mail.ru


elibrary_id: 717325 |


DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2021.06.10

For citation:

Tumskiy S.V. Political Provocations in the Electoral Debates of U.S. Presidential Candidates. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No. 6. P. 137-154. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2021.06.10



Abstract

Provocations, in various politicians’ speeches, aimed at forming a favorable public opinion, play an increasingly noticeable role in the current political processes of the world, particularly in the United States. This article examines the use of provocations and manipulative techniques in electoral debates with an emphasis on Donald Trump’s speeches in the pre-election televised debates in 2020. For the study, we analyzed the full text of Trump’s and Biden’s speeches that they made during the pre-election televised debates in October 2020, including two communicative situations with the use of provocations, as separate case studies. The paper uses the methods of grounded theory, including semantic, conceptual, discursive, content analysis, document analysis (data from the media), and case studies. Semantic and conceptual analysis made it possible to single out the implicit meanings, and highlight the cases of the use of provocations by participants in the televised debates. Statistical analysis made it possible to determine the frequency of the use of provocative techniques by the communicants, to group the cases where provocations were used. The study revealed cases of the use of provocations within the framework of communicative tactics of justification, victimization, virtualization of reality, creation of false images, and accusations of an implicit nature. The author concluded that the active use of provocations by politicians in the electoral discourse can be instrumental in strengthening their positions in the pre-election struggle, in the absence of clear advantages over the rival. On the other hand, the high frequency of provocations and manipulative-provocative techniques in the speech of politicians can create reputational risks, and reduce the likelihood of a provocative candidate winning the election. 

Keywords
electoral discourse, political discourse, provocation, manipulation, communication strategy, public opinion.


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Content No. 6, 2021

See also:


Bernays E.L.,
Manipulating public opinion: the why and the how. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No4

Kubyshkina Ye.V.,
US political discourse under the presidency of G. Bush Jr.: evolution of metaphors. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No1


POLITICAL DISCOURSE. – Polis. Political Studies. 2005. No2


POLITICAL DISCOURSE. – Polis. Political Studies. 1997. No6


POLITICAL DISCOURSE. – Polis. Political Studies. 1996. No3

 

   

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Polis. Political Studies
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Winter D.
A King-philosopher or a contradictory politician?

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