Argumentation in Public Communication
Recent research in public communication discusses the importance of an argumentative turn in policy analysis. This turn is justified because, 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) focuses on argumentation as a means to resolve disagreement through reasonable dialogue. It assumes that a well-conducted argumentative dialogue ideally increases the quality of public communication, taking a systemic design perspective on deliberative democracy and public policy.
This course provides students with a method to analyze and design arguments, based on the discussion of a series of case studies within different contexts of public communication, ranging from public press releases, to policy documents, to the debate around democracy and popular initiatives, to NGO campaigns and political debates and their echoes on the media. Students will be able to reconstruct which argument schemes (technically called loci) are used in in different contexts and documents of public communication (distinguishing, for example, argument schemes such as means-end argumentation, analogy and appeals to authority), analyze their implicit premises and evaluate their validity.
The 2020 edition of Argumentation in Public Communication includes a 2-lessons monographic seminar taught by Dr. Dimitris Serafis and devoted to how to unveil the argumentative dynamics of hate speech on social media.