Inleiding | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 42, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



This special issue is dedicated to the retirement of former editor in chief of the Ton van Haaften. It presents an investigation of some aspects of the communicative activity type ‘political debate’ from both a discourse and a historical angle. A special focus is put on Dutch parliamentary debate, of which it is shown that its norms and conventions originate from nineteenth century parliamentary discussions on how to conduct such a debate. Ever since, the strategy of attacking politicians personally has both been employed for rhetorical purposes and fiercely criticized. It was also the (late) nineteenth century when a rhetorical style was introduced in politics, i.e. by former pastor and politician Abraham Kuyper, whose famous ‘Maranatha’ speech to his followers is analyzed for its rhetorical features. Today, even more than in Kuyper’s days, politicians claim to speak on behalf of ‘the people’. An inventory of the ways in which populist politician Geert Wilders presents his appeals to the people shows four stylistic features that may have a strategic function.


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