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Panel 2

Dr Gabrielle Lynch

University of Warwick


Dr Silvija Jestrovic

University of Warwick

Professor James Martin


Reflections on Rhetoric and Violence

In this paper I reflect on the relationship between speech and violence—practices that are commonly regarded as mutually exclusive: where one arrives, the other recedes. Yet classical rhetoric suggests otherwise. The performance of public speech traditionally entailed the display of words, not to dispel violence entirely so much as to control it and render its force more palatable. In this paper I consider how this rhetorical insight – which chimes with much of contemporary political theory – helps us think about politics today.