Communication Quarterly. Nov/Dec2019, Vol. 67 Issue 5, p560-583. 24p.
Cold War, 1945-1991, International organization, Post-Cold War Period, Inventions, and Responsibility
A mere three months after the peaceful Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, and less than a year after his last imprisonment under the communist regime, playwright-turned-president Václav Havel stood before a joint session of U.S. Congress in February of 1990. In his address, Havel marked, for his American audience, the new freedoms being established at home. More than just a victory lap, however, Havel's visit articulated the importance of the invention of post-communism, as the end of the Cold War had to be constructed for his global audience. Havel's version of invention in the speech used temporality and embodiment as key rhetorical materials—as he emphasized the opportune moment of the end of the Cold War, he also embodied the higher moral sense of responsibility and democratic civic culture that he believed the moment called for. However, this inventive process was understood differently by his American, European, and Czech audiences, and his attempts to transcend Cold War frames were highly contested. Havel thus became a complex symbol of the transition between the Cold War and the post-Cold War, which showed the tensions around the implementation of a "new world order." [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Only five presidential messages led to formally declared wars in the history of the USA. While attempting to shed some light on the role of discourse in the origins of armed conflicts, the contribution explores a selection of textual aspects of war discourse on the basis of President Woodrow Wilson's Address to Congress Requesting a Declaration of War Against Germany. The address is analysed in the context of the remaining four presidential messages delivered before the formally declared wars by J. Madison, J. Polk, W. McKinley and F. D. Roosevelt. The first section of the paper gives a short description of the relevant theoretical foundations of the analysis. In the second section the methodological underpinnings of the analysis are established (Fairclough, 1992; Chruszczewski, 2002). The problematic of readability of texts is introduced and it is followed by the introduction of the typology of arguments devised by Chruszczewski (2003). In the third section the analysis of the presidential speech is preceded by a brief overview of Wilson's presidency. Following the presentation of the results of the readability test, the structure of a general model of argument development is presented and the results of the analysis are discussed with focus on the semantic content of Wilson's Address as well as on the reasons for the continual increase in the readability of the five consecutive presidential war messages. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]