Words of Conflict, Words of War: How the Language We Use in Political Processes Sparks Fighting

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Words of Conflict, Words of War: How the Language We Use in Political Processes Sparks Fighting is a fascinating exploration of the narratives leaders use to position both themselves and others in the course of political processes that lead to peace or conflict. Drawing on the relatively new field of "positioning theory," expert essays provide insights into the ways words position us--for better or worse--and influence our intended results. The focus on narratives, from the interpersonal to the international, leads to a better understanding of political processes and conflict resolution.

Part one of the study deals with micropolitics and personal positioning. Part two explores positioning by political parties and factions. Links between micro and macro are illustrated by leadership studies of individuals such as President Barak Obama, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President George W. Bush, Governor Sarah Palin, and the Reverend Ian Paisley. The focus throughout is on how a leader can use language to redirect collective politics in support of conflict or of peace.

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Words Conflicts and Political Processes
Do I Have to Say Yes? A Positioning Theory
A Positioning Theory Analysis of Language

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About the author (2010)

Fathali M. Moghaddam is professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Conflict Resolution Program, Department of Government, at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. His published works include Praeger's The New Global Insecurity: How Terrorism, Environmental Collapse, Economic Inequalities, and Resource Shortages are Changing Our World.

Rom Harré is a fellow of Linacre College, Oxford University, and distinguished research professor, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

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