This edited collection includes eleven major case studies and one general review of rhetorical contest in Australian politics. The volume showcases the variety of methods available for studying political speech, including historical, theoretical, institutional, and linguistic analyses, and demonstrates the centrality of language use to democratic politics. The chapters reveal errors in rhetorical strategy, the multiple and unstable standards for public speech in Australia, and the links between rhetoric and action. The length of Australian political speech is traversed, from pre-Federation to the Gillard minority government (2010–13), and the topics similarly range from Alfred Deakin’s nation–building to Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations. This fresh collection is intended to stimulate and advance the study of political rhetoric in Australia.
The book is available for free download and purchase from ANU Press.