Argumentation Tactics and Public Deliberations Article

Bruns Ali, S, Ganapati, S. (2020). Argumentation Tactics and Public Deliberations . 42(4), 531-557. 10.1080/10841806.2019.1627840

cited authors

  • Bruns Ali, S; Ganapati, S


  • This article examines how elected officials, public administrators, and the public use argumentation tactics to influence policies in public meetings. We use Habermas’s communicative rationality and Aristotle’s classical approach to rhetoric as the conceptual lenses to identify ten tactics. The tactics are grouped under four Aristotelian categories: kairos or situational context (first mover advantage, using time as ally, and mountains are too high); logos or rationality [(ab)use of facts, take it down the rabbit hole]; ethos or speaker’s credibility (expert knows best, belittling dissenters, moral high ground); and pathos or emotional appeal (loaded language, trigger the bomb). We use three policy issues—land sale to Miami Beckham United, conversion therapy, and vacation rentals—debated in the Miami-Dade County Commission regular meetings to illustrate these tactics.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 531

end page

  • 557


  • 42


  • 4