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Pluralism, Slippery Slopes and Democratic Public Discourse

Maria Ferretti and Enzo Rossi

Agonist theorists have argued against deliberative democrats that democratic institutions should not seek to establish a rational consensus, but rather allow political disagreements to be expressed in an adversarial form. But democratic agonism is not antagonism: some restriction of the plurality of admissible expressions is not incompatible with a legitimate public sphere. However, is it generally possible to grant this distinction between antagonism and agonism without accepting normative standards in public discourse that saliently resemble those advocated by (some) deliberative democrats? In this paper we provide an analysis of one important aspect of political communication, the use of slippery-slope arguments, and show that the fact of pluralism weakens the agonists' case for contestation as a sufficient ingredient for appropriately democratic public discourse. We illustrate that contention by identifying two specific kinds of what we call pluralism slippery slopes, that is, mechanisms whereby pluralism reinforces the efficacy of slippery-slope arguments.

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Addressing Rape Culture through Folktale Adaptation in Malaysian Young Adult Literature

Sharifah Aishah Osman

the public discourse surrounding rape and other forms of violence against women and children remains problematic. In the wake of the global #MeToo movement, discussions of rape and rape culture and its representations in Malaysian society have become

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The Concept of Citizenship in Danish Public Discourse

Uffe Jakobsen

This article traces the uses of the concept of citizenship in Danish public discourse in light of the theoretical framework of conceptual history. The author draws upon parliamentary debates, media articles, and debates on political subjects that are part of the textual corpus that served to create The Danish Dictionary in order not only to identify the different usages and conceptual changes of “citizenship” but also to identify the actors using the concept. In addition to mapping the use of “citizenship” in its traditional meanings, such as the entitlement to rights, political identity, civic virtue, and political participation, the Jakobsen encounters a new meaning, namely, citizenship as “free consumer choice.” This conceptual change, however, is only espoused by elected politicians, while ordinary people tend to preserve the traditional meanings of citizenship.

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Conceptual History in the United States

A Missing "National Projec"

Martin J. Burke

The author addresses the question of why there has been no national project on the history of political and social concepts in the United States analogous to those which have appeared in many countries in the wake of the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, the Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich and, the Historisches Wöterbuch der Philosophie. Nevertheless, by listing and explaining how to use a number of available internet resources, the author suggests ways for scholars to develop histories of central concepts in American public discourse

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From Social to Biological Parasites and Back

The Conceptual Career of a Metaphor

Andreas Musolff

The categorization of individuals or groups as social parasites has often been treated as an example of semantic transfer from the biological to the social domain. Historically, however, the scientific uses of the term parasite cannot be deemed to be primary, as their emergence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was preceded by a much older tradition of religious and social terminology. Its social use in modern times, on the other hand, builds on a secondary metaphorization from the scientific source concept. This article charts the history of the term parasite from its etymological origins to the present day, distinguishes its metaphorical and non-metaphorical uses, and discusses the implications of these findings regarding the cognitive understanding of the relationship between (perceived) literal and metaphorical meanings. In conclusion, it is argued that metaphorization needs to be analyzed not only in terms of its conceptual structure but also in its role in discourse history.

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Academic and Public Discourses on the Holocaust: The Goldhagen Debate in Germany

Ulrich Herbert

Over two years after the appearance of Hitler’s Willing Executioners,

very little can be heard about the so-called Goldhagen Debate in

Germany: no more scholarly reviews, at most a few echoes here and

there. Over two hundred thousand copies of the book were sold,

and it was certainly read almost as many times. But it does not

appear in the syllabi of university courses on the Holocaust, except

perhaps in those that cover historiographical debates. In the German

edition of Saul Friedländer’s new book, Nazi Germany and the Jews,

Daniel Goldhagen does not rate a mention, except for a three line

footnote on page 420 in which his theory is described as “unconvincing

on the basis of the materials presented as part of the study.”2

Goldhagen’s book, one can confidently predict, will not play a role

in future Holocaust research.

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Modern Women in a Modern State

Public Discourse in Interwar Yugoslavia on the Status of Women in Turkey (1923–1939)

Anđelko Vlašić

Turkey, as it shifted toward a modern nation-state, occupied the attention of the public discourse in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (or Kingdom of SHS), which was established in 1918 and changed its name in 1929 to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia

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Hijab, Girls’ Sports, and the Ongoing Effects of Colonial Feminism

Mary Christianakis and Malek Moazzam-Doulat

and in public discourse. Traditionally, advocacy for female participation in sports in the West has been associated with left-leaning politics related to women's equality, suffrage, and educational access. In the context of the so-called Global War on

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Efficiency and the Rebound Effect in the Hegemonic Discourse on Energy

Franco Ruzzenenti and Aleksandra Wagner

-based national economy. In either case, efficiency and economic growth have been wedded since their inception. It is worth noting that the concept of efficiency came to life during the same period in which growth appeared in the public discourse. It was with the

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Global inequality and policy selectivity in the periphery

The case of Ukrainian reforms in higher education

Viktoriia Muliavka

core-periphery exploitation instead of self-sustainable development. Structural dependence on foreign investment, together with poor economic conditions, create the grounds for implementation of austerity policies, legitimised in public discourse as