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Dramas of Reconciliation

A performance approach to the analysis of political apologies in international relations
Nomos,  2019, 262 Pages, E-Book

ISBN 978-3-8452-6161-4

49,00 € incl. VAT
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englischPolitical apologies have been described as modern political rites. However, the scholarship has failed so far to take the ritualistic elements in apologies seriously. This book addresses this lacuna. Contrary to linguistic approaches that locate the transformative power of apologies in correct wording, this book grounds the force of apologies in ritual performances. Drawing on ritual theory the book reveals how apology performances bear characteristics of rites of transitions. This book lays down the ritual features that enwrap apologies, demonstrates how apologizing agents activate sacred symbols in apology ceremonies, and how rites as a distinct mode of social communication may create extra-ordinary moments of transition. Based on a discourse analytical methodology, the study analyses several apology performances for historic crimes and discloses the potentials and the limits of rituals of apologies.

»The study provides an impressive account of how successful apologies are performed as powerful, transformative rites within which an interplay between a carefully orchestrated commemorative ceremony and spontaneous ‘authentic’ displays of emotion are enacted at symbolic sites. One of the book’s strengths is that most case studies contain a detailed multimodal analysis of images taken from authentic video footage… Overall, this is a refreshing volume which exposes the relevance of a multimodal analysis of political communication.«
Dr. habil. Elisabeth Reber, Contrastive Pragmatics 2/2021, 271