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20. Politische An- und Rücktrittsreden

From the book Handbuch Politische Rhetorik

  • Dorotheé Müller and Nicole Recknagel


In politics and in particular in a parliamentary democracy, the high turnover rate of the representatives elected by the people is continuous. Almost every government experiences self-determined and other-determined resignations before the end of the legislative period, which includes many resignations and inaugural speeches. The number of externally-determined resignation speeches, however, has been growing over the last years, and are known as the politicians’ last unintentional but available action to save their faces as politicians in the present transparent media world. This article is focused on defining both these speech genres politolinguistically, which previously has not found serious attention in linguistics. Even though the speech genres are both defined differently, analyzing their rhetorical opposites is important: on the one hand, there is press euphoria about the political action the speaker will take, and there are the resignation speeches, which are mostly characterized by negative hypocrisy, image preservation, and euphemistic depiction of previous actions, on the other. Despite their differences in content, rhetorical methods and antonymic disparity, both mentioned speech genres cannot be viewed seperately. Hence - as easily as you can fall from your throne, just as easily will your seat be occupied within the next minute. Quale principium, talis est clausula.

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