Ricerca di contatti, progetti,
corsi e pubblicazioni

Argumentation in public communication SA 2016


NB: Special edition autumn 2016. Please note that, due to organizational changes within the PMP, only during the autumn semester 2016, the course “Argumentation in Public Communication”, addressed to students attending the 2nd year of the PMP in the Academic year 2016/2017, (3 ECTS) will replace Argumentation in Public Communication I and Argumentation in Public Communication II.

For students attending the 1st year of the PMP in the AA 2016/2017, “Argumentation in Public Communication I” will take place in the spring semester, while “Argumentation in Public Communication II” will take place in the autumn semester 2017/2018.

In public communication, most activities and interactions (oral and written) are characterized by argumentation, as actors are committed to be accountable for their decisions and give reasons for their claims. Argumentation in Public Communication (3 ECTS) is specifically focused on the argumentative discussion as a means to resolve disagreement through reasonable dialogue; taking into account that well-conducted argumentative interactions ideally increase the quality of communicative exchanges, as they allow avoiding conflict and manipulation. This course will equally provide students with theoretical and methodological tools to identify different types of argument schemes that can be used in support of a given standpoint, thus providing more robust instruments of analysis and design of communicative interventions in the field of public communication.

This course adopts a bottom-up approach, based on the analysis of empirical data (documents, oral discourses) in the field of public communication and on the design of argumentative (oral or written) discourse in specific situations relative to public communication and administrative rhetoric. Students will learn both to analyse and to design argumentative texts (oral or written), focusing on a delicate balance between the critical requirement of resolving disagreement in a reasonable fashion and the attempt to persuade others and win one’s cause. Classes will allow significant space for students’ discussion, group-work, and guided controversy in order to see how argumentation works in practice. Within the general framework of public rhetoric, a special accent will be placed on two key issues: conflict resolution in (public) organizations and argumentation in Swiss semi-direct democracy.

Evaluation is as follows: 15% based on an exercise of design of argumentative texts to be submitted during the course; 10% based on active participation to the class discussion; and 75% based on a final oral exam including the contents of the course plus discussion of some reading materials. A syllabus with more details will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Riferimenti bibliografici

Andone, C. 2013. Argumentation in political interviews. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Barrett, M. 2013. Interculturalism and multiculturalism: similarities and differences. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing .

Cigada, S. 2008. Les émotions dans le discours de la construction européenne. Milano: ISU.

Danesi, M., and Greco, S. 2016 (ed.). Case studies in discourse analysis. Munich: Lincom.

Eemeren, F. H., van, and Grootendorst, R. 2004. A systematic theory of argumentation: The pragma-dialectical account. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Eemeren, F. H., van, 2010. Strategic maneuvering in argumentative discourse: extending the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Bejamins.

Fairclough, I., and Mădroane, I. D. 2014. An argumentative perspective on framing. Policy conflict, deliberation and framing in the Roşia Montană case. Paper presented at the 8th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1-4 July, 2014.

Freeley, A. J., and Steinberg, D. L. 2009 (12th edition). Argumentation and debate: Critical thinking for reasoned decision making. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Greco Morasso, S. 2008. The ontology of conflict. Pragmatics and Cognition 16 (3): 540-567.

Greco Morasso, S. 2011. Argumentation in dispute mediation: A reasonable way to handle conflict. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Greco Morasso, S. (2012). Contextual frames and their argumentative implications: a case-study in media argumentation. Discourse Studies 14 (2): 197-216.

Honeyman, C., Goh, B.C., and Kelly, L. 2004. Skill is not enough: Seeking connectedness and authority in mediation. Negotiation Journal 20(4): 489-511.

Ihnen Jory, C. 2012. Pragmatic argumentation in law-making debates. Amsterdam: Sic Sat.

Kriesi, H. 2005. Direct democratic choice: The Swiss experience. Lanham (etc): Lexington Books.

Lewiński, M., and Mohammed, D. 2015. Tweeting the Arab Spring: Argumentative polylogues in digital media. In C. Palczewski (Ed.), Disturbing Argument: Selected Works from the 18th NCA/AFA Alta Conference on Argumentation (pp. 291-297). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Mohammed, D. 2013. Pursuing multiple goals in European Parliamentary debates: EU immigration policies as a case in point.  Journal of Argumentation in Context 2 (1): 47-74.

Palmieri, R. 2014. Corporate argumentation in takeover bids. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Rigotti, E., and Greco Morasso, S. 2009. Argumentation as object of interest and as social and cultural resource. In A.N. Perret-Clermont and N. Muller-Mirza (Eds.), Argumentation and education: theoretical foundations and practices, New York: Springer, pp. 9-66.

Rigotti, E., and Greco Morasso, S. 2010. Comparing the Argumentum Model of Topics to other contemporary approaches to argument schemes: the procedural and material components. Argumentation 24 (4): 489-512.

Rigotti, E., Greco, S., and Palmieri, R. (submitted). Argumentative institutions and conflict prevention: The case of the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner. Invited paper for the volume: C. Ilie and G. Garzone (Eds.), Argumentation in real and virtual environments: Cross-disciplinary perspectives. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Shmueli, D., and Ben Gal, M. 2003. Stakeholder frames in the mapping of the lower Kishon River Basin conflict. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 21(2)2: 211-238.

 Strategic revision of public documents. In: D. Janssen and R. Neutelings (Eds.), Reading and writing public documents (pp. 211-232), Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Xenitidou, M., and Greco Morasso, S. 2014. Parental discourse and identity management in the talk of indigenous and migrant speakers. Discourse & Society 25 (1): 100-121.



Greco S.

Docente titolare del corso

van Bijnen E.


Informazioni aggiuntive

Anno accademico