Kelly, Paul

Paul Kelly
Start date:
October 2014
Research Topic:
An Analysis of Modern Conservative Party Rhetoric; Representing Politics/Economics in the Age of ‚ÄėPost-Democracy‚Äô
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Gerard O’Grady
Supervising school:
School of English, Communication & Philosophy,

Following the work of Fairclough on the political rhetoric of New Labour (2000; 2010), this research will attempt to diachronically analyse the rhetoric of the Conservative Party in order to examine the similarities and differences in the current rhetorical strategies of both political Parties. Fairclough connected rhetorical strategies of New Labour to changes in the mode of governance: the incorporation of marketing practices into the political decision making process was claimed to be connected to linguistic patterning in a corpus of New Labour texts. Since the modern Conservative Party also employs such marketing practices, there is reason to expect some aspects of linguistic continuity in rhetorical strategies. If continuity in rhetorical strategies of two major political Parties were taken to be damaging to the concept of political representation, this investigation could, therefore, have powerful implications for the state of democracy as we know it.